Friday, April 27, 2018

Lack of Guidance and Don't Know What To Do At The Gym

This is something that most people don't really think about when they decide to hit the fitness and better health trail.  It's usually - OK I'm going to get in better shape, joining the gym, problem solved. Then you walk into the gym for the first time and rather than "problem solved", it’s confusion and anxiety. There is a lot of activity, fitness and cardio equipment, all types of weights, classes and it looks like everyone knows what they are doing but you. You may be right, but you are not alone and many can't get past this road block. With that in mind, you can take the quick way out and quit or you can take a look at how to minimize this obstacle and reach your fitness goals.

It's all about the planning. Ask yourself these questions.  What do you want to do? What needs to happen to get you there?  What available options work best for you? After you answer those, you develop a road map that best supports your efforts, encourages accountability, and provides the needed flexibility to help adjust when needed to ensure your plan's longevity.

Let's say you have thought about the available options for your workouts and have decided that the gym provides the atmosphere and structure you need.  With that in mind, here are some key points you need to consider when putting together your plan:
  • Understand this is a learning process and it doesn't happen overnight. Turn your mistakes and misunderstandings into positive adjustments that will enable you to move forward.
  • Choose a gym that provides options and introductory guidance plans that will help you through the learning process.
  • Start slow and rely on cardio equipment and structured classes to get you on the right track.
  • Keep in mind that a successful exercise program should include the right balance between workouts, rest, and consistency. Consistency doesn't mean you need to be at the gym every day.   Consistency is how you maintain the right balance and maximize results. Here's what I recommend for my clients: 
    • Keep workout sessions to 45 Minutes working all muscle groups in a vertical circuit.
    • Always have at least one day of rest before your next workout.
    • Cardio works best between workout days at 20 minutes per session.
    • Mix it up by replacing a workout or cardio day with a yoga or Pilate's class.
Bottom line, there is a lot to know and understand to make sure your workouts are successful and the DIY method doesn't work for everyone and can be very discouraging.  If this is you, here are a couple of other suggestions:

1. Invest in a personal trainer:  Do your research.  Avoid the pre-packaged deals, and make sure the trainer you choose illustrates the proactive approach to invest in your needs and is competitively priced.  The going rate today is $60.00 for a 1 hour session.  In many cases, personal trainers have their own training sites and you wouldn't need to invest in a gym membership.

2. Invest in a remote personal training program: Again, do your research. For your reference, I have included a link to my site which includes an overview of my remote training program. Just click here and select services. You will find that my remote program is very interactive, sensitive to your needs and provides the needed support, benchmarks, and encouragement to ensure you get results.  Take a look, I think you will find it compelling and please message me from the site if you have any questions.

If you are one of the many that quit because you just didn't know what to do, I sincerely hope this gets you back in the game. Fitness for better health is a lifestyle with a real future.

Until next time, enjoy your workouts.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Feel Out of Place & Intimidated by Others at the Gym

This is bigger than you would think and deters many people before they even get started. Does this sound familiar? You have decided to get fit. Your plan is to join the gym, workout four times a week, and everything will work itself out. However, when you get to the gym for the first time everything changes.

1. You feel like all eyes are on you and they all know this is your first day. (It’s the newbie.)
2. You're really not sure what to do.
3. You compare yourself to others in the gym.
4. You feel like everyone is judging you.
5. You get that uncomfortable feeling you don’t belong.

Trust me, you are not alone. Truth be known, we have all been there to some degree. What and
how you approach what you do at the gym needs to be part of your master plan with designated
benchmarks towards accomplishing your ultimate fitness goal. This is exactly what we discussed in my last post.  So, if you plan your visits accordingly, it will change the dynamic of your gym visits dramatically. Here are a few things to consider when you plan your gym visits:

1. Write down what you want to do. (list of exercises, a class, cardio, etc.)
2. Bring a friend or workout buddy.
3. Avoid peak hours so you don’t have to wait for equipment.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
5. Keep in mind everyone is there for the same reason, to workout, not watch you.

A sixth consideration would be to invest in a personal trainer until you feel comfortable designing and completing your own workout sessions. Personal trainers provide a great support system, the latest workouts, and that needed buffer between you and the initial intimidation.

Now, if you still feel that the gym atmosphere is just not for you.  Don't let that affect your progress towards better health and fitness. The gym is just one of many available resources that will help you stay on track and reach your ultimate potential. Let's take a look:

Set Up Your Own Gym At Home: You really don’t need a lot of space or money, and it can be just as effective as the gym.  If you are not sure what to get or how to use workout bands, stability balls, etc., click HERE for my post on setting up a home gym and remote training.

Go Outside: Ride a bike, walk, run, hike, jump rope, swim, and climb. During the colder months, any of these can be accomplished inside.

Community Sponsored League and Team Sports: softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball

Alternate Exercise Memberships: martial arts, kick boxing, pilates, yoga

I'm sure there are many more options so find what's right for you.  It's like anything else in life. If you feel out of place, you just need to find the right fit and establish a plan to eliminate those road blocks. As you can see, your options are just about limitless. Just find your balance, keep it simple, and get results.

Until next time, enjoy your journey to better health and fitness.