5 Steps To Starting A Fitness Program

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Everybody wants to get and be in shape. Regardless of  how you feel about those who are obsessed with working out (like myself), you know there are worthwhile perks that can last an eternity. We all want to look and feel good and as crazy as it sounds, we’ve all got some vanity in us. Who doesn’t want to be able to look in the mirror and admire their hard-earned sculpted physique? If you’re a guy that workouts regularly, you know having a chiseled body is always going to attract the ladies. Ladies themselves know that having a nice set of sculpted abs and a firm, round butt are extremely important for those beach trips.

Speaking of summer, it is around the corner. Exactly three months away. It is the only season that requires the least amount of clothing, which means more exposure of the body. People usually have the habit of gearing up for the summer during spring season. A few steps must be explored before any fitness program can be launched. Even if you are a seasoned exerciser, you can still apply these steps. If you want to get in shape, better shape and see noticeable results, the following  5 steps must be considered:

1. Define Your Goals: This simply means know exactly what you want. In my experience, most people are often indecisive about their goals and often end up with more than they can handle. While it is possible to address more than one goal at the same time, it is and extremely daunting task. Trying to lose 20 pounds while also trying to bulk up will require too much of an effort and can disrupt continuity. Have an idea of exactly what you want and visualize it. Fit into a wedding dress, lose 10 inches off my hips and thighs, decrease body fat, gain power and strength, increase muscular endurance and improve core strength are examples of specific goals. Knowing exactly what you want allows you to design a routine more effectively, save time in the gym and promote quicker results.

2. Budget: Once you definitively establish your goals, the next step is to figure out how much you’ll have to spend to get the ball rolling. Embarking on a fitness program is like working on any other project in life. It requires time, effort and some spending of money. Comfortable workout attire, good pair of workout sneakers, gym membership (unless you have free unlimited access to exercise machines and equipment and don’t need one), healthy groceries and a plethora of workout accessories like a weight belt, workout gloves, water bottle, etc. A good amount of money may very well end up being spent on the aforementioned items, but know that you are making a lifetime investment that will yield lifetime dividends.

3. Seek Assistance If Need Be: Now that your goals and budget are set, it’s time to get on with the show. Working out for the first time, whether at home or at the gym, can be quite intimidating and challenging. Most novices usually need initial guidances to get them on their feet. I still remember the first time I stepped foot into a gym and how intimated and clueless I felt being around seasoned exercisers. It can be very tough on a person and can cause discouragement. Hiring a certified personal trainer is great way to address this issue. Make sure you do enough research on the trainer you want to work with. Observe the trainers at your gym and watch how they conduct themselves. He or she should be professional, polite and punctual. Gather intel from other gym members and request for clients’ testimonials. Although seasoned personal trainers tend to charge a bit more than less-experienced ones, it isn’t always a given that paying a lot of money means you’re working with the best. You’ll inevitably get the value of a trainer’s worth after a few training sessions.

If you’re working with a low budget and simply can’t afford a personal trainer, I’d suggest you find a more experienced exerciser at your gym that works out at the same time you do and ask to become his or her training buddy. Most seasoned gym folks usually don’t have a problem with this, not to mention it’s also an easy way to make a new friend.  Group exercise classes can also be taken advantage of. The drawback with that is there is no one-on-one attention to detail so the chances of injuries and poor form are high.

4. Nutrition : This is a no-brainer. By now everyone knows how important a role nutrition plays in fitness. The two go hand-in-hand. Regardless of your fitness goal, majority of your calories will come from whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits. Over the last decade, so many diet programs and meal plans have been created to assist the public in making healthier decisions. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem are some of the popular diet ads that frequently flash across our TV screens. While I consider these three to be highly reputable, there are some that are gimmicks and don’t deliver the results they guarantee. Be careful not to fall prey to some of these fads. Simply put, nutrition will account for about 65 percent of your fitness goals. Some fitness experts have this number as high as 75 percent but a widely accepted number seems to be two-thirds of the process.

5.  Commitment : There’s an old saying that says “you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink”. Many people embark on a  fitness program but only a few commit to it. One of the biggest challenges in fitness is staying committed to your workout sessions. Juggling work, family time, personal errands with going to the gym can be a very daunting task. There are going to be intense work days on the job that will leave you too spent to want to go to the gym. While I won’t fault you for missing a workout every now and then, consistency is the key to continue upward progression. Results may not come right away but remain patent and don’t get discouraged. Staying and getting in shape isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.