4 steps to start your fitness transformation
Starting out in any endeavor in life is not always as easy as people make it seem. Fitness is no exclusion, you have to have a clear objective before you even start and stick to it. One of the things that I struggled with when I first started was the amount of information out there and how confusing everything was for me. In this article I will do my best to give you the essentials any beginner need to understand before diving into this new lifestyle.
1# Know your body type
You must know what is your body type before you start any programs, this includes diet and training. There are three body types : Ectomorph , Mesomorph and Endomorph. Each body type has its own characteristics, however no one is 100% just one type, we are a combination of these three.
Here is a rundown of each body type and how you can check yours :
This body type tends to be:
- have a flat pectoral/chest area
- thin at the shoulders
- thin at the waist
- quick to metabolise fat
- slow to put on weight
For an ectomorph gaining muscle mass can be very hard to achieve, but not impossible. These people are gifted with a fast metabolism and thus have no problem with storing fat even when they increase their caloric intake. They are best suited for endurance sports like running and long cardiovascular workouts.
The typical athlete’s build, mesomorphs tend to have:
- hard, well-defined muscle
- good core strength
- wedge-shaped bodies
- a narrow waistline
- wide shoulders
Some people call this type the genetically gifted because they combine the best of two worlds: gaining muscle and not storing much fat. However these people need to focus on their athletic performance and change their diet accordingly. If their lifestyle is not well adapted then genetics won’t help them in this case.
The endomorph will usually have:
- a soft, round body type with wide hips
- a curvy or ‘hourglass’ frame
- a shorter and stockier build
- thicker joints
- less clearly defined muscles
- a slower metabolism
- a tendency to gain weight easily
- difficulty losing weight
This type of body can have difficulty in losing weight, especially fat. Endomorphs can easily gain muscle mass but they have be very careful about the diet and calories because they tend to store more fat than muscle. They are also strong and would perform better in strength sports like powerlifting.
2# Define your fitness goals
This is such an important step for anyone serious about changing their body and lifestyle. You have to define your body goals and see them clearly in your mind’s eye. What do you want to look like ? Is it a short term or long term goal ? Are you willing to change your habits accordingly ?
Make a list of the things you want to achieve and be consistent in your pursuit. Get also an accountability partner that will support you in this journey. If you were like me without one then make yourself your accountability partner.
Here is an example of a list of goals you can make :
3# Do your research
The information overload we are facing this age is mind blowing. However this doesn’t mean that you are destined to be confused about many subjects including fitness and health. Do your own research about losing fat and gaining muscle. Read nutritional books and articles. Listen to successful bodybuilders and how they train. But most importantly experiment with your own body. Don’t be afraid of trying new techniques or diets, just be careful of blindly following anyone. We all have common sense, use it. I promise you that any subject you wish to study has what we call “the basics”, start with those and build on it.
In my own fitness experience, my first year was the worst because I was just copying people I saw on the Internet or the gym and my results were erratic at best. Until my second year when I became more serious about my bodybuilding and fitness goals, when I started to study biomechanics and nutrition, did I see a huge change in my physique and approach to training. So please, do your research and don’t count on chance for accomplishing your goals. You can read my article and ebooks and use them as guidelines but always be a student not a follower.
4# Just get started. Don’t wait !
With all this been said, I think this is it. This is the step where you show to yourself how serious you are. Get your mindset in the right conditioning and start your program. I won’t lie to you and say it will be easy but it’s damn important that you get the momentum going. Don’t ever compare yourself to others in the gym or Instagram or whatever. Focus on your own goals and how you can get there.
I believe that there is only one kind of motivation which is self-motivation. So learn to be your own cheerleader and get moving. I will be here to support and encourage you but I can’t do your push-ups for you. Get moving, let’s do this !