The ball has dropped, the confetti's been swept from the floor and nobody's wearing cool hats anymore. And if you're like most guys, you opened your eyes in 2010 to a bad hangover and a list of resolutions, most of which were probably announced enthusiastically over tequila shots.
Relax. It's not like the "Resolution Police" are coming to get you. But that's no reason to blame it on the alc-alc-alc-alcohol and pretend it never happened. You WILL achieve your fitness goals this year. In fact, if you're reading this you've already started. That was easy, right? Moving on.
MF.com (and the mag, of course) is your best resource for annihilating any fitness goals you may have created for yourself this year. Seriously, it's all here. How to work out. Why to work out. Why to (really) work out. Not sure if your routine is effective? Send it to us and we'll analyze it for you! You, sir, have no excuses.
So let's begin.
Upgrade your gym garb
Enough with the shoddy, tattered running shoes already! Seriously, dude. How many years have you had those for? Aside from the fact that running shoes should be replaced every 350 miles (fun fact for the day), they were never designed for the weight room. On the other hand, Under Armour, for example, make great shoes designed specifically for your heavy-lifting needs.
Clothes are obviously less important since you could technically work out ass-naked (don't do that). But there's definitely something to be said about the unspoken value that comes with stepping into the gym looking, and feeling, like a badass. Treat yourself to some new gear, even just two shirts and a new pair of shorts, and you'll feel the difference. Shelling out on fitness-related items will also add incentive to actually use them.
Party in the USA, not the gym
Stop subjecting your ears (and entire gym experience) to the cacophonous crap spewing out of your gym's sound system. How can someone expect you to deadlift to Enya? That's crazy talk. I was nearly a victim of poor music choice a few months back when a loaded bar plummeted towards me, only to be caught an inch from my chest by my friend/spotter, after Cascada's "Every time we touch" came blaring through the system. LIVES ARE AT STAKE, PEOPLE!
Instead, why don't we sidestep the theme of death altogether and talk about music that will actually help you out. When it comes to cardio, the song's tempo is what will determine how amped you get; 120-140 BPM is a good range. For the weight room it's a lot more simple. What makes you say, "fuck yeah!" It's the song that makes you want to skydive, shred on a guitar and kick some ass... all at the same time. Here are some suggestions:
Expand your wolf pack
Exercising alone can be great. But hitting the gym with a buddy or taking part in a class offers unique benefits. A competitive environment will bring out the best in some people, and training alongside others is a great measure of progress. It's also a lot harder to bail on the gym if you have a friend meeting you there in 20 minutes. In fact, in a recent study, researchers at Oxford's Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that, when measured after individual and then group exercise, pain thresholds were consistently twice as high when member's of the university's rowing team worked out together. For you, that means more weight, more reps, more results.
Find your inspirado
Maybe the reason you've lost steam is that you've forgotten why you even need to work out. Oh, what's that? You have an attractive personality? Yeah that won't save you in a bar fight. It won't win the touch football game either. And unless you can carve up the Taj Mahal from sand, it won't get you much attention at the beach. But who am I to tell you why you should work out? Nobody. Do it for your own reasons, but I guarantee that there is at least one. And if you're still not ready to pony up for a gym membership, maybe checking out some of MF's Fittest Movies of all Time will do the trick.
Put your money where your biceps are
If you're the kind of guy who needs incentive (money) to do anything, why not make things interesting? Make a bet. If your goal is to lose weight, set a target weight. If it's strength or size you're after, create a goal that makes sense for you. Then just bet one of your friends that you can do it by a certain date. Maybe you'll decide to see who can reach that goal first. Get creative. If you have good friends, they will make the bet regardless of how trivial your goal may seem.
What are you waiting for?
There's a reason I put this one last. GO! Right now! Do something on this list. Go to the gym. Anything. Just start, and tomorrow the hard part will be over. If you've read this far you obviously have the desire to better yourself so stop reading and start doing!