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Working out in a gym after New Year's can be incredibly frustrating. It's overcrowded with people who typically have no idea what they're doing. They're well intentioned, but they lack the knowledge of gym regulars.

For those of you who frequent a gym, you're probably dreading the resolutions crowd. It can seriously screw up your workouts and make the whole experience less than enjoyable. When I was younger, I once walked into a gym and promptly walked back out after seeing a crowd that looked like a zombie herd from The Walking Dead.

You can't wait for the weeks to pass and the crowd to disperse, as it inevitably does when people lose focus on their goals. Only eight percent of people succeed at the resolutions.

Rather than letting newbies ruin your workout or prevent you from working out altogether, here are a few tips to consider.

Tip 1: Schedule the First Week of January as a Recovery Week

Your gym will be packed during the first week of January. It can be the most frustrating week since lots of new members generally sign up around this time.

Getting a good workout in can be next to impossible.

To avoid this mess, take week off from the gym with a scheduled recovery week. A recovery week gives your body a much needed break from lifting heavy or other intense workouts, setting you up for better workouts once you get back into the gym. Best of all, you can do recovery workouts in the comfort of your own home. Try yoga or any other bodyweight strength routine.

Really, it's a win, win.

RELATED: How to Make the Most of Your Rest Days

Tip 2: Hit the Gym on Off Hours


One big problem with most New Year's resolutions is that they're too vague. "I want to get in better shape" sounds good, but how do you actually plan to do it? When they get deeper than the nice-sounding sentiment, most people don't have a plan of attack—which is precisely why so many resolutions fail. Year after year, one of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to eat healthier. That's great in theory. Improving your diet can better your life in countless ways. But how are you going to do it? That's where STACK comes in.

Here's your five-point plan of attack for eating healthier in 2016.

1. Drink More Water

Water Bottles

Water is absolutely essential to good health and high performance. The human body is roughly 60percent water, and water plays a crucial role in almost every important bodily process. Water transports nutrients and oxygen, supports proper muscle contraction, improves joint function and fights fatigue. Being even slightly dehydrated can decrease reaction time, mood and focus. The negative effects of not drinking enough water are almost too many to count. And many people feel the effects each and every day.

Read more: Follow These 5 Ridiculously Simple Steps To Eat Healthier in 2016

There's nothing wrong with having a few favorite exercises. Maybe you like the pump you get from Curls or love the way you can feel your heart pounding during a set of Lunges. Whatever it is, everyone has exercises they prefer over others—which is cool. What's not cool is plateauing—which can easily happen if you perform the same exercise enough times.

You might have noticed that the Shoulder Press suddenly feels ridiculously easy, or that you can hold a Plank until your watch battery dies. This is a good thing since it means you've improved, but it also means you need to step up your training to keep making progress. Lucky for you, stepping up your favorite exercise can be as easy as making a simple change. With that in mind, here are five simple tricks for making your favorite exercises more effective.

1. If You Love Shoulder Press, Try Inverted Kettlebell Press

Read more: 5 Easy Tricks That Make Your Favorite Exercises More Effective

If you live in a cold-weather state, you're all-too familiar with how winter can screw up your workouts. Unless you feel like pulling your best Rocky impersonation by working out in Arctic-like conditions, your workouts will be restricted to indoors.

For weight training, this doesn't present too much of a problem. And if you have access to turf, you can still do pretty much everything else indoors.

Otherwise, you're facing a conundrum when you want to do your conditioning work. Your choices are a treadmill, and, if you're lucky, an Airdyne bike.

We're not going to lie. Long treadmill runs suck. Some people love them, and that's fine. But if you're a competitive athlete accustomed to working at a high intensity, long runs on a treadmill will seem pretty boring. And they won't really help you get better at your sport.

Instead, we recommend the following treadmill workouts. They are intense. You will work at a high speed, and the result should be improved conditioning in less time. They are also a good option if you're trying to shed extra weight.

Read more: 7 Treadmill Workouts That Don't Suck

New Year's resolutions kick into high gear on January 1st—actually, probably more like January 2nd. Gyms around the country are suddenly packed to the brim.

Resolutions have their own problems. According to data from the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people achieve their resolution goal. But also of concern is the time leading up to the new year.

So let's set the situation.

You plan to recommit to achieving your performance, fitness or aesthetic goal in the new year. But from Thanksgiving until yearend, you don't do all that much, since you foresee a lot of hard work ahead of you. Watching Christmas movies and indulging in holiday desserts sounds a lot better than hitting the gym and being careful about what you eat.

Your resolution deadline has become an excuse to forget about fitness and healthy eating. You say to yourself, "I'm not going to work out now because I'm going to get after it in January," or "I can eat an entire apple pie because I'm going to start eating healthy in the new year."

"I think people look at it like I can just hit the reset button in January," says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietitian based in the Cleveland area.

Ultimately, during period of more than a month, it's easy to take a massive step backward. You might lose some strength because you're not consistently challenging yourself, or you pack on a few extra pounds.

If you're like 92 percent of the people out there, this tendency becomes particularly problematic.


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