You're Doing It Wrong: Your New Year's Resolution

Don't worry. Our expert is here to help.

If you're like, uh, 99.9 percent of the human population (which includes us), chances are you've resolved to get in shape before. And if you're like 99.9% of that population (which also includes us), chances are your very best intentions gave way to late-night beer and pizza orgies and canceled gym memberships come February. But this year will be different, says we. So we asked Brandon Kolar, a personal trainer at Equinox who specializes in functional training, for some tips to help us avoid pussing out on our 2013 plans for betterment.

ON NOT LOOKING LIKE A TOTAL NEWB . . . EVEN THOUGH YOU TOTALLY ARE: "There are [even] many large, in-shape-looking people who do exercises that make absolutely no sense. And we see outrageous acts of misuse every day, on every piece of equipment, including the simplest, such as dumbbells. Most people learn by watching others, and they learned it from someone who was doing it wrong too. Take the complimentary sessions with a trainer and learn as much as you can. Find a friend who is actually a true student of the fitness game, not someone who just goes in and does cardio for hours on end."

ON HOW TO LOSE THAT GUT: "A steady diet of strength training to build lean mass to increase the metabolism, consistent cardiovascular work (three to four days a week of increased-heart-rate training), and - the most important - 6.5 days a week of clean eating. Allow a few cheat meals on one day for sanity and to trick the body into burning fat."

ON WEIGHT TRAINING VS. CARDIO: "Weight training, by far, is more important. You can do a strength-training session that keeps your heart rate up in all of your important zones, but cardio alone is never going to build quality muscle that will improve your metabolic rate and posture."

ON WEIGHT-ROOM FARTERS: "Anytime you've got guys consuming large quantities of protein, chances are you have a serial farter. Not much you can do here. Figure out who it is, and give him space."

ON HOW TO ACTUALLY STICK TO THAT DAMN RESOLUTION: "Start out two days a week in the gym, with small changes to the diet. What's the saying? You can't keep doing the same old thing and expect different results? Well, this pertains to the nutritional habits. Once you feel comfortable with two days, work up to three, and add in a few more sound dietary changes. It's the big change all at once that gets the resolutioners out of the gym so quickly. Start small and work your way up."

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