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Ask the Expert: How to Stick to Your Fitness Goals – A Conversation with Eric Zisk, Premise Health Fitness Director of Operations

“What’s your New Year’s resolution?” This popular question resurfaces every January and answers can revolve around everything from lifestyle to financial to relationships. Fitness goals are especially common and for good reason – no matter your fitness level, being active every day can improve the way you feel and reduce your risk of chronic conditions.

Fitness goals can be challenging to stick to, especially during a pandemic when access to exercise facilities is reduced and people are dealing with more stressors than usual. To find out how people can start and stick to their goals in 2021, we sat down with Eric Zisk, Premise Health’s fitness director of operations, to learn what strategies he recommends and how Premise’s virtual fitness product can positively influence anyone’s goals this year.

What are some strategies people can use to ensure they stick to their goals?

To help make their goals stick, the best thing people can do is create an end goal and then work to create weekly or monthly “mini goals” throughout that time to ultimately lead to their larger goal. This strategy helps keep you on track as you’re checking in with yourself on a more regular basis. It’s also helpful to not go at it alone, so I recommend people involve their friends, family, or peers in some capacity. They don’t need to be fully involved, but achieving a goal takes planning and can affect your normal day to day, so talking with someone about freeing up time or adjusting expectations can be helpful.

What are some common mistakes people make when setting fitness goals for themselves?

I’ve found its most common for people to set goals that are either too big or they don’t give themselves enough time to accomplish that goal. For example, if someone sets a goal to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, they’re not giving themselves a long enough timeline to set themselves up for success. The same goes for any type of fitness event, such as a 5k. It’s important to give yourself enough time to train to avoid injury and ensure success. Another mistake is not involving people that can support you on the way to achieving your goals. When things get challenging, it’s important to have people to rely on that can help you create or set aside time to reach your goals.

Is there a good way to track progress?

Depending on the goal, people can write down their progress, take pictures, or create a digital or physical calendar to plan the time they need for accomplishing the goal. There’s also a variety of apps people can use to track workouts or food and water intake. There’s no right or wrong way to track progress, it’s really what works best for each individual.

What does virtual fitness look like at Premise?

At Premise, our personalized fitness offerings differentiate us from other options in the community. Before the pandemic, we were meeting with members in-person, rather than just pulling up a workout video. There are great options out there for streaming workouts, but participants then rarely have access to that instructor in a one-on-one environment. With Premise, our virtual classes are with coaches our members have access to, so we’re always available if a member has a question or needs guidance. We pride ourselves on being able to meet each member where they are in their fitness journey to hyper-personalize their experience and create a tailored program to help them reach their goals.

With the current state of our country, we’ve really shifted our focus to creating a virtual fitness center that gives members the sense of community they’re missing. A recent study by IHRSA found that 42% of gym goers miss working out with people and 36% miss the sense of community. To combat that, we have live classes where members can get on camera and see one another, and we’ve established fitness challenge groups by virtually grouping members together to collaborate and foster a sense of community. Since we’ve made this shift, our attendance in virtual group classes has nearly tripled and we’ve seen a 27% increase in fitness memberships due to our diverse options.

How can Premise’s virtual fitness help members meet their goals?

When you meet with one of our coaches, they’ll set up an initial session to get to know you and talk about your goals and what you want to achieve. Based on what you discuss, they’ll then prescribe next steps unique to each member. If the member is new to fitness, that next step could be a personal training session so we can guide them through a workout. Or if a member is looking to lose weight, the next step could be going over how to take certain measurements to establish a baseline and track progress. After that, we’ll schedule additional sessions to check in, track progress, adjust their program, and answer any questions they may have.

Does working with a fitness coach better position people to meet their fitness goals?

When people have access to a fitness coach, it can definitely make a difference. A coach can help set a realistic timeline, plan a schedule or exercise routine, and even walk you through how to talk to your friends and family about what you’re trying to accomplish. At the end of the day, self-motivation can be challenging, even for fitness professionals, so having someone who’s there to support you is a huge benefit.

What are some positive outcomes people could see from setting and sticking to attainable goals?

People can see overall gains in their fitness and wellness, which could lead to weight loss or just more confidence in doing everyday tasks, like being able to play longer with their children or grandchildren. From a medical perspective, by sticking to their goal’s members can potentially lower their blood pressure or cholesterol, and even eliminate the need for medications for different conditions. We recommend our members speak with their healthcare provider before making these changes. Even if members don’t have a specific goal in mind, physically active people tend to have lower healthcare costs, require less sick leave, and have a decreased risk of developing a chronic condition.


By improving access to fitness professionals and facilities, organizations that partner with Premise are supporting healthier populations and more productive workforces. Regardless of their goals, our approach to fitness is helping both fitness members and non-members establish a routine and stick to it. Our motto, helping people move more and sit less, motivates our fitness teams to work inside and outside the four walls of the fitness center to have a positive impact on your entire organization. Interested to learn how a fitness program can positively impact your population? Click here to learn more.

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