5 Things Everybody Needs to Tackle Before Starting to Exercise
We have all been guilty of attempting to make a commitment to an exercise program. Throughout my years of being a personal trainer, I have seen this scenario countless times: a client wants to get in shape and starts going to the gym. The client goes into the gym without a plan, without a goal, and without any knowledge of working out. After two weeks of running on the treadmill, doing a few sit-ups and taking a few classes, the client gets bored and busy with life and reverts back to throwing away money on a gym membership… sound familiar???
In this blog post I am going to channel my 7 years of experience and expertise in the fitness industry into 5 things everyone should do before deciding to get involved in ANY exercise program. Essentially I am saving you the frustration of never-ending promises to yourself, and helping you set up a fool-proof plan to finally succeed on your fitness journey!
1. Set a SMART goal.
Beginning a fitness regimen without a goal is setting yourself up for failure. How are you going to know what do in the gym without knowing what you want as a result? In this step, I am going to take goal setting a step further!
-First and foremost, your exercise goal should be SPECIFIC. It is not enough to say “I have a goal to lose weight”. You need to specify how much weight you would like to lose. It is important to choose a method of measurement that you can easily track. Some of my favorite methods are body fat testing, circumference measures, and strength-based goals (for example completing 10 pushups)
– Second, your goal should be MEASURABLE and REALISTIC. Every body-type is different and every body has a different baseline that we start from. Choose a goal that is realistic for you. Fore example, choosing a goal to attain a 24-inch waist when you naturally have a thicker waist a d more athletic build may not be appropriate for you.
-Lastly, your goal should be TIME-BASED and REALISTIC. Be sure to allocate an appropriate amount of time to achieve your exercise goal. For example, if you have a goal to lose 50 pounds over the next 6 months, perhaps it may be more realistic to work towards a 10-lb weight loss over the next 3 months.
2. Have a written plan!
After you determine your SMART goal, you can now start mapping out what your next few months of exercise are going to look like. Have every day at the gym planned out so there is no hesitation when you set foot in the gym. Keeping track of every set, weight used, and amount of repetitions completed will give you a reference point as well as give you a sense of accomplishment. This is also a method used to hold us accountable!
Invest in a quality fitness professional with a solid education and experience. This means that you may be spending money that you had not intended. However, gaining knowledge on ways to improve your health will last you a lifetime! There is a science-based plan that can be implemented to help get you to your goal efficiently, safely and effectively. Having a goal without being educated in techniques required to achieve that goal is like trying to bake a cake without having the ingredients.
4. Create the perfect atmosphere.
Whether you decide to workout in your home, a nearby park or fitness facility, you should choose a space that is convenient for you. Make sure you feel comfortable, motivated, and excited to go to your new workout space. My best recommendation is to try out a few gyms/parks in the area prior to beginning your program.
5. Make sure you enjoy your workouts!
I cannot stress this enough! If you are doing workouts that make you feel terrible and ones which you despise going to, you will not stay committed! There are infinite styles of training that you can use, and it is important to find one that makes you excited to workout!