Christmas is behind us, and as the last of our extended family and friends depart for whatever normal was back before we dragged a tree into our house and started living off of butter cookies and eggnog, we only have one significant fitness obstacle of 2017 left ahead of us: the trailing end of the holiday season we lovingly refer to as New Years.

Of course, by the time you read this, there’s a good chance that you’ve already made it through the festivities of New Year’s Eve, and if you’re lucky, you either woke up without a hangover or you’ve already tempered the worst parts of it.  How do I know that?  Come on guys, this is a fitness column… not even I am enough of a gym masochist to read one hungover.

So, the holidays are behind you, the hangover has subsided, what’s next?  Well, in the fitness world, January 1st is an awfully divisive date… it’s the one day a year that leaves everyone with a pair of running shoes stuck in one of two equally reprehensible groups: the “New Year, New Me” motivators, and the “new year’s resolutions are for chumps” counter-camp.  Full disclosure right from the get go, my inherent cynicism and year-round workout regime doesn’t just place me in the anti-resolution group, it secures me a senior position therein.

Throughout most of my twenties, when body fat was a thing I heard about on TV and I could get up in the morning without sounding like a bag of popcorn in the microwave, I’d strut my way into the gym on January 1st awash in a sea of New Year’s Resolution newbs.  I’d look down on the middle aged man with a spare tire as he tried to figure out how to turn on the stair master and I’d chuckle to myself as skinny armed businessmen added weight to the bar, only to give up two reps in and pull weight off once they realized they weren’t as strong as they thought.  In my mind, these guys didn’t belong there – the gym is for Alpha males, not these tourists that were lying to themselves about what they could accomplish, or how far they could go with a sail full of New Year’s naivete and a belly full of N.O. Explode.