What to expect when you first get (re)started at the gym….. part 1

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great start to theirs so far.

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I hope many of us have hit the ground running in an attempt to make good on our resolutions.

For some of us that might mean starting (or restarting) a workout regimen to lose those couple of extra pounds, or just to live a healthier lifestyle.

If joining a gym or starting a workout regimen is something new to you it can be scary not knowing what to expect.

I am here today to help give you some guidance to let you know what to expect as you work to make your resolution a reality.

Before Day 1: You set your goal.  Make it as specific and meaningful as possible.  The more emotional meaning you attach to your goal the more motivation it will provide.  A great example would be

“I want to lose 20lbs so I am healthier and can play with my kids.”

This kind of goal will be your road map and your motivation to stay on track and be successful.

Day 1:  You are excited, yet nervous to get started.  You might be afraid that:

  1. People will judge you
  2. You don’t know what you are doing

All of these things are your head and are resistance to the change you want to make.

No one will be judging you based on how you look, or the fact that you are a beginner.  Everyone is focused on their own goal that they don’t have time to judge.  Plus they can also relate to their first day in the gym.  If anything they are empathetic and are more likely to help steer you in the right direction.

For the second excuse I suggest hiring a qualified fitness professional.  They have the knowledge and experience to design the right program to meet your goals.

If you choose not to hire a professional make sure you go to the gym with a plan.  This will help you to not waste time as you know what to and where to go.  This will help you feel confident at the gym, and make you look like what you are doing.

I suggest starting with simple exercises before moving to more advanced ones.  Body weight movements such as squats, push ups, pull ups, crawls, ring rows, and planks are great exercises to start with.

Day 2: The soreness is real!!!!!!  No you are not hurt, your body is simply reacting to the new stress you placed on it.  Even the most simplest things like walking, going up and down stairs, and sitting down feel difficult.  I remember feeling that if I were to drop my wallet that I would just consider it gone forever, no matter how much money was in there.

I know that you will feel like you don’t want to move, but moving and drinking water are actually the two best things you can do alleviate soreness.

I suggest stretching and going for a 20 minute brisk walk, or a light jog.  This is a great way to actively rest and get the blood pumping through the body.  Trust me you will feel better.

Day 3:  Yes I know the soreness is worse!!!!  Do the same thing as Day 2.  Move and stretch.  You might also feel an increase in hunger.  This is good.  It is your body requiring more energy for exercise.

Day 4:  The soreness should start to subside enough to train.  Just note that this will be like Day  1 and start the cycle of soreness again.

This cycle of soreness will continue after each workout for about 2 weeks.  This is due to the fact that exercise is still new to us.  If you are dieting on top of training (which you should do) you will also find your self to be grouchy as your body will be going through withdrawal from all the bad stuff we used to eat.  Sounds like a fun combination right being grouchy and sore.

You will see as you continue to go through your routine that your soreness will become less, and that you will be able to train more often.  This is due to your body getting stronger and used to the exercises as well as us getting mentally tougher to deal with the soreness.

If you are able to weather the storm in the beginning you will see that the exercises become easier and you slowly see the results you desire.  Getting started is about conditioning the mind just as well as it is about conditioning the body.  But if we set great goals and attached meaning to them I am confident that you will make it to the other side of the storm.

Stay tuned for part two where we will discuss what to expect after the first week or two of training.

Just getting started and have questions about what to expect, or your training program?  I am more than happy to help.  Leave your questions in the comments below and I will answer them.

 

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Why you need a fitness coach this new year

Christmas is over.    The Christmas tunes are off and I officially have the Jimmy Buffet music on full blast to keep me thinking warm thoughts in this 20 degree weather.

With the end of Christmas we set our sights on the new year.  

Many of us will be making resolutions to get our year started off on the right foot.  Typically many resolutions are health based and usually sound something like:

“I want to lose x lbs”

“I want to start working out x times a week”

“I want to eat better”

Many people will set out to accomplish these resolutions on their own.  But this often is a recipe for disaster and leads us to give up just after a couple of weeks.

