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By Brandon Cheeks
The winter season is synonymous with falling. Leaves have fallen off the trees. Time fell
back. Rain and snow fall from the sky. And, people tend to fall out of shape. As a
personal trainer, I’ve noticed a trend that occurs at this time. From October to December,
clients cancel or don’t schedule consistent workouts. I call this three-month period the
“Fall Off,” when people tend to fall out of shape. It’s a trainer’s duty to catch the fallen and get them back on track.
Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of excuses why people fall out of shape during the holiday season. Maybe
you’re traveling and forgot to pack workout clothes, or it may be that Mom’s peach
cobbler is addictive. One reason or another, a good trainer and a disciplined client can
prevent the Fall Off. Here’s a list of causes why people tend to fall, and my favorite techniques to help clients stay or get back on track:
Reason for Falling:“I’ll be out of town and can’t workout.”
 Fall Prevention: Be sure to pack a workout outfit. No one enjoys doing burpees orrunning a mile in jeans. Before your trip, research gyms/parks in the area. Most cities have gyms that offer discounted daily rates. If you can’t find one, use a park, backyard,
stairwell, or parking lot/structure to enjoy a creative workout.
Reason for Falling:“I’ll be too busy. I have no time to workout.”
Fall Prevention: Effective time management is critical. Plan workout times to fit into
your daily schedule. Keeping workouts short and intense will ensure effectiveness, and
keep you on schedule for your holiday tasks. Aim for 20-30 minutes per session. Tibatas
are a great way to fit a high-intensity workout into limited time. Typical Tibata circuits
last four minutes. Include two or three circuits with a warm up and a stretching routine
to intensify the short workout.
Brandon Cheeks
Here’s a good example of a Tibata:
Push ups (20 seconds)
10-second rest
Body Weight Squats (20 seconds)
10-second rest
Bench Dips (20 seconds)
10-second rest
Bicycle Crunch (20 seconds)
Reason for Falling:
“I can’t pass up on dessert.”
Fall Prevention: Keep your scheduled workouts a priority! Go ahead and enjoy treats, just make sure to get that workout in, too. During the holidays we are all going to have“Oops, I shouldn’t have eaten that,” moments. Don’t panic. Just be more consistent with your workouts than your pie-eating sessions. Instead of sitting around watching television after a big family meal, plan a calorie-burning activity. Organize a scavenger hunt, play a game of charades or go for a short walk/bike ride. Do something that involves movement and/or laughter. This will assist in burning holiday meal calories. This winter, try not to become one of the fallen. Don’t cancel workout sessions; be sure to pack workout clothes when traveling; be more time efficient; and, increase the intensity of your workouts. Remember: A consistent workout schedule is critical during the holiday seasons, especially when Momma’s cobbler is calling.

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