More than a New Year’s resolution, getting fit and healthy should be a long-term goal.

We’ve all heard the saying, “New Year, new you.” The most common New Year’s resolutions tend to involve exercise and nutrition.

But for many people, keeping those resolutions while maintaining a hectic lifestyle is a struggle.

Ryan Schaftel and Brad Palmer are the proprietors of Red Run Fitness in Owings Mills. They call Red Run a “new kind of fitness studio.”

A Baltimore native and member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Schaftel, 32, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Palmer, 36, a personal trainer, lives in Owings Mills.

Jmore recently sat down with Schaftel and Palmer to discuss health, fitness and how to head into 2019 a little stronger.

What’s different about Red Run Fitness? 

RS: A client will come into Red Run Fitness and we will put them on a program that progresses each month. If you start too fast of a fast pace, with the most weight you can lift and not enough rest, you will automatically hit a plateau. You won’t progress without optimal progression and proper recovery time. Our outlook on fitness is that more isn’t necessarily better, but a little bit more over time is.

BP: We cater each workout to the specific client. We track all exercises, weights and progressions on every person we train.

How do you ensure success?  

RS: Every workout should build off of the last workout in a clear progression. You also want to be sure to recognize the signs of hitting a plateau. You have to know how to scale it back in order to get on track. Where a lot of people go wrong is they try to go as hard as they can as fast as they can without ever doing more over time or resting between sets and training days. By tracking every training variable, we can make sure someone is on the right track to avoid over-training, so you get the most out of your workouts.

What should people look out for regarding fad workouts? 

BP: One of the biggest headache trends is the Instagram fitness influencer. You will see these influencers balancing on a dumbbell while doing pushups, which is something they can do because they are at the top level of their game. When people see that, they don’t realize that influencer has probably worked out for multiple years to get to the point where they can do that exercise.

With us, we are doing the same compound movements throughout a month — changing rep ranges, loads and volume, but doing it in a safe way.

What are some of the biggest myths out there when it comes to fitness? 

RS: The biggest myth is spot targeting — the idea that if you target a certain area of the body you will get stronger. For example, if you do crunches you will get abs is not necessarily true. Instead, you will just develop imbalances. Additionally, people tend to think they will bulk up if they lift too much weight, but I can tell you won’t necessarily get bulky in a three-day-a-week weight-lifting program that will be determined by nutritional choices.

BP:  Some other myths are that sweating is burning fat, that more is better, that you don’t have to rest between sets, that you don’t need to eat before going to the gym and two-a-days, which are more than one workout per day.

Many say nutrition plays a bigger role than exercise. 

RS: When it comes to diet, we are looking for a person’s limiting factors, such as dehydration, lack of sleep, of too many processed foods. We look for what the person’s disconnect is and then determine what needs to change. Like our workouts, we make sure our nutrition plan is also progressive. We don’t encourage fad diets because they aren’t custom to the individual, but they do have certain things in common like portion control, whole foods and the frequency of eating.

Additionally, everyone should be eating enough protein. That is where we see a lot of people are deficient. You should also vary the sources of complete protein, which include red meat, fish, chicken and eggs. There are also plant-based proteins, like rice and beans, that can be combined with one another to create complete protein profiles and those count as well.

How does someone make sure they’re successful in their New Year’s resolution regarding health and fitness?  

RS: The best thing to do is to develop a consistent routine so nothing prevents you from making it to the gym. Once you do that, you can track your workouts to make sure you are progressing your weights, rep ranges and rest times while making sure your training-style and frequency align with your goals.

BP: People shouldn’t think of fitness as a short-term goal, but rather a progressive commitment to themselves. If you think about fitness as building upon a program and recognize results will come from doing that program correctly, you will be more likely to stick with it.

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Aliza Friedlander is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.