1. Pick a Training Style that Matches Your Goal
This is the first place newbies go wrong. You need your method to match your goals.
If your end goal is to lose fat – then start strength training.
If you want to run a marathon – then you need a long endurance cardio plan.
If your goals is to move better – make sure you’re working movement patterns and mobility.
Where you end up depends 100% on the plan you follow, so make sure your first step is in the right direction.
2. Learn the Correct Form
One of the quickest ways off the fitness wagon is injury. Prevent it by starting at the beginning – learning the proper form for your training. No guessing, no making things up as you go – taking time to really learn how your body is designed to move and practicing that.
Not only does it keep you from getting hurt or putting crappy form into muscle memory, but proper form actually gives you better results.
- You’ll accelerate your strength development
- Gain more muscle and likely lose more fat
- And you won’t look like a newbie in the gym anymore!
Don’t skip this step! Spend time learning before you try to master the heavy weights, high jumps or lightning fast sprints.
3. Build Workouts Around What You Do Well
Doing something incorrectly is NEVER better than doing nothing at all. So start training with exercises where you’re form is a Perfect 10. If the form is a bit questionable, skip those exercises while you continue to practice form, work mobility and get yourself into the technique.
And there’s another perk of this tip. When you start wiht what you do well, you’re going to feel competent and capable. And that, my friends, is a much better place to start than overwhelmed and lost, stumbling through complex exercises ready to throw in the towel at any moment.
Over time, slowly add in new and more challenging skills. But start with the simple and mastered stuff.
4. Always Have a Plan
Go into every workout knowing exactly what you’ll do. With no plan, it’s easy to waste time and leave the gym without even working out. Or to get intimated by other people around you doing more complex workouts. Get your plan, write it down and follow it. Simple.
5. Start Slowly
Most fitness newbies start a training program based on a big surge of motivation. And because that motivation is so high, they think they’ll build Rome in a day. But fit and healthy bods don’t happen overnight, in one week or even a month.
So don’t start training to train like an elite athlete does.
Don’t start with 1000 reps of anything.
Don’t start with hour long intense sessions.
And def don’t try to do multiple workouts per day.
Start with what your body can sustain for the long run and gradually increase. For most people, that means about 3x per week with about a 30 minutes hard work.
6. Be Consistent
Consistency trumps intensity. Instead of piling 5 workouts into one day of the week, do 5 shorter workouts. Get into the habit now of getting yourself into the gym. Of mobilizing at home. Of creating a plan and a training schedule and sticking to it. Because after the motivation fades, what you have left is discipline. So build your discipline now wit consistency.
7. Stay Narrow Minded to Start
Seems counterintuitive – that you should go into new things with an open mind.
But what I mean here – don’t get distracted by new shiny toys or workouts. You picked your plan so follow it for at least 6 weeks before you jump into the latest and greatest. Then if you’re in need of something new to restart your motivation, try something else. But if you constantly jump from workout program to workout program, new diet to new diet – you’re not giving your body enough time to adapt to the new demands and challenges. And that means you’re not going to see progress.
8. Get a Professional
If you start a program and feel overwhelmed or lost, get a trainer or join a group session. If you feel confused walking around a gym looking at crazy torture devices, ask for a tour and demonstrations of how to use the equipment and what the form should look like. If you have no idea what they heck you are doing – then get someone who’s ready to guide you in this crazy adventure. There’s no shame in getting a little help along the way!
9. Don’t Forget About the Food
Newbies to fitness often times get very focused on teh training that they forget it’s only one part of the process. Diet matters just as much (although I’d argue more) than training when it comes to transforming your body. Just because you trained for 30 minutes does not give you approval to splurge at dinner! Keep the fitness and the diet balanced.
10. Celebrate the Small Victories
Fitness is a process. It happens over time so don’t wait until you hit your goal weight to be proud of yourself. Celebrate along the away. When you lose your first 5 pounds, treat yourself. When your pant size drops, do a happy dance.
Each step is a step in the right direction, no matter how small. The key is learning to celebrate yourself in ways that don’t involve food.
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