A couple of days ago I wrote a post titled “7 Point Plan To Fitness Success” which has turned out to be a very popular post.  These steps are important to any plan whether its a Minimalist Workout or P90x.

I’ve received a lot of great feedback from you, my readers, regarding this post.  Because of the success of this post I would like to write a series of posts in the next couple of weeks that expand on the seven points introduced in this post.

Phase 1 – Data Collecting Phase

Whether you are active or sedentary, this phase can help you.  If you are already in a workout routine but haven’t taken the time to evaluate it lately, this phase can help you by showing you exactly where your weaknesses or trouble areas are.  If you are not currently working a fitness or diet routine then this can be a great way to get started.  In this phase, I recommend taking a week to observe your behaviors and log them.  While, you may naturally change your bad habits during this week of data collection, it is recommended that you do not try to change.

If you think of yourself in terms of scientific research this will be kind of like your control group.  You want to see what is not working.  Later once you get to the Action Phase you will become the test group where you will perform exercises or start a better diet and see what is working.  For now we’re just logging.

I recommend signing up for a service like MyFitnessPal.com or Spark People.  These sites have great tools for logging your workouts and diet.  Please note that during this phase you will be told by these website that you are doing certain things wrong.  It may tell you that you’re getting too many carbs or not enough protein.  This is fine.  For a full week you want to do nothing but log what you’re doing.  You want good solid data to work with.

I also recommend getting a notebook to track things that these websites don’t let you track.  I know these things may seem weird, even silly, but track how many times you go to the bathroom or the kitchen.  If you want to dig deep then write down how much time it takes, and what you were doing when you went.  Here is a basic layout of what your chart may look like

Kitchen Bathroom
1 – 30 seconds – Eating, 2, 3 1 – TV, 2 – Cooking, 3

If you sit down to watch TV then log that as well.  Don’t make it too complicated.  You want to read it easily so you can pick apart the data it displays.  All this data will be beneficial in many ways later but you don’t need to worry about this now.  I’ll show you in part two of the series how to work with this data when we get to the Recognition Phase.  Until then, happy data collecting.

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