We start coming up with excuses that we don’t have time, it’s too boring, I’m not seeing results, I’m too sore, I think I’m hurt, I don’t know what I’m doing, etc. 

Enter the fitness coach.

Hiring a fitness coach can help you solve all these problems.  Here is what a good coach should provide:

  1. Help you set strong goals and tie an emotional meaning to them
  2. Make workouts entertaining
  3. Be tough, but encouraging
  4. Make sure your program are safe and effective for you
  5. Ensure you are performing exercises properly and safely
  6. Make sure your nutrition is dialed in
  7. Hold you accountable
  8. Cut through the fitness clutter out there
  9. Be able to apnswer questions
  10. Keep you focused on your goal, despite distractions
  11. But ultimately be a partner with you on your journey.

A good coach is an investment.  But  is an investment that will return dividends not only when it comes to your health, but will positively effect your happiness and self-esteem from the progress you will see along with the sense of accomplishment of sucking with something that is tough.

You finally can have that happy and healthy New year you talk about every year.  That is why this year instead of going it alone you should hire a fitness coach.

8 reasons why you shouldn’t skip your workout during the holidays

Thanksgiving is over and Rudolph has been on TV.  That means one thing.

It’s officially the holiday season.

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The holiday season is a busy time of year.  On top of work/school whatever little free time we already had is now spent with family, wrapping presents, holiday parties, travelling, and everyone’s favorite…..shopping for presents.

With all these things going on it is very easy to skip your workout.  Well today I am here to tell you why that is a bad idea.

  1. Your health doesn’t take a break over the holidays.
  2. Survive your holiday party.  If you are looking to lose weight, training the day of and after your holiday party is a great way burn and use the extra calories we consumed.
  3. Don’t break you rhythm.  Once we broken it is hard to get going again.
  4. Don’t waste all the hard work you put in all year.  Just taking off a few weeks can set you back in trying to accomplish your goals.
  5. Get a head start on your New Year’s Resolution.  It may seem like cheating but I checked the rules it’s totally legal 😉
  6. Eliminates stress.  There is good stress and bad stress.  Bad stress can cause the body to gain weight.  Exercise is a great way to eliminate bad stress, something there is no shortage of during the holidays.  This makes exercise even more  vital so we don’t gain weight, and also don’t go postal.
  7. It’s a great distraction.  Have family around you can’t stand?  End of the year work piling up?  Whatever the problem is when we exercise we forget about all that.  Instead if we are working out hard enough we are focusing on moving properly, and just trying to survive “the suck” that we forget everything else for an hour.
  8. Give yourself a gift.  Haven’t you been good this year?  We give everyone else a gift why not give one to ourselves.  This one you don’t even have to wrap.  All you need to do is block out an hour a day to take care of yourself.  You deserve it

Have another reason we didn’t list?  We would love to hear it.  Let us know in the comments below.

How to unleash your super powers

If you have been following me for some time you probably see that I have been posting some great tips to help you get fit. I wanted to take the opportunity this week for you guys to learn a bit about me, my journey, and how it has led me to helping others achieve their goals.  I feel it is important for my readers to know who is giving them their advice.

Here is my story

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Like many kids I wanted to be Superman growing up.  You bet I tied a towel around my neck and pretended I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and be able to bend steel with my bare hands.

In real life though instead of battling against bad guys, I was battling against my weight. I grew up with back problems and asthma which made getting strong, fast, fit, and happy hard to do.

It was safe to say I was against anything fitness related growing up because it was uncomfortable and because of that I became lazy.

My greatest excuse was using my asthma to get out of our warm up jog in 7th grade gym class.  I almost failed gym when they found out I was supposed to use my inhaler before class, I just conveniently forget….OOPS!

