About 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, and sadly, only a mere eight percent achieve their goals. Whether you’re tight on time with a busy day ahead or were ditched by your workout buddy, we want to make sure you stick to your fitness objectives. With the new year already underway, we caught up with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson for tips on making time for fitness, plus one of his own workouts for you to try.
What would you say is the biggest downfall for people trying to stick with their health and fitness resolutions?
“You’re not going to get fit from one workout, and you’re not going to get fat from one meal.”
Time. It’s always time. They can’t get to the gym, they can’t make the class, their workout partner blew them off, there’s inclement weather and they can’t get to an indoor place — there’s always an excuse. I find this a lot.
What’s a good way to make sure fitness doesn’t take the backburner when things get hectic?
Put it in pen — don’t pencil it in. I also stack it earlier in the day, but that’s just me. I look at it like this: The fewer people awake, the fewer people to interrupt me. It’s simple. It’s not perfect, but it’s close. My phone rings a lot less at 5 a.m. than at 2 p.m.
A lot of people say it’s just too hard to get out of bed and get to the gym. Is it OK to work out at home? Is that better than nothing?
One hundred percent. There is no workout you do that you’ll wish you hadn’t done. But there are lots of workouts you miss that you’ll wish you had done. So do it at home, do half of it, do what you can, just stretch, just do cardio, just do your resistance, just do something. You’re not going to get fit from one workout, and you’re not going to get fat from one meal. So indulge here and there and do your workouts on the regular.
Stretching, foam rolling, mobility — are these more important to do after a workout or before a workout?
You can do both. I start my routines on the ground to reduce risk of injury and to start moving the blood. And I take the blood from the lower extremities, to the core, and then to the upper extremities. Massages are beneficial, too, especially after a rough workout. But you can’t always get a massage, so something like the Homedics Dual Shiatsu Massage Cushion is a great alternative. Why wouldn’t you have something like this at your desk? I run and sit down between appointments and if I get even just four minutes, my back feels so much better.
How do you personally keep up with your fitness?
I never miss a workout. All the guys who’ve ever worked out with me they will tell you, ‘he never misses.’ That’s why I go early, to make sure it’s done.
Looking for a no-excuses workout you can do at home? Try this full body routine designed by Peterson himself. Complete the entire circuit (exercises 1-9) twice through.
Gunnar Peterson’s New Year Workout
1. Single-Leg Hip Bridge on Ball
Lie flat on your back with a stability ball in front of you. Lift your right leg up into the air as high as you can, and place your left foot on the top of the ball (a). Pushing your left foot down into the ball, lift your hips as high up off the ground as you can so that you’re resting on your shoulders (b). Repeat for 12-15 reps with each leg.
2. Hinge Crunch on Ball
Lying flat on your back, place your hands behind your head and put both heels on top of the stability ball (a). Crunch upward while simultaneously pushing down in your heels, pulling your knees towards your chest so the stability ball rolls closer to your body (b). Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
3. Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension
Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie flat on your back with your legs fully extended forward, heels resting on the stability ball. Raise your arms straight up to the ceiling, holding the dumbbells directly over your shoulders (a). Bending at your elbows, without moving the rest of your arms, lower the dumbbells down to ear level (b). Extend your arms back fully back upward (c). Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
4. Jump Rope
As fast as you can, perform 50 to 100 skips with the jump rope, varying your footwork if you’re able to.
5. Resistance Band Rear Delt Pull-Down
Grab a resistance band and grip it above your head a little wider than shoulder-width, maintaining a high level of resistance in the band. This is start position (a). Lunge your right leg backwards, landing with the ball of your left foot on the ground, bending both knees so that your right hip is directly above your right knee, and left knee is bent directly above your left toes. Simultaneously, keeping your arms as straight as you can, lower them and the band behind your neck and back as far as you can, pulling your shoulder blades together (b). Return to start position. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps with each leg.
6. Banded 4×4’s
Place a resistance band around both ankles and spread your feet wide enough so there’s tension in the band (a). Bend your knees and slowly walk to the right, stepping your right foot out, then left foot, but still keeping enough resistance in the band (b). Repeat for 10 steps to the right, 10 to the left, 10 forwards, then 10 backwards.
7. Side Plank Rotation
Lie on your right side, with your legs, hips and torso all in line with one another, feet stacked. Bend your right elbow perpendicular to your body and rest your weight on your forearm. Using your right arm and feet, push your ribs, hips and legs up off the floor into a side plank position (a). Take your left arm and, rotating from your core, reach it as far underneath you as you can without losing balance (b). Rotate back and lift the same arm as high and far behind as you can while remaining balanced (c). Repeat 12 to 15 reps on the right side, then on the left.
8. Push-Up with Dumbbell Renegade Row
Get into push-up position, head, back, glutes and legs all aligned, feet a little less than shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight to the floor, hands gripping dumbbells. Perform a push-up keeping your core tight and everything in line (a). Keeping your core and glutted engaged, bend your right elbow, pulling your right shoulder blade back, and row the dumbbell upwards keeping your elbow close to your side (c). Extend your arm back down to the ground. Perform the same upward motion with the left arm. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
9. Windmill Plank
Get into an extended plank position, head, back, glutes and legs all aligned, feet a little less than shoulder width apart, arms straight so hands are on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds (a). Transfer weight to the left arm, and lift your right straight up to your right side, while simultaneously rotating your body and feet to the right. Return the right arm back down, hand on the ground (b). Repeat lifting the left arm up in the air while rotating to the left, then returning it back down, hand on the ground. Repeat the whole move 5 times through.