Skip to content

50 quick-fire steps to fitness in 2016!

Print this out and stick it somewhere you’ll always see it. It can be among a diary, on the refrigerator, you can even stick it on your bedroom wall – whatever it takes to keep these in the forefront of your mind!  

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Bring a new vegetable into your diet – one you’ve never had before.
  3. Walk more. Take walks just to get out, not because you have to go somewhere.
  4. Know your current stats – weight, strength, body fat……..anything. You’ll need a measurement modality for when the progress starts engulfing your lap.
  5. ALWAYS strive for progression; stronger, faster, longer, harder and better.
  6. Don’t fear free weight movements. Make them staples of your routine.
  7. Don’t fear machine exercises. They are great for rounding out a workout after free weight movements.
  8. Don’t fear cardio. It’s healthy and it works. 
  9. Do both LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) and HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) – both have their time and place.
  10. Walking on an empty stomach is one of the best kept secrets of the fitness industry. Try it. It melts fat without muscle and it gets you out in the fresh air first thing.
  11. Eat vegetables with every meal, if you can. I have an announcement: veggies are allowed in unlimited amounts. Enjoy. Did you think I didn’t love you?
  12. Don’t fear fruit. Fruit is healthy and one of the best energy boosters our great planet has to offer.
  13. Pre-workout supplements aren’t necessary and you want to avoid becoming dependent on them.
  14. If you like coffee, it’s a fine pre workout option.
  15. When buying coffee, try not to skimp out as cheap coffee is heavily laden with pesticides. Buy organic whenever possible.
  16. Green tea and black tea are brilliant too. What about white tea? Make it a plan already to try some white tea. Thank me later!
  17. Low carb dieting is a short term fix. As you adapt to handle more activity, you’ll adapt to handle more carbohydrates in conjunction.
  18. Protein intake is exaggerated severely. Overall calories are the regulator here. If you’re calorie restricted, you’ll need more protein. If you’re overfeeding calorie-wise, you’ll need less protein.
  19. Protein shakes and powders aren’t essential regardless of what anyone says. They are more for convenience than necessity. Although I would rather see you downing protein shakes than hamburgers.
  20. Go the whole of January without a cheat meal. Yes……GO THE WHOLE OF JANUARY WITHOUT A CHEAT MEAL. How long ago was Christmas exactly?
  21. If you must drink alcohol, limit it to 2 nights per week – ideally the weekend and in a SOCIAL SETTING. Solo drinking is weird.
  22. Don’t watch television in bed or before bed. It may seem harmless, but you’ll be amazed at how stimulating it is to your poor neurotic brain.
  23. Same goes for phones. I know Facebook is just too cool to not check every 15 minutes, but please, resist. Enjoy your bed and your sleep.
  24. Read a book in bed. Better yet, make it a book on any or all aspects of health/fitness; diet, fat loss, yoga, sports success stories, muscle building – anything. The more inspirational the better.
  25. Get in the habit of re-reading chapters of books before you forge to the next. You’ll be astounded how much more you retain from the book, and if you’re not retaining much, why read it to begin with?
  26. Tell everyone and anyone your goals and ambitions. If they laugh or mock you, fuck them. You’ll show them. You want people asking you how the journey is going. You want them checking up on you. It will keep you going when the road becomes a touch more treacherous.
  27. Don’t take the words of any fitness guru as gospel. Even though it may not seem it, agendas are everywhere and often well disguised. Keep an open mind – a rare trait nowadays.
  28. Don’t write a program off in less than 4 weeks, minimum. If you’re new to the game, you can run a good program for 16 weeks or more. #blessing not #jailsentence
  29. The less variation in your routine, the better. Variation is overrated and far less important than consistency and progression, oh and patience of course.
  30. Pick the right training partner. If either of you miss a scheduled session, you owe the other cash. That’ll make you think twice before bailing on them.
  31. Build a ‘fad defence mechanism’; crossfit, veganism, the 30 day squat challenge, intermittent fasting, insanity and even paleo are all great but you don’t have to do them just because Anna at the office said they’re magic.
  32. Don’t train 7 days per week. It’s stupid and unnecessary. If you’ve never trained one day per week, why think you have the right to 7? You don’t.
  33. Don’t be a ‘crunch slave’. Don’t think crunches are the best movement for abs – they’re not. Not by a long shot. Learn dragon flags, L-sits, plank variations and leg raises.
  34. Try to master or perfect a calisthenic movement. The neuromuscular activation they create is unparalleled by machine and even barbell movements.
  35. Calisthenic movements with external load are the best of both worlds – think weighted pull ups/dips or even pistol squats.
  36. Pay as much respect to mobility as you do your beloved bench pressing, running, squatting or snap chatting. Go to a local superstore and take stock of the standard posture of our current age……….don’t be like them.
  37. Always do weights/resistance/strength work BEFORE cardio. Fatigue is the enemy of strength, and always will be. Ideally, separate the two, but make sure it’s in the aforementioned order.
  38. Don’t get your panties in a bunch when your family and immediate friends don’t seem instantly supportive of your fitness ambitions. Usually it’s because they feel pressure to kick start their own much needed journey towards self-improvement. Adopt a tunnel vision.
  39. Keep as detailed a training journal as possible. Take photos. Compare them every so many months. Don’t use them to fish for likes on Instagram though, use them to build your sense of pride.
  40. Believe it or not, training forums are a great place to log a training journal, diary, account or whatever else. Many people have done that before and it makes for fascinating viewing. Plus you’ll get support and valuable info from those more experienced than you. Invaluable.
  41. Embrace rest days. I’m right here with you on this one, struggling to keep my hands off the bar. But you must rest to move forward.
  42. Don’t blow off social occasions just to ‘follow your program to a tee’. There’s more to life and you can just pick up where you left off on another day. The next day for example.
  43. Share your discoveries in fitness with others. The more you give, the more you’re likely to receive.
  44. Try cold showers or baths, I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t favour cold over hot. Note I’m referencing those who’ve done cold baths/showers long term, not for 2 days.
  45. If you have excessive gas, instead of blaming it on ‘protein’, take it as a sign you’re not tolerating something you’re eating. All you need to do now is pinpoint what it is.
  46. Eating under 1000 calories per day isn’t ‘dieting’, it’s starving. There’s absolutely no need to eat so little. You can get results eating more than you think – even if your goal is fat loss!
  47. Assess your strength in relative terms. DON’T be a slave to arbitrary numbers. A 100 kg bench press means nothing when you weigh 105 kgs and can’t do a pull up.
  48. Find a video, story, song or person that inspires you. Watch, listen or read about that person regularly. Realise they were once where you are; fresher in the journey.
  49. Be generous with the compliments you give. If you’ve never complimented anyone before (many people haven’t!) then START NOW. Positive people are naturally more successful.
  50. Follow this blog. Consistent people need each other.