Thankfully I loved playing sports.  It wasn’t until high school that I got serious about football and began taking fitness seriously.   I wanted to play, and someone who was weak and slow just wasn’t going to be out on the field for strategic and safety reasons.  So I decided to change that and began lifting.

At first it was hard and uncomfortable, but amazing thing started to happen.  I felt like I was becoming a superhero.

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No longer did it feel like I had cinder blocks around my feet when I ran,  Or hand an anchor around me when I tried to jump.  I found I had more energy, felt less pain performing movements, and even became confident in myself and happy.

It was hard work but the results were well worth it.  Going through the process taught me a lot about toughness, and taking pride in earning your accomplishments.

Over time I began to enjoy the grind and it has become something I love to do.

I share my story with you because I wanted to show you that trainers aren’t Greek Gods carved from marble eating broccoli and cauliflower out of the womb.

We all have a story, a reason why we got started with all this fitness stuff in the first place.  For me I was tired of living in pain, overweight, and having things like my asthma hold me back from things like a gym class jog.

It wasn’t easy by any means.  It took a lot of hard work along with trial and error to get where I wanted.

 

I am living proof you don’t have to settle.  I was lazy, soft minded, and out of shape until I got angry and tired of it holding me back.  The moral of the story is that you have the capacity to change your situation.

I am here to help people unleash their super powers and take back their lives.

It all starts with mindset.  If you have the right mindset it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym.

I know it can be easy to get lost doing this fitness stuff.   There are a million exercises and training styles, each trainer preaching how this one is better than that one.  But none of them work if you don’t have the proper mindset.

Tweaking what you do in the gym is easy.  But with the wrong mindset it is easy to run away at the first sign of failure.

That is why I coach.

That is why I write this blog.

To teach and inspire you to accomplish your goals.  Because I care.  I know how you feel.  I have been there.

But at the end of the day it’s not about me caring.  YOU have to care as well and invest the time and effort into eating right, training, doing your homework if you want to achieve your goals.

It won’t be easy, but it can be done!

 

Do you have a story to tell?  We would love to hear it.  Let us know in the comment section below what motivated you to get started.

If you happen to be one of those people who I mentioned who are lost click on this link to receive your personal map to accomplishing your goals. 

 

Do this one thing before the year ends

The New Year brings  much excitement thinking about what can be accomplished in the year ahead.  But you can’t move forward without knowing where you have been.  You need to know your history, otherwise you will be doomed to repeat it.

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It’s easy to get lost in the monotony of the daily grind.  Sometimes it can feel like we are spinning our wheels and nothing is getting done.

Life is like painting. Up close all you see are the messy brush strokes, but if you take a few steps back the picture’s beauty and message become clear.

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The New Year is a perfect time to take a step back and look at the past year.  It helps us to see our success and failures to determine if things are going in the right direction.

Think of the past year as a roller coaster ride.  There are ups and downs and loops and at some point you get your picture taken making some silly scared face.

Reflecting, whether it be a blog post, or a collage, or in your head is that silly faced photo that ends up on your fridge.

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Here is my silly faced photo of what my past year has looked like:

  • Started the year doing one of the hardest things I had to do and part ways with one of our family members.  We all miss you Boomer
  • Put my big boy pants on and moved out of my parent’s house and in with my girlfriend
  • Witnessed the Eagles draft our future franchise QB in Carson Wentz (Super Bowl!?).
  • Celebrated the marriage of one of my best friends
  • Started a restaurant job to that forced me to learn how to interact with people and learn the difference between providing a service and delivering hospitality
  • Went out on my own and started my own concierge training business
  • Helped my clients get their lives back by developing sustainable strength to help them alleviate pain/become fitter
  • Went back to school to study Physical Therapy
  • Started playing rugby with the Fairfield Yankees where I made a bunch of new friends….and survived rookie night

Not to brag (ok maybe just a little), but it looks like I have had a pretty amazing and eventful year.  And I look forward to another year just like it (minus losing a beloved pet).

I hope your past year has been amazing as well.  If it wasn’t as amazing as you had hoped then use it as a catalyst for change in the new year.

Remember you can’t enjoy the success with out struggle.  The negatives provide you with the feedback to change your course.  For me to have a successful year I had to face adversity.

Facing adversity it what forces us change to succeed.  Toughing it out through adversity is why the payoff  of success is so sweet.

Going back to looking at the painting; It’s not the artist’s skill that makes art beautiful. Actually it is their imperfections and unique view of their environment that we find captivating.

The New Year offers the feeling of new beginnings and change.  I challenge you to reflect before you move forward.  I don’t want you to end up lost out there because you keep making the same wrong turns repeatedly.  I want to see you reach your destination.

Liked this post?  Well there is more where that came from!  Subscribe to this blog to receive weekly training and motivational tips to help you achieve your goals.

We want to hear from YOU!  Share your reflections in the comments section below.  Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a happy and healthy one.

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Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve runs his own concierge training service and is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant.  You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

5 ways to prevent gymtimidation

Do you desire to start working but the thought of the gym intimidates  you?  Well then this might be the best article you read all day to help you get over that fear and start accomplishing your goals.

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The gym can come off as an intimidating and uninviting place. 

 It’s already a huge step for you to make the decision that you are ready to make a change. But big weights, loud noises, and the feeling of people judging you can be quite overwhelming and cause extra anxiety. Planet Fitness has done a great job highlighting a lot of these fears in their ads.

You are not alone.  Whether it is joining a gym, starting a new job,or going on a first date we always experience that intimidation factor.

I had the same experience playing my first rugby season this fall.  

All I knew about the sport was it was rough like football and they threw the ball backwards. 

 Showing up to my first practice I had no idea what to expect.  Were we hitting today? What position will I be playing? Will I fit in with the guys? 

 I created all these stories and scenes in my head  that almost prevented me from making the decision to join the team. 

 Because I was so scared of something foreign to me I almost missed out on the fun I had hitting people, having a new purpose to fuel my training, and most importantly meeting an awesome group of guys.

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The Boys

I am sure I looked a fool out there my first couple practices, being out of position and making god awful passes. But I learned and got better as I went.

My teammates and coaches understood I was new.  Instead of making fun of me for not knowing they, taught me, they became my mentor. 

 I went in with an open mind and listened to tips the vets and coaches gave me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that these guys  wanted me to succeed. 

 They saw my potential, even if I couldn’t.  They let me know when they saw me make a great pass or was in the right position for a tackle.  It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, they also let me know where I messed up so I can correct it.

The big takeaways need to be this:

  1. You are your own prison guard.  You are only confined by the limits you place on yourself.  This includes creating false scenes and scenarios in your head.  At the end of the day no one really cares about the things we lose sleep over and it just creates extra stress we don’t need.
  2. We can only become stronger physically and mentally by getting out of our comfort zones.  Who knows you might find something new you enjoy/are good at by doing so.  That is why I started saying Yes to new experiences.  I don’t want to miss out on anything.
  3. Find a mentor to learn from.  This can be a coach, trainer, or the most jacked person in the gym. These people are experienced and have a wealth of knowledge.  Most people who have been in the game for years are more than happy to share their bag of tricks with you because they want to see you succeed.  Listen to them with an open mind and learn.
  4. Understand you are a beginner and mistakes are a part of the learning process.  You will make mistakes and that is OK.  You can’t be afraid to make the mistakes either.  That is how we learn.  The biggest failure is not learning from past failures.  I have made plenty of mistakes with training programs, but this is why we assess and reassess to make sure we headed in the right direction and tweak things as we go.
  5. Very rarely are people rooting for you to fail.  And if they are it’s nothing you can control, it says more about them than it does you.

Like this article?  Then subscribe to this blog to receive workout tips and motivation to help you reach your goals.  As always we want to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts, story or questions in the comments section below.

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Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.