What’s Your Fitness Goal?
The Hardest Step.. Is The First Step
There is something funny about how we humans seem to freeze whenever we are presented with multiple options. Whenever we are choosing what restaurant we want to go to, deciding on what to wear to the interview, or even where to go on vacation.. We just can’t make up our minds.
But when it comes to fitness, it can become a whole new beast.
The fitness world seems to change its mind everyday. And I understand how we can get so confused with that. In fact, it sometimes makes us too scared to even begin.
“CrossFit is the best thing to do! The workouts are so short and intense, and they totally work!”
“CrossFit is bad. You are guaranteed to get injured and the coaches are barely even certified.”
“Low carb diets are the way to go! I saw my abs in like, 2 days!”
“Low carb diets leave you with low energy and can hurt your workouts and progress.”
STOPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!! I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!!!
The key to getting that body you have always dreamed of is just to ignore the noise, and choose something.
But that doesn’t mean that some workouts won’t work better for you than others. So, let’s break down some common workout routines, and decide what works best for you.
Alright, so you have never worked out in your life, and you are ready to make a change. What is the first thing you should do?
Congratulate yourself! You are taking the BIGGEST step towards building a body that you are proud of, and you are trying to better yourself. And while there is a ton of debate about all kinds of topics in the fitness world, there is one absolute truth: Working out is fucking awesome. It has an absolute ridiculous amount of benefits, and everyone should be doing it.
Next, you should study up on..
That’s right, FOOD! Another almost universal agreement in the fitness world is that nutrition is around 80% of the battle. In other words, if you have your eating habits down, you are already MILES ahead of the person who just works out a ton, but doesn’t care for their eating habits.
We won’t focus on information about nutrition here because this article serves a different purpose. But you need to study up on this before you do anything else.
Now, let’s get back to finding the right workout, shall we?
For complete beginners, there are multiple routes to go. Some questions you should ask yourself:
- What is your goal? Get detailed here. Don’t say “I want to lose weight.” How about, “I want to lose 2 to 3 inches off my waist iin 3 months.” Build realistic goals, and focus on making healthy habits that stick. And if you have a goal that involves building muscle, just going to yoga class isn’t going to help very much. However, if flexibility is a problem, then yoga/pilates classes become a great option.
- What do you enjoy? The dropout rate for workout programs is very high, and it is because there are so many people who do not enjoy what they are doing when they go to the gym. You need to find a good mix between what you enjoy doing, and what your goals are. For example, if you really enjoy swimming, and you have a goal that involves burning fat, then that is an excellent combination.
- How much time do you have to workout? There is a huge variety of workout routines, and some of them require a lot of commitment. If you are working 50+ hours a week, then you are not going to be able to do that bodybuilding routine that looks cool, but also involves being in the gym for an hour and a half each day.
The truth is, a complete beginner is going to improve by doing almost anything. However, my recommendation (for ANY goal) is doing some form of weight training. That means any type of exercise routine (provided it fits your goals) that involves the use of dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells. Find out what you would enjoy using, and use a program designed for your goals.
When it comes to fat loss, the most important part is just eating less calories than you burn throughout the day. If you don’t focus on this, then you are not going to get anywhere.
As for workout routines, you should also focus on the bullet points listed above. This is because this goal also allows for a lot of different forms of exercise that can help you reach this goal. It can be swimming, weight training, sprinting.. Whatever. As long as your choice makes sense and actually DOES something, then it is a good decision.
Focus on a training program that involves lifting weights and performing a mix between High Intensity Interval Training and steady-state cardio 3–4x/week.
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of training where you focus on going “all out” for a short time period, followed by a period of rest. A common example of this is running on the treadmill. For 20 seconds, you will run as hard you can. Then for 40 seconds, you will walk while you catch your breath. There are MANY forms of high intensity interval training, so research them and find out what you would enjoy doing. Another example could be a spin class, or boot camp classes.
Steady-state cardio is a form of training where you focus on staying at a certain intensity level for an extended period of time. A common form of this is jogging. For those who enjoy jogging, you would jog at an intensity where you are pushing yourself, but not to a point where you couldn’t go stay there without getting very tired. Think of jogging for around 40–60 minutes.
When you combine these two forms of cardio with weight training, you begin to develop a body that is becoming stronger through resistance training, while also becoming leaner due to all of the calories you are burning. When this is added onto a sound nutrition plan, it becomes a perfect storm for fat loss.
Now, that is just my recommendation. Again, you can do any type of sport, form of weight training, or whatever you want as long as it makes sense. Try some things out and see what you enjoy. But, focus on building healthy habits that stick. Think long-term here.
The Ultimate Plan For Getting Abs In 21 Days
… Doesn’t exist. Moving on.
If you are in the business of building muscle, then it is time to move some weights my friend.
Again, like fat loss, the most important part of building muscle comes from nutrition. This time, it comes down to eating more calories than you burn. This is called a caloric surplus. And if you are not eating enough, then you will NOT gain muscle, regardless of how hard you are working out.
The next important factor to note is that when you are trying to build muscle, the amount of cardio you do should be bumped down some. Now I am NOT saying to eliminate cardio entirely. It is very important for your endurance and overall health, and can improve your performance when lifting weights. However, the FOCUS of this phase should be on lifting weights.
So what type of workout should you do?
If you are a beginner who is trying to build muscle, your best bet is to start on a simple plan that revolves around the basic movements: squat, bench press, deadlift, and shoulder press. An excellent example of this is seen in Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength routine.
If you are more advanced, you should have a good idea of what you enjoy and what your goals are. So from here, you can start to look at powerlifting routines, bodybuilding routines, sports based training, etc. For example, if you enjoy doing the big lifts mentioned above, you could do Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 training program. Or, if you enjoy going to the gym multiple times a week, you could do a bodybuilding program. As long as the program makes sense with your goals, and you are eating correctly, you WILL see improvement.
Just Pick Something
The information that we see on the internet can make us so overwhelmed. If this is you, then it is time to take action and choose a program, and start going to work. Choose one of the categories above that you fit into, and select a program. Eat correctly, work hard, find something you enjoy, and STAY CONSISTENT. Consistency will give you the results.
But the first step to consistency.. Is taking the first step.
Written By Tyler Hillan