At the beginning of the New Year, it’s safe to say most of us will be setting fitness goals or resolutions for the year ahead. Unfortunately, by the end of January, many of us fall back into our former routines and our everyday streak of working out diminishes. We spoke with Dave Nykerk, Director of Fitness at MVP Sports Clubs, to find out how to make our fitness goals and resolutions last. He offers realistic and inspiring advice on what it takes to feel accomplished, healthier, and stay on track for good. And if you’ve already thrown in the towel on your resolution, don’t sweat it! It’s not too late to bounce back!
Meet Dave Nykerk, MVP Sports Clubs Fitness Director
Tell us about yourself.
I Attended the University of Michigan where I played baseball and earned my degree in movement science. During my time at UofM, I had three different surgeries, which got me involved with physical therapy and more focused on fitness. When I graduated, I started personal training at the MVP Holland location for a handful of years and then became the fitness manager for another 3-4 years. I loved being around athletes, fitness, and just people in general and making their lives happier. From there, it grew into the different facets of fitness, and I realized how much of an impact you can make not just in the athletic world, but in someone’s life through weight loss, better movement, and changing their habits. Consequently, I became more passionate about the fitness realm and not just sports performance. I recently stepped into the Fitness Director position at MVP Sports Clubs.
How to Stay on Track
With the new year, we all know people are more enthusiastic about setting fitness goals and hitting the gym. How do you encourage people to maintain their fitness regimen and not fall off the wagon?
Start with the why. Ask yourself why do you want to be around fitness? What are your goals? For every person “the why” is going to be different. Some people it might be to look better; for some, it might be so they can keep up with their kids; for others, it might be so they can walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. It’s important for everyone to realize why they want to be involved with fitness.
The second step is developing realistic short and long-term goals. Realistic goal setting is super important, just so they’re obtainable and you don’t get burnt out. By a short-term goal, think a month or under, that way you can feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete those goals. Also set a long-term goal, three months or longer, so you have something to continue working toward throughout your fitness journey.
Finally, find a support system, so when you do hit those valleys, and you don’t feel like working out, you have accountability. Whether it’s family or friends, a friend that you met at the gym, a personal trainer, or a group exercise instructor, you have someone pushing you through those times when you don’t want to work out.
How to Get Started
What advice do you give to those just starting their fitness journey?
Start slow and don’t think you need to jump into everything all at once. Make sure you find activities that you enjoy–if exercise isn’t fun, or fun to some degree, it’s not sustainable. A common mistake is that people jump in, are super motivated and excited, and they plateau and get burnt out fast because they start at a pace that they’re not able to sustain.
Be confident and don’t compare yourself to others in the gym and don’t worry about what they’re thinking about you. Go back to your why. Think about why you’re there and focus on that. Don’t be so worried about what other people are thinking or what they’re even doing.
Often people are discouraged by setbacks and failure. How do you recommend people stay motivated and bounce back after neglecting their fitness routine?
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone goes through those valleys and lows where they’re unmotivated. Just realize it’s perfectly natural for someone to go through this. During those times, focus on fitness as a lifestyle choice–it’s not a temporary decision to be fit–it’s a long-term lifestyle choice. Concentrating on the lifestyle component helps people get back on track quicker, minimizes the lows, and gets people motivated to continue working out.
Also, mix up your exercise routine, so that when you do feel like you’re hitting those lows, find something new and exciting. Whether it’s in a group exercise class at one of our MVP Sports Clubs locations or trying a new program, switching things up will help kickstart your workout routine if you’re finding yourself in a low.
Don’t be Intimidated
The idea of fitness can be intimating or misunderstood. Many believe that you need to look a certain way or be a die-hard gym fanatic to be fit. How do you think people should perceive fitness?
Fitness is a solution to helping you live a healthier, happier life. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to fit into one mold of lifting weights, take group exercise classes, or swim, play basketball or tennis. As long as the activity makes you feel better and gets you moving, that’s what’s important. Fitness is a means to a healthier life. Again, going back to fitness as a lifestyle; there’s not just one form of fitness or one right answer.
What MVP Offers
With the new year, how do you encourage people to achieve their fitness goals and see results? What does MVP offer to help people achieve their goals?
It’s essential that when you start fitness, to make sure you find a couple of different ways to track your progress. One way is to measure your initial weight, your body fat percentage, or get circumferences done around your body with a trainer. It could also be doing a physical assessment, so seeing how fast you can run a mile. That way, you can measure your results.
Everyone views success differently, so having a starting point is essential. Somone might lose 10 pounds by doing exercise, and someone else might not lose any weight but lose 3% body fat. It comes down to how a person feels, and not the tangible numbers that you see on paper.
Ways to Get Started at MVP:
1) A game plan session. When a new member signs up at the club, they get a 1-hour consultation session with a trainer to help get them on the right path to reach their goals. This is the perfect time for MVP members to obtain some measurements if they feel like it’s a good fit for them.
2) Another option for someone is personal training, especially if they need more individualized attention.
3) Take group exercises that we offer. We have over 20 different types of group exercise classes that are free with your membership. Some group exercises that are more popular right now are TFW (Training For Warriors) and our Zone Training class because it incorporates heart rate monitoring and immediate feedback through technology. Yoga is becoming increasingly popular because people are gaining a better understanding of the mental and physical benefits.
4) The MVP eight-week challenge coming up in February called the Activate Challenge, which is geared toward members that are new to the fitness world.