Getting started commonly means stepping foot into a gym you haven’t been to before and for some that translates to feeling like your weaknesses are on display. As a fitness instructor I see this fear in almost every newbie that comes in. I think the true starting point of any fitness journey is finding your intrinsic motivation. When you find your motivation, fear and insecurities tend to minimize. Fitness can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you find a community you fit into. I think a big down fall newbies run into are expectations not being met and having a lack of understanding on how this journey will play out. Here’s some information on what to expect during the first 12 weeks to help get you started.
1. Have a fitness goal. Dive deep and pick a two week fitness goal, four week and 8 week goal. Having a fitness goal is like having a map when you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been to. It’s hard to know what to do and where to go if you don’t know what you’re driving to.
2. Pick a training program for your goals. You can consult a professional or find a boutique gym to help get you there. Are you interested in running a marathon, an obstacle race or just want to be able to chase your kids around the house? Your goal will shape your training program. An olympic swimmer wouldn’t focus on running; they would find the shortest path towards achieving their goal, swimming, and then add accessory movements to cross train their weaknesses. If you’re thinking you don’t have a goal then write out the things you want to be able to do easier in life. I want to walk up a flight of stairs at work without being winded. I want to be able to carry my groceries out of the car with ease. Short term and long term goals will shape your fitness program.
3. Start moving. Moving for 1 hour 3x a week will help maintain your current condition ( unless you’re sedentary then any movement in the beginning will be beneficial ). Eventually you want to build up to 4-5 workouts a week to see changes in the body.
4. Variety is good for the body. The degree of deviation varies from training styles and are heavily dependent on your goals. The body will adapt as quickly as two weeks in regards to movement and caloric consumption. Making a small change every two weeks will help prevent plateaus and get you past any hurdles.
5. Track your progress. If you’re consistent it takes 2 weeks for the body to feel more energized , 4-6 weeks for clothes to start fitting differently, 6-8 weeks for you to notice changes and about 12 weeks for other to notice. A standard healthy amount of weight to lose in one week is 0.5lb-2lbs.
6. Rest and repair the body. Whatever program you choose don’t neglect the recovery process. The recovery process is arguably as important as working out if not more important for long term success. Recovery includes: Fueling your body correctly and getting enough rest. Stretching, mobilizing, yoga or active recovery sessions.
Before you get started understand that there will be challenges. The journey will be an up and down roller coaster ride for a while but if you’re at it long enough it will level out. If you’re having a hard time getting active find a friend and hold each other accountable. If you don’t have fitness friends join a boutique gym, a weight loss group or even a Meet up. If gym memberships are currently out of your budget, there is an infinite amount of online resources out there. It can be as simple as searching Youtube for short workouts or purchasing a customized program online.
At the end of the day it all comes down to you and your own perceived limitations. Decide how valuable your health is and if it’s more affordable to invest into preventative care now rather than medical care later. Anything is possible, you just have to go out there and go for it.
Keep pushing forward,