Over the years I’ve had many people speak to me about improving their health or fitness. One of the common themes is that they want to change their health and get fit but they have no clue where to start.
It’s totally understandable that many people can be putt off going to a gym for any number of reasons; the meatheads making loud grunting noises while admiring themselves in the mirror, the obnoxious guy hogging a machine whilst on the phone, or the young barbies making more effort taking selfies than breaking a sweat.
To be honest this stuff annoys the hell out of me too, and if I was unsure about what I was doing, I probably wouldn’t go either.
Not only this but I also keep hearing stories of people booking inductions only to be given a half arsed session and a rushed demonstration of exercises simply because the trainer doesn’t want to be doing it.
Back In Time
Now back in the day, years back when I used to do inductions too (yes that is me in the picture back in the day), I would give every new gym member the best induction I could because if I could make them feel at ease using the gym then I knew they would keep coming and training.
Fast forward back to now and Spring is pretty much here, the days are getting longer and warmer and people are thinking about joining a gym to get in shape for the summer.
So I think now is a good time to offer my advice to you if you are also thinking of joining a gym but you’re not sure what to do.
What’s your goal?
Before you decide it’s a gym you want to sign up to I would ask you what your goal is?
If you do want to change your body shape, lose fat, gain muscle, tone up then a gym would be the perfect place to do this.
However, if the idea of a gym bores you to sleep then don’t bother. Instead find something else physical that will interest you and keep you motivated such as group classes, rock climbing, dancing or cycling for example.
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to do, figure out what results you want to achieve specifically and make a plan. There is no point going through the motions if it isn’t going to help you get better health, lose weight or prevent injury.
Once you know your goal then you can put an objective figure on it, for example how many kilograms do you want to lose. This helps you to see if you’re moving towards your goal or away from it.
Start Small and Build Up
If you’ve just decided you’re going to get fit and healthy you may be filled with a new sense of enthusiasm and drive and so you may decide you’re going to go to the gym every day.
Well let me just stop you there…
While I admire the enthusiasm I can also tell you that at that frequency you’ll end up with an injury. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. People always start too hard and too often and then by the end of the first week they have already given up because of the pain and overwhelm.
So as with all of our clients we start them off with 2 training sessions a week and if they want to do more then we encourage them to go for a walk. After a couple of weeks we may then suggest adding in a third training session for a couple of weeks followed by another increase and so on.
This allows our clients to settle into their regime and allow their bodies to become used to exercising. It also helps them adjust their diary and other commitments.
We also recommend that in the beginning each training session is no more than 30 minutes for the same reason as above which is to prevent them overdoing it and developing injury.
For some people 30 minutes may even be too much but eventually 30 minutes will become easy and at that point they may up their exercise duration to 45 minutes and then eventually to 60. Generally though we don’t recommend more than 60 minutes per session, unless someone is training for an endurance event.
Learn proper execution and form
Something I wish I had known when I was in my late teens and 20’s would be how to train so that I could get results and prevent injury for the future. But of course back then I thought I was unbreakable… until I hit my 30’s when for me injuries started becoming more frequent and recovery from injury took longer.
Now being more aware of the body and having learned so much more, technique and being able to perfectly execute a technique is way more important than being able to swing the heaviest weight possible.
If you can perform an exercise with control and strengthen your mind-body connection and feel your body working then you will be putting your joints into a more stable environment and you will get much better results without the risk of injury.
When it comes to technique I strongly recommend you learn from someone more experienced and knowledgeable than you such as a personal trainer, at least until you have the technique principles. This is because someone watching you will (or at least should be able to) see any deviations in your technique and offer you corrections.
Many people think personal training is expensive, and it is if you’re not getting value from it, but if you are being coached and educated properly then it is totally worth having a few sessions.
Be Patient and Be Consistent
The last bit of advice I will offer is that you should be patient. Results will come if you put in the work and put it in consistently. Look for small wins that will help you stay on track; clothes feeling tighter, being able to walk for longer, being able to lift a bit heavier and so on.
If you stay consistent and regular then six months down the road you’ll look back and feel pleased that you continued. Then a year on from that and you’ll look back again and see how far you’ve come. Just keep going.
We’re Here For You
I hope this has been helpful to you if you’ve been thinking about getting fit or joining a gym.
Everyone starts at the beginning at one point in their lives.
If you need help with getting back into fitness or you feel that you need an experienced coach who can pay attention to the finer details then give us a call or book a free initial no obligation consultation to work with one of the team.
It is our goal to help you achieve your goals, so call us today.