Having the determination to start is one thing. Knowing where and how is quite another. Even for seasoned athletes and gym-goers, you know that rut gets harder and harder to get out of. It’s really easy and motivating to talk about a plan, get excited for a plan and think about all the possibilities once your dream bod is achieved. Hey, but what about all that essential junk in the middle? Like working out? Oh, yea. That.
Where to begin?
I have started and not finished countless programs. I like variety and I can get easily distracted; embarrassingly so. So yes I get it. You don’t love the gym and maybe find it annoying that you have to even be in there. The good news is you don’t exactly have to be in a gym to get work done. You have a variety of choices in life and one of them is how you decide to take care of your body. A great deal of healthy, athletic, agile individuals never step foot in the gym. However, they have this serious intrinsic motivation to look outside of the box and continue to challenge themselves without typical weights and cardio machines. For those of you living restricted or structured lives with very little wiggle room, you may not have a choice. A gym membership may be your only access to movement in your week.
Let’s get real here.
Magazines and health organizations tend to be a little soft when it comes to exercise. Light house work and moderate gardening are often listed in a chart with calorie expenditure. Now – do I believe that something is better than nothing? You bet your sweet tush I do. Light house work beats the stuffing out of channel surfing. However, if you have specific goals about weight loss and strength, Dyson and Pine Sol are not going to get you there. If you have been a sedentary person that up until now did not invite the idea of weekend housework into your life, it’s a great place to start. 100%
Truth: You need to decide your goals and get real with programming to achieve them.
If you currently abhor the idea of exercise and sit all day, then your first program should consist of moving more. That applies to every single day. Do you ever read those “transformation success” stories where people talk about the first 5 minutes of walking when they were overweight and under active? They felt like they were going to die and the thought of a 5k seemed so impossible. Fast forward to 9 months later, 30lbs less and a half marathon completed and the seemingly impossible no longer exists in their world. So yes, starting with walking and general increased movement really does work.
If you are already moderately active, maybe a couple pounds down, start writing your goals. For instance:
1) I will get into that little black, oh-so-sexy dress by New Years Eve.
2) I will drink 2-3 liters of water 7 days a week; even on the weekend!
3) I will back squat 1/2 of my body weight by November.
After getting a couple of goals on paper, add a few notes on how you will actually reach them. If writing all of this seems silly and unnecessary, let me ask you something. Has what you have done up to this point worked? No? Have you written goals down in the past? No? Okay. Then let’s just try it, get it?
Create a plan for each of your goals. No one knows you better than you – have a backup for when the excuses pile up; because they will.
1) I will drop .5-1 pound per week by working out 4 days a week and tracking my nutrition daily. I will give my best friend my MyFitnessPal username so she can see that I logged my food everyday. I expect her to call me out if I miss a day.
2) I will fill that water water bottle up approximately 4 times before lunch and 4 times after lunch. On the weekend, I will take it with me while I run errands. While out to dinner, a glass of water before, during and after dinner is a must. If I skip a fill, I add it to the next day.
3) I will keep a log of my squat reps and sets, slowly increasing my strength and trusting the process. I will listen to my body and compliment it with single leg movements 2-3 times per week to get stronger. Elevators are never an option.
Now, if the gym is your second home or you are familiar enough with movement, you are in luck. All you need is the right program, trainer or gym bud to get the ball rolling. There are so many options available it’s actually scary. Really. It is. Because so many internet fitness folks have no clue what they are talking about but are more than happy to take your money and skip out on you. Personally, I do a lot of my own programming but have also hired or worked with other trainers as well. (I’m currently finishing up a 12-week program developed by John Romaniello and Neghar Fonooni that I’m loving.) I enjoy understanding the thought processes and insights from other leaders in the industry. If you stop learning, you stop growing. Do your research and be honest and real with your goals. Disclaimer: Never trust a trainer who makes outlandish promises, doesn’t work on themselves or tries to diagnose you outside of their scope. You’ll know when you have found the right trainer for you. It’s one of the best, most genuine relationships you will ever have. Fitness is a B.E.A.N: Balance, Enjoyment, Appreciation, Necessity. I’m going to copyright that cute little acronym.
Of course I would be more then happy to help with any of the above. Find me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The only thing I want for you is success, self appreciation and sweat. All three feel damn good.