The vast majority of New Year’s resolutioners have come and gone. Now there’s a new wave of people coming to the gym. Summer is coming!!! I don’t know many people that would say they wouldn’t want to look better in their bathing or birthday suit… whether it’s for your upcoming cruise or your days at the community pool, people are chasing the elusive “beach body.” With the new summer rush comes the normal confusion and “gym-timidation” that people can feel when wanting to begin their fitness journey. Today I’ll discuss some initial steps to jumpstart your program to achieve that coveted summer body!
As always, I’ll preface all of the following with your understanding that bettering yourself through a fitness program will be a commitment and will at times be really hard! You may have to sacrifice some time and comforts to get where you want to be. If it was easy then everyone would walk around jacked! The other part you need to understand is that change won’t come immediately. You didn’t get to your current condition overnight nor will you get to your desired shape overnight. You have to work hard and trust the process. I won’t address your eating habits in this blog, but that will be an area that you may need to evaluate as well. I can give you the best workout routine in the universe, but if you continue to eat like crap, your results will be greatly hindered.
So where do you start? Your first step should be to find a place where you feel comfortable working out. Don’t choose a place based strictly on price or proximity. Going to the gym is going to be part of your new lifestyle, so choose a place that can be your new home away from home. Once you’ve joined a gym, your next steps will depend on your current fitness level and past experience with resistance training. Let’s say you’re absolutely new to the gym and have no idea what you’re doing. My first suggestion is to talk to someone at the front desk about giving you a tour. Any gym I’ve ever been to has someone that will walk you around to the machines and at least show you how they work. As a novice, I’d recommend you use these machines and avoid “free-weights” for approximately two weeks. Machines are good to start on because you lift the weight but in a very controlled range of motion. These first two weeks are used as a wakeup call to your muscles that you haven’t used in this way for a while. Gyms normally have their machines laid out in some sort of circuit that’s easy to follow. This is why the initial tour is a good idea.
Once you feel like you have a good grasp on the machines, it’s time to start integrating some free weight exercises. Try and observe some things that other people are doing. Be careful though because there are some that do some pretty ridiculous things in the gym. Find someone that looks like they know what they’re talking about and chances are they’ll be very helpful in answering questions you may have. That’s how they got to where they are now… by asking questions to people that knew more than them. Try and be a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as you can. The internet can be a great resource for different exercises and routines… again, be careful… there’s some whacked-out information out there.
You will be absolutely amazed at how fast your body will respond to this new-found programming. The first six weeks of any program your body is going through what is called neuromuscular adaptation. This is a fancy way to explain the conversation happening between your muscular and nervous system. Your systems are literally teaching each other how to do this “working out” thing. You must trust the process. Again, this has to be a lifestyle. You can’t work out for two weeks and quit for six months. Start slow and surround yourself with other people that also want to be the best version of themselves. Some degree of accountability is vital in reaching your goals in any area of your life. Attack your goals! Love y’all. Have a great weekend!