So you’re ready to start working out. Picking up the weight the very first time can be a daunting task. You have no idea what you’re doing and, if you’re in a gym, you feel like EVERYONE is staring at you 🙁 It’s enough to make anyone run for their lives and never want to step in a gym again.
That being said, it is my strong belief that no excuse is powerful enough to prevent someone from exercising – so in this series of posts I will explore excuses, one by one, and convince you that each one can be overcome in one way or another. So let’s start with looking at someone who has never exercised before and what they can do do get started.
Make a plan
Here’s a random analogy: cooking. When you cook, do you just randomly throw ingredients together hoping something decent will come out of it? Oh, I think I’m going to make a soup, so I dunno, a few eggs, cereal, raspberries and some corn should do it.
That sounds pretty absurd right?
When you’re cooking, even if you’re winging it you still start off with your goal – what you’re trying to make – and then come up with a list of ingredients. Fitness is no different.
I want you to think of fitness like cooking! So before you can start you need to ask yourself these 2 key questions:
- What am i trying to achieve? (aka your goal)
- What exercises am I doing to get me there? (Aka the list of ingredients)
Here’s an example. Say someone’s goal is to build strength in her legs so her goal might be something like this:
Goal: Increase lower body strength (and then she might have a goal of being able to squat or deadlift X number of lbs)
List of exercises to get her there:
- Sumo squat
- Calf raises
- Bridge lifts
See how all of a sudden because the goal was to work on lower body, her list becomes lower body exercises?
Your first few workouts do not have to be complicated and they do not have to be super intense. You need to ease yourself into it. Start with simple exercises and maybe just do a 30min workout.
See how your body reacts to this new stressor and how you are feeling afterwards. 30min might be enough to start. You are moving, getting your blood flowing, and building a new habit.
It can also be too much mentally to know you have a full hour workout ahead of you. An hour sounds like an awfully long time. But 30min is much more reasonable. Moreover if you are doing the right exercises in the right order and at the right intensity 30min might just be enough.
As you get stronger and you get more into your workouts you can make them longer.
Related: 10 workout mistakes everyone makes
Come up with a realistic goal
I feel like a broken record every time I say this but if you want to set yourself up for success setting realistic expectations is key. KEY. All caps! Too many people want to do it all – and I totally get it: in a world where we expect things to happen instantly and want instant gratification having to wait for your fitness results is a total drag.
But, whether you like it or not, the only way you are going to get long lasting changes is to build new habits as well as learn and understand fitness and nutrition! And these things take time.
Here’s a realistic goal that I like to suggest to someone starting out:
- Workout frequency: 3x per week
- Workout duration: 30min
- Intensity: 15 reps per set
- Type: total body workout, one set of each exercise
That sounds pretty realistic right? Yup – that’s the idea!
“Should I do cardio or weights? HIIT? Yoga? TRX stuff? Mixed martial arts?”
People make it way more complicated than it needs to be!
Here’s what you need to remember: the type of exercise you are doing is a means to an end. The end being your goal! So whatever type of exercise you choose to do, it better be aligned with what you are trying to achieve
If you want total body toning, then yoga might be a good option. Weight loss? HIIT might be something to consider. Want to get your blood flow moving and burn a few calories? Go for a run. Want to build some muscle? Weight training!
People get very hung up on the latest fitness trend hoping it will get them results faster, and sure, I agree that fitness trends can be fun and exciting, but at the end of the day training smart means you do the right exercises so you hit your goals.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: that’s how I, as a personal trainer, think about every single exercise that I program for my clients. In PT school they don’t teach us about the latest fitness fad. They teach us about the muscles, the joints, and how they work. The logic behind doing the exercises, the muscles that they work. The actual list of exercises comes at the very end!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Yes, this is the part where I boast about how awesome it is to work with a personal trainer. But just hear me out! (or skip to the end, I won’t feel offended)
When you first start working out, there’s a lot to think about. Not only do you need to set realistic goals, pick the right exercises (as I mentioned above) but you also need to make sure your form is good, and that you are working at the right intensity so you get results!
As a personal trainer, my job is to set my clients up for success! It’s as simple as that. This is what I do on a daily basis, and I absolutely love it! And my clients love it too: all they have to do is show up for your sessions, and the rest is taken care of.
Sometimes a few sessions are just enough to give you that boost you need to get into a new habit, stay motivated, learn a few routines, and ensure you are using proper form. Becoming more active is a hugely important investment in your health. You are giving your body exactly what it needs to it can continue to serve you many, many years from now!
When you first start working out, a few things are crucial to success: making an action plan, starting slow, and coming up with realistic expectations. Once you’ve figured out your goal, you are ready to pick the right exercises that will get you there. Finally, if you are stuck or short on time, working with a personal trainer can be a great way to expedite the whole process, learn about fitness, get results and have some fun!
After being skinny unfit for the majority of my life, I discovered fitness by accident after becoming a mom. A couple of years later, I started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. My mission is to teach people about fitness and work with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes. My personal values include being professional, honest and transparent in all of my doings but also being funny and silly because that’s what makes life (and your training sessions) fun!
Every day I hear from tons of people who are dying to get more active but they just need that extra push! Getting someone started on a fitness program is what I love to do. Share your story with me and let me help you reach your fitness goals