So, you are looking for a beginner’s guide to working out? Or maybe you have tried different types of workouts but you are not really getting anywhere. After all, there are so many options ranging from HIIT cardio, bodybuilding, yoga, Pilates, etc. and anywhere is too vague of a word. In this article, we have one objective. One. That is to help you define your own objective.
Yes, that is right. A GOAL. Think of it this way: you have an important football game or dance recital. You really want to excel at it. Because of it, you don’t just show up for it one day without having prepared for it right? That is a goal, as simple as they come. Your goal was to excel, so you prepared for it. How? Well, you probably attended many practices or took classes, you probably failed several times, you continued to train on your own, with peers, and sometime later, it finally happened. You succeeded; you won the game. You got the applause at your recital. But none of it happened just by coincidence. You may have a natural gift for it which helped in the processes. But it happened because you had a Goal, which was composed of a vision and a series of steps. Without it, many get lost in their own journeys to nowhere.
Step 1 - Set Goals
In order to navigate your fitness journey, it is crucial for you to determine your "WHY". Why do you want this? Perhaps the following mental exercise will help you clear your mind
- Close your eyes
- Imagine yourself in your ultimate physical form. This is unique to yourself and no one else
- Describe it out loud. What do you see?
- Ask yourself: why do I want this? for how long have I wanted this? what if I choose not to pursue it?
- Will my health be impacted? will I be able to tackle any adventure/sport? will I be able to play with my kids? will age win over me?
- Now seal that image into your heart and mind. Even better, write it down and place it in a designated area where you are constantly reminded of it
THIS IS YOUR WHY!
Please don’t do another workout session without understanding your WHY. Why do you ask? Because without it you will continue to wander in the wilderness with no compass, GPS, shelter, or motivation, and eventually you will just give up because you don’t even know why you started in the first place.
Step 2 - Embrace Your Uniqueness
One important thing I should mention when setting goals. Remember how we said that the goal should be unique to yourself and no one else? This is because not all men or women are created equally. Fat storage, bone structure, and genetics differentiate us all. Understanding this will help you set realistic expectations and be more content with your results. Forget about comparing your results against others. You are two completely different individuals and your bodies and genetics are different as well. The only person you should compare yourself to is your older self. That is the person you were a week, month, a year ago.
BTW, I'm not saying don't aim for the moon. Simply be aware of the Rocketship you are and how you are built. Now let's optimize YOU!
Step 3 - Make a Plan
With so many different fitness disciplines, it can be challenging to pick one. But we highly encourage you to select one which aligns with your personal goals. Take some time to do your research and understand the benefits of each one, the frequency of the training sessions, any injuries you may have experienced in the past that could get aggravated with this particular discipline, etc. This is all part of your plan.
Now that you know what you will be doing, I highly encourage you to come up with a schedule to define when you will be exercising, for how long, and more importantly, how you should feel after every session. Why is this last one important? Simple, many people (especially beginners) don’t know their bodies well enough and are likely to undertrain, which will simply delay their results. Use this to assess your session and adapt before the next one.
It is important to note that not all disciplines will produce the same feelings. For example, a bodybuilder and a yogi have two completely different objectives in mind and so the sensations they are after will differ.
Warning: While we encourage you to push through your limits and achieve your goals, please make sure you are doing so in a safe manner. Listen to your body, if it is telling you to back off and rest, do so. If it is telling you it can go for one more round without compromising good form, then go for it. Seek advice from certified trainers that can teach you the proper form for an activity.
Step 4 - Enjoy The Journey
Forget about the quick fixes, the 30-day transformational programs, extreme diet plans for weight loss, and the magic pills or beans. True change takes time. Your body will need time to adjust to your new regimen, it will need time to recover, and it will also need time to adapt. When it finally does, make sure you adapt your exercises as well to continue challenging yourself. Make sure you optimize your diet and sleep, as they play a protagonist role in your journey.
Take your time, push hard, and enjoy the journey. For many people, working out is their passion, their therapy, even a necessity. But one thing is for certain and it is that exercise is good for health and will only improve your quality of life in the long run. Remember, if you ever find yourself once again in “nowhere land”, make sure you revisit your “Why”. Ask yourself, has my “why” changed? Have I changed? And if so, where to next and why?
Lastly, we ask (as a favor) that you click here to check out our awesome hybrid exercise and yoga mats. They are perfect for home and outdoor use.