Updated: Dec 1, 2021
I have worked in a gym for many years, and have experienced many many new people coming in and booking a program or induction and they plan to train 5 days a week and want to do intense cardio every day, all day. As well as starting a new diet and just being strict with themselves.....
This will not work.
For one, if you have never been a big fan of exercise or stepped foot in a gym, what will suddenly change? Also it can be incredible overwhelming. Be realistic and manage your expectations.
Don't Go in with all Guns Blazing
Start slow. I know this may not be what you want to hear but give it a try. Be kind to yourself. Allow those nerves to settle and get used to the new environment. Ok, now really think, what is it that you want to achieve? Lose weight and tone up? That's not very specific for anyone. What does that mean to you? Increase your muscle mass, so maybe resistance train once a week to begin with. That's a great start. Track what you're doing. What weight are you squatting or how many press ups can you do on your knees. What you track or monitor you can manage. So each week being by logging somewhere what you have done, and ask for help if you need to.
Now let's focus on fitness. I'm going to assume no one ever means they want to run an ultra marathon or sprint faster than Usain Bolt. So let's start by doing a 1200m row and timing it. How long did it take you? Track that time and aim to beat it next time you come in. Simple. Now add that to your resistance training warm-up. Over time gradually add distance or bring your focus to a simple timed run and see how far you travelled in that time.
Suddenly you have an amazing meaningful workout booked. Yes, it's once a week, but you're allowing your body to adapt and you are able to book in that hour in your diary and make it
Aim to do this until you feel like you are ready to progress, then make it maybe two days a week. Habit change is the biggest element to overall lifestyle change. That small percent builds up and will allow for your new identity to form with time and become real.
As a personal trainer my aim is to allow you to focus on progressing and feeling confident and happy in what you can do. I get so much joy out of people progressing, building confidence, and seeing them make those changes to feeling like they've grown.
To build exercise as a routine you need to give yourself a large time frame, like several months. Look long term.
Once you have the exercise down and you're nailing those workouts you will naturally want to make subtle changes to your nutrition. This should also be a slow long process to ensure you make long term meaningful changes. One step at a time.