Boom! There you have it, 50 rules to keep you set for the best year yet. 

What’s your favourite? What can we add? The comments section is the place to be heard.  

Happy new year! 

JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All

The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.

41 thoughts on “50 quick-fire steps to fitness in 2016! Leave a comment

  1. I’m loving this and will comment after I’ve had a good amount of sleep. I have some favourites and I’m sure by now that you’ll know which ones they are. Keep up the awesome work.

      • Woohoo, awesome sleep last night. I’m off to do some writing but haven’t forgotten about replying to your post in more detail. I’ve a long list of posts that I need to write and I will get round to posting about DOMS, as agreed. Little steps.

  2. Ah yes, no 33….I’ve never done a crunch and nor will I. Highly overrated. 34, 35 and 36….absolutely, yes. I rarely see anyone, apart from myself, performing calisthenic exercises and I only wish more people would be willing to give it a go. So much more challenging than most would think. 41 – rest, rest and more rest, never underestimate the benefits…. talking of this, time to sleep. My one late night of the week.

    A truly inspiring post.

    • I’ve done crunches, unfortunately. But hey, you learn the greatest lessons doing the most foolish things. Calisthenics are rare – especially the more advanced stuff; pistols, levers, muscle ups and everything else. I think it’s a patience thing personally. People aren’t willing to invest the amount of time needed to conquer those moves.
      Ironically, rest is one of my weakest areas lately. I keep intending to take X amount of days COMPLETELY away from activity and I get to 2 at most and I’m back at it! Oh well :/
      Thanks for the kind words by the way. And I look forward to some of your upcoming posts 🙂

      • I am increasing my rest days to 3 a week. It’s needed during these shorter, darker days. I’m conserving as much energy as possible to fuel me on some of my tougher workouts. I have the patience of a Saint and that’s just as well when it comes to injuries. Time is a great healer of all things. I’m currently on the sofa, nursing some rather painful pecs.

  3. 49, absolutely. Being positive, and seeing the best and positive in others os the way to happiness, greatness and success. I can begin by complimenting you for this great blog, it’s absolutely wonderful to follow!

  4. Hi!
    The problem is my husband severed his knee cap, and it’s currently cold here, so we don’t walk much anymore.
    I met you on Danny Ray’s site. Congratulations on being his featured blogger. I was his featured blogger too.
    Perhaps you’ll check out my site too if you could use a blogging tip or two. That is what I write about.

  5. Great post! Direct and to the point! As a rugby player the main points for me are:

    Consistency – little gains here and there all tally up

    Eat balanced meals – good balance of protein, carbs and fats. Lots of qualitycalories are key.

    Walking – taking the dog out for a walk clears the head and gives me some personal thinking time as well as acting as a great active recovery tool.

    Keep up the good work!


    • Hey Taff, thanks for visiting, nice to meet you 🙂

      With the walking, absolutely! On rest days when I’m stuck working behind the computer for considerable periods of time, I don’t feel good until I take a half hour to an hour walk. And I come back like a new man! I love walking. So subtle, but powerful.

      Thanks very much for the kind words and support Taff.


  6. What is your stretching routine, if you stretch at all?
    My High School phys ed teachers told me that stretching might not be quite as beneficial as once thought?

    • I don’t have a routine as such, but I keep on top of certain tight areas. My lats are prone to tightness along with my pecs, so I’ll stretch them out when they seem tight. I’ll sometimes do yoga for the overall benefits too. I don’t follow a schedule though.

      I think it can be overrated or misunderstood for sure. Often times it’s other muscles not firing sufficiently and/or a bad movement habit you’ve adopted that’s to blame for tightness.

Leave a Reply