We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes four weeks for you to notice you body changing, eight weeks for your friends and family to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice,” but those first four weeks can be some of the toughest as we navigate our way around this change and new lifestyle.
While many of us may hire trainers or nutritionists to help us work through the tough parts, it’s more common that we try and go it alone which may lead to a much bumpier and longer path than we originally planned.
I’m a big proponent of having a team and community surrounding you, whether you’re just heading down the path of a healthy and active lifestyle, or if you’ve been here for awhile but your goals are changing and thus, your approach while at the gym. One of the big players on that team is a personal trainer or group fitness instructor as they are a wealth of knowledge, support, and guidance. If you do choose to go it alone, at least to get started, take the guidance from these fitness instructors and you’re sure to be headed in the right direction.
What are you hoping to achieve?
Before getting down to the nitty gritty details of how to get the body or life you’re dreaming of, you have to actually know what it is you’re working toward. Sure, we all want a beach body come summer time, but what does that actually look like for you? Does that mean losing ten pounds by your July vacation? Or maybe it means feeling confident enough to wear a bathing suit at your local community pool.
Whatever it is, you need to start by knowing what you’re hoping to achieve. Personal trainer Diatta Harris said it perfectly, “Be realistic about your goals and get your mind right to work hard for them.”
We all know that working out isn’t going to be easy so once you have your goals set, take the time to prepare yourself mentally. We all have limits but we also have to push outside of our comfort zone if we hope to actually see and make a change.
Be clear and honest with your trainer
While we are setting our goals, we also have to remember to share them appropriately with our trainers. Otherwise, how are they supposed to be able to help us?
Road Runners Club of America certified running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer said it best, “Be clear and honest about your training goals, your training history, and your lifestyle. Personal trainers are very good at reading clients, but even so, we aren’t mind readers. If you are in it to lose ten pounds and you tell us that you walk to work every day, but work happens to be your home office—well, you get the point,” she said.
Lemmer went on to add, “Did you stay up all night because your best friend came up to visit? Let us know if you drank a ton, or if you were on your feet all weekend. We might need to come up with a different plan for you for that session, but it is better than getting hurt.”
There’s more than one way to get fit
We live in a world full of options and while at times it may seem overwhelming, it’s actually a very good thing, especially when it comes to our fitness. So many of us head to the gym and bee-line it for the elliptical or treadmill, but when we find ourselves easily bored, we hop off, head home, and wonder why we have no desire to go to the gym. But why aren’t we exploring all the available options?
Personal trainer Lindsey Fazendine told me, “There is not one way to getting fit. Everyone is different and what works for some will not work for others. Spend some time finding out what work for you and you alone! It may take extra time but finding your perfect workout and your perfect way of eating will pay off big time. There’s no magic pill. Take the time and learn you!”
Instead of whining about how much you don’t like exercise, next time you should try something else! Check out your local CrossFit affiliate, yoga or pilates studio, or see what classes your gym offers. If something doesn’t seem fun to you, no problem, try something else.
It’s not an overnight fix
In the era of social media and smartphones, we are so used to getting things automatically or at a moment’s notice, but that’s not how fitness works. Sure, you can quickly Google a bunch of gyms or fitness studios in your area, but just because you did 50 sit-ups, it doesn’t mean you’ll wake up tomorrow with a six-pack.
Group fitness instructor, Heather Brown said, “It’s not an overnight fix—give the classes time to work! Stay committed and have fun. If you don’t have fun, you’re not likely to continue.” She added, “Come early, introduce yourself to the instructor, and never be ashamed to start with modifications!”
Remember that we all have to start somewhere so you should never compare the first chapter of your fitness journey to someone else’s fourth chapter.