Over the last 20 years as a fitness coach I have worked with 100's of clients just starting or starting over. I have seen many people succeed, but unfortunately, I've known many to crash and burn. As we roll into the holiday season I wanted to share with you what separates the winners from the losers in the game of fitness.
Have a Plan- If you don't have a plan on what to do at the gym your pretty much planning to fail. Abraham Lincoln once said, “ Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Your first step to success is to research a workout plan that fits your level and goals or to find the right coach to do that for you. Going to the gym aimlessly will not change your fitness level, it just changes your scenery.
Focus on Performing the Movements Properly over Anything Else- As a newbie results are practically free. We call this the first wave of conditioning. As your body is going from 0 to hero overnight there is no need to initially worry about intensity. Leave the ego at the door and go slow, light and purposeful in all your movements and add extra rest when needed. Everyone is in a rush at the beginning, but successful people will tell you proper training is a marathon, not a sprint. Look to master the basic mechanics, be consistent in your training 4-6 times a week and then ramp up the intensity.
Measure Twice, Cut Once- Properly tracking your workout results and your measurement (not just weight) is fundamental to the process. SO MANY people get discouraged because they don't 'feel' like they are improving when in reality their killing it. You can't go based off of 'feelings' because almost everyone has emotional baggage holding them back. Throw that luggage away and use real measurements. One thing I love about CrossFit is that we track every workout and I know based on my data where my fitness level is at all times. You need to find the support and systems that keep you accountable to real numbers.
Don't worry about the score- As a word of caution, many new exercise athletes get fixated on comparing their scores to others. Whether that be your max bench press, your 5K run time or how fast you can do a workout. While healthy competition can be a great tool for adherence and enjoyment, it should never consume your decision-making process. I certainly have my 'fitness frienemies', buddies who push me, chirp me a little and keep me motivated. But I never make the wrong training decision based on beating someone else's score that day. Tracking may be the key to success, but the process is about being better than the person you were yesterday, not the other person in the gym.
Nutrition is Key to Looking Good Naked- I wish this wasn't so true, but body composition depends heavily on; what, when and how you eat. Everyone knows someone who eats whatever they want and is shredded. The truth is people with that kind of lucky genetics are the exception to the rule, not a great example. Nutrition has to be one of the most debated topics; keto, vegan, carb cycling, macros.... the list goes on. This certainly could be the topic for multiple articles, but I want to give you some hard truths to start with.
Here is a great infographic to print and put on the fridge https://www.groundworx.fit/testimonial-blog/nutrition-poster
A final note: Be OK with set-backs- Your not going to be perfect, things will not always go as planned and that is to be expected. All or nothing and Ill start again next week are mindsets that can be crippling. Look to do a little better every day and don't be afraid to ask for help!
We offer a free no-sweat consultation if you ever need some direction towards your fitness goals!