Some of the most common fitness-related goals are losing fat, building muscle, and gaining strength. JULIA MALOWANY/THE VARSITY

“New year, new me,” is what we say to ourselves every single New Year’s Eve. For many people, New Year’s resolutions contain fitness goals to hit, but many of us fall short.

The primary reason why people don’t achieve their fitness goals is because they don’t begin the new year with the required discipline and motivation that would keep them going for the rest of the year. So this year, I am going to help you, Varsity readers, to hit your goals by explaining to you step by step what to do.

The most significant part is to decide on your fitness goal. There are different types of fitness goals and each require different strategies and steps to follow. The most common ones are losing fat, building muscle, and gaining strength. Once you decide the right fitness goal for yourself, you can start the journey.

Losing fat

If you are looking to get rid of some extra weight and get the physique that you’ve always wanted, never forget this: losing weight starts in the kitchen.

Modifying your diet in a few simple ways will have considerable impacts on your health and weight losing process. The most basic modifications can be listed as: eat more soluble fiber, avoid junk food, consume less alcohol, eat more protein, and cut back on carbs and fats.

But if you think that losing fat is only related to eating less and healthy, you are wrong. Training is just as important as eating healthy for leaning down. Strength training is a requirement because with strength training you build muscle, a process that burns more calories. And of course, don’t forget to pair your strength training with cardio.

Building muscle

When it comes to gaining muscle, what you have to do is fairly straightforward: eat big, train big.

As you have probably heard from any ‘big guy’ packed with muscles, protein is the key to muscle building. In addition to eating more protein, you should basically stop cutting calories and start eating more.

In the gym, you basically should be lifting for two or three sets of an exercise for six to 12 repetitions, with short breaks between sets. Pay attention on keeping relatively lower weights to do more repetitions.

Gaining strength

In order to gain strength and build muscle, you should lift each workout, push yourself to your limits and hit your main muscle groups — your chest, back, shoulders, and legs. Try to maintain lower repetitions and higher weights to maximize the strength gains each workout.

After learning more about what is the right goal for you, the next step is to actually start the journey. At first, it will be really hard, but once you make fitness and healthy living an integral part of your life, you will not only look better, but also feel better.

Getting fitter and healthier is a long and difficult and it requires a good amount of patience, but as Samuel Beckett once said, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

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