The holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of friends and family and, more importantly, to indulge in an endless buffet of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and assorted libations. Then, as is the way, the new year hits, and people typically have a renewed focus on their fitness goals.
But these goals vary from person to person, so in a recent poll conducted in our newsletter, “The Ripped Report,” readers weighed in on what they’re focusing on in 2023. And the results were pretty clear-cut.
New Year, New Gains
In the poll, readers got to choose between five goals: lose weight, boost strength, build muscle, improve flexibility, and improve cardio. Of the 125 votes received, “build muscle” came in as the top choice, with a dominant 44 percent. Next came “lose weight” in second place with 27.2 percent of the vote. When added together, the top two choices accounted for 71.2 percent of the audience.
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At this point, it’s clear that appearance seems to be the driving force for many of the readers’ fitness goals. And that makes sense, as people tend to put in the work during the winter and spring to look good on a beach in the summer.
“Boost strength” came in third with 12.8 percent, while “improve flexibility” reached 12 percent. Trailing slowly behind was “improve cardio” with just 4 percent. It seems that few will be prioritizing the treadmill in 2023.
What the Readers Said
To get more insight into these choices, voters left comments explaining their positions.
One reader wrote that they aim to “[build] muscle while burning fat,” suggesting that they would have voted for both of the top choices if that had been allowed.
“All of the above, but muscle is king,” another chimed in.
While gaining muscle seems like a purely aesthetic goal on the surface, it goes far beyond just looks. Packing on more muscle increases the body’s metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, and it also helps to strengthen bones and joints. And there’s no age limit on these types of goals, as another voter pointed out.
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“I am 69, trying to lose belly fat and gain muscle,” the voter wrote. “I’ve been working out for more than 10 years because of my job [and] I put on a lot of excess fat that I am trying to get rid of.”
When it comes to fitness goals, they are, of course, highly individual in terms of motivations and desired results, but one thing that we can all share is a desire to make some progress in 2023. That in itself makes us all winners — so long as we stay consistent.
Featured Image: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock