Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great start to theirs so far.
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:
- People will judge you
- 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.