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Want to get in shape for the new year? Here’s how!

Friday, December 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I’m on vacation! This will be my final update to this site until I return on Monday, January 3, 2011. January 3rd also happens to be the first day of my 2011 cutting phase and, as always, I’ll be posting my complete stats, diet and training information as I progress. My cutting goal this year is 7% body fat, but also to be in the best cardio shape of my life. I’ll be training hard, eating clean and putting out a maximal effort until I reach my goals. I invite those of you who are also looking to drop fat, gain muscle and get in shape to work along with me.

So, where to start? I know a lot of you have the desire to make positive changes, but may feel overwhelmed by all the information out there. Put your mind at ease: I promise that it’s not as hard you may think. Let’s talk about what you need to do to get going…

First of all, if you’ve ever told yourself that you were going to get in shape and failed, I want you to forget about that. This year you will succeed, but you need to start believing in yourself right now.

Having made a successful major transformation myself, I know what it takes to make it happen. Before I talk about some of the things you need to do, I want you to pause for a moment right now and picture yourself with your ideal body relaxed and 100% confident on a crowded beach. Don’t stop there: visualize yourself in all kinds of situations with your new body. There is no shame in doing this. Visualization is a powerful technique that really works. When I first started my transformation I visualized myself outside washing the car and mowing the lawn with no shirt on, ripped and with six-pack abs. Whenever I felt like skipping a workout or going off my diet, I replayed these powerful scenes in my mind. Six months after I started, I’d lost over 55 pounds of fat and I had a six-pack for the first time in my life. I can’t describe what it felt like the first time I lived out these visualizations in real life. All it took was six months of hard work and dedication. Check out my monthly, weekly or even daily pictures (near the bottom of the page) to see what I accomplished in a relatively short period of time. You can do it, too.

Picturing yourself in your new body is important, but it’s obviously not enough. You need knowledge and you need a plan. Without a plan your new body is just a fantasy. With a plan it’s an obtainable goal. Maybe you’ve already done your homework and know exactly what you need to do; if so, then great! If you do not have a plan, then you need to come up with one right away. Here are some things I think everyone who wants to make a transformation should do:

SET A GOAL OR GOALS. Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish and write it down. Short term goals and long term goals are both very important. Do not skip this step! One of the best places to express your goal is in “public”. Tell everyone you know what you are doing. I encourage you to create a free account on the forum and start a journal. Get involved with our friendly community. Make friends, learn, ask questions and get inspired!

HAVE A PLAN. You’ve got the desire and the goal, so now what you need to do is come up with a plan that will allow you to get there. Start educating yourself by reading the “sticky” threads in the Beginner’s forum (the threads that are “stuck” at the very top). Feel free to check out my own detailed food logs, my training routines, my photographs, and daily news archives. Come up with your own meal plans and a training programs. Create a free account on JSF BodyShop™ and start tracking your measurements, food intake and workouts (as of May 3, 2010 all my stats and food logs are on BodyShop). The JSF community can help you tweak your plans and answer any questions you might have, so please feel free to post if you are confused about something.

CONSIDER HIRING A PERSONAL TRAINER. If you want someone to create a diet and/or training plan customized just for you and your goals, look no further than Personal Training with Aram “Mastover” Hamparian. I’ve worked with Aram many times over the years, and I give him my highest recommendation. Best of all, Aram is running a 15% off sale through January 31, 2011! Check out the Services page on his web site.

EXECUTE THE PLAN. Ah, now this is the hard part. Are you ready to dig deep? What you are doing is not easy; your inner strength and character will be tested. Life throws things at us every day that separate those who are truly committed from those who are not. Those who refuse to make excuses and execute their plans with dedication and consistency will be successful–this is a fact. Take it one day at a time, and don’t let negative thoughts enter your mind. Keep picturing yourself in your new body and remain focused like a laser on your goals.

By the way, I’ll be working on the redesign of the JSF web site while I’m off from work. I expect to launch the new site sometime in January, so be on the lookout for that. If you want a preview of what’s to come, I’ve got some screenshots (still under development) and other information here.

I’m going to sign off for now, but I’ll be back from my vacation on January 3rd and ready to work my butt off. I’ll be posting all my starting stats, measurements and food logs on JSF BodyShop™, so be sure to register (100% free) if you want to check any of that stuff out. My workouts and training program will be posted right here on JSF.

Registration for the January 2011 “100 Challenge” is now underway! Your Official Challenge post must be made by 9:00 AM (EDT) on January 1, 2011 if you plan to participate–NO EXCEPTIONS! To participate, you must be a member of the forum. If you are not a member, simply create a free account. It can take up to 24 hours for your account to be activated, so don’t wait until the last minute to register! For all the details, official rules and sample entry data, just head over to the January 2011 “100 Challenge” thread on the forum. If you are ready to work hard and want to challenge yourself in a fun and competitive environment, then please take part!

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