Where to start . . .

 

Where to Start . . .

This is one of the most common problems faced by most people. We want to get started – working on some mythical goal about health or fitness levels or body image or fat loss. But where, oh where to begin? I ask myself the same questions about all sorts of things. For instance, where to start with writing about fitness? So lets do this together – lets answer that question: where to start?

The most obvious starting point for us both is to ask ourselves, ‘what do I really want to achieve?’

Write down a couple of simple sentences that state exactly what you want for yourself, e.g.

I want to lose weight.

I want to tone up.

I want to fit into my old jeans.

I want to feel better about my body.

I want to get a great time in that 5K run I am signed up for.

I want to improve my energy and my health.

I want to be ready for that event this year.

Got your wish list? AWESOME! Now lets get specific: whatever you have on your list, try to break it down further…

So, if originally I wrote:

I want to feel and look great for my holiday in May’

I might add on:

‘I want a slimmer waist, a perky bum and to add tone to my upper body’

This may seem simple but these are the real building blocks that will lay the foundation for your training. Firstly, they offer you a way to structure your gym sessions, giving you a clear idea of what you need to do based on what you want.  Secondly, you have the option to change those wishes into a fun challenge. For example, maybe ‘I want to add tone to my upper body’ can change into ‘I want to be able to do 10 pull ups’. Same results – just a more tangible goal that one day you can feel really proud of (did I mention more fun?) Take your time with this. If these foundations are not strong the house will fall down, a.k.a. you won’t stick at it, you won’t enjoy it and your goal is lost.

 

I quickly want to mention something here, I recently listened to The Fitcast podcast featuring Jill Coleman and she said something that I really took on board. Jane discussed the idea of ‘forgiving yourself’. Generally, we only look for change when we think there is something wrong, so we are deciding there is something wrong with us. If that’s the case, it can be hard not to beat yourself up about it. Sometimes I look at the other fitness professionals and think I should be working on that level, woe is me for not being that person – I suck. BUT NO!! We need to forgive ourselves for being human, as my old boss used to say: ‘Build a bridge and get over it.’  Maybe you have put on some weight or got a little lazy… so what? Let’s look forward with no regrets. No negativity.

Ok, so, we have a wish list – we feel positive about making a change with no hang ups or negativity… Now what?

Time to figure out two more important things:

Measuring Success + Hold Backs. 

Measuring success is really important for motivation, reminding us why we are working so hard and to give a real sense of achievement when we reach our goals. Some nice ways to do this include:

  • taking pictures (before and afters),
  • tape measure (your key areas),
  • clothes fitting you (those old jeans you save for ‘good days’)  weighing yourself.

Things that might hold us back include: money, time, work, family, stress, motivation, plans, birthday meals, weekends away, holidays (and easter eggs). You need to start to think about how you want to go about combatting these things for yourself. If you can start to add solutions to those things now, it will be easier to stick to your plan when life throws something challenging at you.

WAHOOO! We are nearly there! Prep work is done. You have a wish list, a way to measure and guarantee your success. Now to get to the fun bit

THE GYM  THE PARK  THE STUDIO

Now that you know what you want you need to go and get it. It may seem like a mountain but I bet you my sports bra that you already know half of the things you need to know. Never the less, lets check in with ….

The very basics:

Cardio

Strength

What is it?

Cardio refers to your heart and lungs. Having good Cardiovascular fitness means your heart and lungs can keep up with you well. Aka do you need to take a break at the top of the stairs?

What is it?

Strength means working your muscles. The power, responsiveness and endurance of your limbs. Can you manage heavy activities in your life?

Why do we need it?

Its recognised as the best way to burn fat. Its also the best way to ensure a healthy heart and lungs. It releases chemicals in the brain to make us happy. It relieves stress.

Why do we need it

Its recognised to build muscle mass (add tone) but its also a great way to boost metabolism, correct alignment, improve posture, improve physique.

How do we do it

Jogging, running, aerobics, cycle, spin, step, HIIT, Circuits, dancing, zumba, cross trainer, rowing, swimming. Anything to get you out of breath.

How do we do it

Weights, resistance machines, Vipr, Kettlebells, Body Pump, body weight exercises, TRX, Circuit training, resistance bands, Plyometrics.

Top Benefits

Health benefits

Fat lose

Energy

Stress release

Sweating (hopefully)

Living for longer

Top Benefits

Strength for life

Boost Metabolism

Energy

Emotional release and empowerment

Improves health of heart

Increase bone density

My Favourates

Cardio isn’t my favourite unless its masked in something I enjoy. I love to dance because its my passion and it makes me feel alive :) I get most of my cardio in the studio moving and a shaking. I also like HIIT because its hard, its quick and its effective.

My Favourates

The more I lift weights, the more empowered I feel. I like feeling strong. I am also liking the shape it give me. I have curls in my legs and bum that I like. Also a good amount of muscle in the body helps to boost metabolism meaning more muscle more fat burn.

You want to train 2-3 times a week right? Let’s make sure you are doing something really effective. Look at your goals, look at the chart and have a think about what you want to achieve. Start to map out what you will do and when.

I think this is the fun bit. Let’s say you want to commit to one hard cardio class like spin or zumba a week and one gym session. Or would you rather do two runs at home and one gym session using the weights? Or would you rather swim once and do yoga/pilates once? What will be achievable and enjoyable for you to get the results you want?

Where possible, I would recommend doing a bit of everything, every time you train. Cardio and some kind of weight (body weight) exercises, with a whole body approach. Get all the benefits every time! This might mean if you are going to do a circuit class you get these a little early and do a ten minute treadmill warm up. If you are going to do Zumba, stay after and do a couple of sets of lungs with dumbbells and do some ab work.  Always allow some time to shake it off and stretch when you are done.

As a little extra to you, lovely reader, I have a really easy-to-use tool to help you access and start to plan your fitness for yourself. Pop me an email or find me on social media and I will send it over to you free of charge :)

I know its a pretty long blog with lots of ideas to take in, but i hope you have found this helpful. Thanks so much for reading.

Coming up next . . . . Getting Results!

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