Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting started

For now, I am going to take a break from posting on the Flex Cup because I want to write about something that has been on my mind a lot lately: starting off.

It has already been 2 years since I made my come back to the gym. A lot of things happened in this time, including a lot of pauses, restarts and changes. Maybe because of the approach of a new year and all this talk about resolutions everywhere, I feel compelled to share my 50 cents too.

I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.

Why do people generally start working? What is in most cases the greatest motivation to get off the chair? Someone else.

When I say someone else, it can be a role model that inspires you; or the comments of a friend, family member or relative; or even because of doctor’s recommendation. It is very rare to find people saying that they simply woke up in the morning feeling like working out again and doing it.

This kind of inspiration may help in the beginning, but let’s face, it does not always last long (enough)…

If you are in this crossroad now, I would like to share some tips that worked for me:

·     Take one step a time
I do not know how long it has been for you since you last trained. That if you have ever trained at all. It is true that having a goal is necessary so that you can start your plan, but be realistic. One cannot learn Physics if they are not able to count. Give yourself time to adapt, make small changes at first and enjoy your progress.

Like it or not, we are creatures of habits. If you have been drinking soda, eating sweets and fast food your whole life, you better be prepared that you will miss these things if you cut them from your routine. It is true that for some it works wonders, but if it is not your case, do not be too hard on yourself.
"Strive for progress, not perfection."

·         Be consistent
Guess what? Everybody has days when they wish they could stay longer in bed or watch that movie on TV. The difference is that extra push. Unless you are feeling really unwell, there is no other reason to skip a training. Even if you have to make a little shorter or lighter than usual, the only bad training is the one that you miss.

·         Get to know yourself
How are you feeling when that dessert becomes irresistible? Is it emotional eating? When you say you do not have the time today, is it really so or are you just not in the mood? Be sincere with yourself. It is important not only when it comes to fitness, but in life.

·         You can do it!
Different people have different goals, bodies and metabolism. Do not allow comparison to distract you from your objectives. You have your own pace and no matter how long it takes, as long as you believe in it, you will achieve it as well.

·         It is never too late
There are people who start in early ages and keep on going non-stop for the rest of their lives. Congratulations if you are one of these. If you aren’t though, as long as you are walking on the face of the earth, you have what it takes too. Age is just a number. What counts is your heart and soul.

·         Keep on learning
Internet is an amazing tool. You can use it to associate with people, learn exercises and techniques or even buy your supplementation. Use it to update yourself and grow. It can not only be a source of inspiration, but also be a great way to keep up with the new technologies.

·         Write it down
In the beginning, note down your goals. Then make sure you track your present measurements, food intake and physical activity. It will be of great aid when you start your plan. Once you choose your path (running, body building, martial arts etc), build your business case and keep it updated. You will be able to see your progress more effectively this way than just by looking into the mirror.

This is what worked/works for me. It is not rocket science, but will already keep you busy for enough time until it starts to come naturally. And if you ever feel in doubt or uncertain of your choice, go through this list or make your own. Remember where you came from and what your goals are. It always works.

Now go for it!

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