How to Get Better at Goal Setting

The health and fitness community loves to talk about setting goals—especially around New Year’s, when so many people make goals for the rest of the year.

But the percentage of people who set goals January 1st then actually go on to achieve those goals is minuscule.

In fact, while the average person sets a number of New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year, nearly 80% of people have given up by the end of a 30-day period. And only 8% of people actually follow through on their resolutions and end up achieving their goals.

So what’s going on here? Why can’t people stick to their goals?

It’s not because everyone who sets New Year’s resolutions is automatically unmotivated and not driven to succeed.

It’s because most people don’t actually know how to set goals that stick.

Goal setting is an incredibly powerful way to boost productivity and performance, which is why we talk about it so much here at 12 Minute Athlete. Thankfully, even if goal setting isn’t something you currently consider yourself to be very good at, you can get better at it.

First, you’ll need to understand how to set better goals. From there, you can learn the simple tricks that will help you to stick with them over time, even when it gets tough.

Better goal setting means more goals achieved, period.

Let’s look at how to start improving at goal setting so that you can crush your goals all year round.

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Tutorial Roundup: Advanced Bodyweight Exercises

This post is part two of our Tutorial Roundup series. We’re bringing you a collection of exercise tutorials that we do a lot in our 12 Minute Athlete workouts to help you challenge yourself and unlock your potential. 

In part one, we talked about why it’s important to build a solid base with the basic bodyweight exercises and went over the proper technique of some of the most important exercises and ones we do a lot here on the site. We covered squats, side lunges, push ups, V ups, burpees, dips, jump rope exercises, and box jumps. If you’re a beginner, haven’t worked out in a while, or if you just want to double-check your form, check out the last post before reading this one.

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Tutorial Roundup: Basic Bodyweight Exercises

We always encourage you to work as hard and as fast as you can in your workouts, because that’s what HIIT training is about.

But it’s important to also keep in mind that these reps should also be performed with proper technique.

In this post, we’re teaching you how to do the most basic bodyweight exercises. In part two of this series, you’ll find tutorials for advanced bodyweight exercises.

If you have the 12 Minute Athlete app or you’ve done any workouts from the website, you probably know that a majority of the exercises are actually basic bodyweight exercises. That’s why we want to be sure you have the right technique down for doing them.

If you haven’t done any of our workouts yet, just take our word for it—you’re going to find the following tips useful.

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Keep Track of All Your Workouts With This New 12MA App Feature

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]12 Minute Athlete app

Pretty much every time we add a new feature to the 12MA app, it’s something I’ve personally wanted.

Because I use the app for my own workouts on a daily basis, and I’m always thinking of new things that would make it better for your training—as well as mine.

That’s why in the most recent update to the iPhone app we added a cool little feature that you might not have discovered yet: the ability to manually add days to your workout calendar.

This means you can keep track of any workout you don’t do in the 12MA app—like a gymnastics class, yoga, rock climbing, a tough bike ride—you get the idea.

So you’ll always be able to see exactly how often you’ve worked out and when you’re due for a rest day!

Here’s how to do it:

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How to Build Your Own Outdoor Fitness Park

Outdoor fitness park pull up bar plans

Since I built it last fall, a lot of people have been asking me about the plans for my backyard fitness structure. So I thought it’d be fun to give those of you interested in building your own one day (or hiring someone to do it for you) a rundown of how I actually got mine made.

Ever since I’ve been interested in bodyweight and calisthenics-style workouts, one of the things I wanted most in the entire world was my own backyard pull up bar.

Since for most of my adult life I’ve moved about every six months to a year (whether to a new country, city, or just a different apartment), my own pull up bar was only a distant dream. For a long time, all I had was a doorway pull up bar, which isn’t ideal—but is a lot better than nothing (and I dutifully carted it with me wherever I moved).

Yet as soon as I decided it might be a good idea to stay in one place for at least a little while, the pull up bar plan was back on my radar.

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Beginner Jump Rope Tutorial


Jump roping is one of my favorite ways to burn calories and get your heart rate up in no time.

But it does take a good deal of coordination (and a good amount of confidence), so if you haven’t picked one up since elementary school P.E., today’s beginner tutorial will help you get started.

Watch this quick 3-minute video tutorial or follow the instructions below, and you’ll be jump roping like a pro in no time!

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How to Practice Candlestick Rolls to Get Better at Pistols


Pistols are one of those crazy hard bodyweight exercises that require extreme levels of strength, balance, mobility, and coordination, making them tough for people of all fitness levels.

So in today’s video, I’m going to show you how to get better at pistols by practicing your candlestick pistol rolls.

You’ll want to start by first practicing a basic candlestick roll, so that you can get a sense of how the movement should feel before transitioning into pistol candlestick rolls. This will help you figure out the movement and the momentum needed to get yourself up off the ground back onto your feet.

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How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym


I really, truly believe that you can get an awesome workout using absolutely ZERO equipment.

You’ll see these types of workouts appear regularly on 12 Minute Athlete, and can find examples of them here, here, and here. But if you’re really set on ditching your gym membership and want to do the home workout thing, you’ll probably want to slowly build up your equipment and set up a space that keeps you feeling motivated and ready to work as hard as you can.

Now, unless you don’t live in a tiny apartment or in a city, you probably don’t have a dedicated space you can carve out solely for your home gym. I definitely didn’t until I got lucky and was able to claim a space in my garage in my latest home. But you can still create an awesome home gym even if you have to put everything away every time you use it.

Here are what I consider to be the essential items, nice to have items, and recovery gear every home gym should have:

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How to Get a Really Strong Core With L-Sits


L-sits are one of those exercises that if you’ve never actually tried them before, look pretty, well, doable.

All you have to do is hold yourself up with your arms, straighten your legs and BAM—you’re in an L-sit. But in reality, they’re much more difficult than they sound.

I can clearly remember my first time trying an L-sit—I was at a bar in New York City with a few other trainer friends of mine, and the guys were demonstrating their L-sit skills off of a pool table (yeah, showoffs). I hadn’t been a trainer for very long at that point and hadn’t really ever seen one done, but I gave it a shot and completely failed.

I remember making up some excuse that my arms were too long or something like that—but looking back, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I simply wasn’t strong enough to do them.

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How to Get Started With Dips

Want to get crazy strong triceps and build up strength to do the ever elusive muscle up?

Yeah, me too.

Dips are one of those old school exercises that calisthenics masters like Al Kavadlo love—and for good reason.

Not only will dips build up your triceps strength like no other exercise can, they’ll also work the front of your shoulders (anterior deltoids), your chest (pectorals), and your back muscles (rhomboids) as well as your abdominal muscles and core strength. Plus, they’ll get you more functionally strong than any machine-assisted triceps exercise ever will, and should be a staple of your training regimen.

But although a lot of gym goers are familiar with the modified bench dip, most people don’t actually know the best way to scale up the exercise and build up to the full dip using a dip bar or p-bars.

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