Getting started on something new can be intimidating – starting to workout is no exception. There can be pressures from those around you, or from yourself, as to what you “should” be doing. There can be mixed messages all over the internet about what the “best” approaches are. Sometimes there can be a fear that you have to be “in shape” before ever stepping foot in a gym, and that other gym-goers will be quick to judge if you don’t know what you’re doing (this one makes us the most devasted to hear).
The truth is, to get started, all you need to do is…start. You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to start. And then keep going and growing.
For those of you who set some New Year’s resolutions, we’ve put together some advice from our clients to keep you inspired and to make sure you don’t give up as January comes to a close. These are real people, just like you, who were able to make a lifestyle change and build healthy habits, and are now celebrating their successes both in and out of the gym.
We asked them what they’ve learned throughout their fitness journey, and here’s what they had to say:
Be patient and consistent, and the results will come.
“I won’t lie, at the start it was a struggle, not noticing results as I thought they should look. I stuck with my routine and started to notice my overall health improving, better eating habits, drinking more water and feeling less tired. I have an old knee injury, being a long-time curler, and it was really giving me grief. I’ve noticed a remarkable change with that, building up muscle to help strengthen to the point where I have little to no pain.” – Patty
“It takes time and effort to get to the fitness level you want but it is worth it!! I noticed my progress at the gym with using heavier weights quite quickly, but I noticed an improvement in my daily life, i.e. strength and stamina, after about six months.” – Barry
“I think an important thing to remember is that slow and steady wins the race. If you can have good form, then you can increase your weight and therefore your strength.” – Rob
Focus on moving well, rather than how much you’re sweating or how much weight is on the bar.
“As somebody who started their fitness journey in my late teens/early twenties, I had no idea what I was doing (i.e. skipped leg day a lot), and didn’t have a balanced workout plan. Ended up messing up my shoulders from going too heavy too fast with bench press. This in turn led to a lengthy hiatus. Training with a trainer has proven invaluable, fixed what I had done to myself and I am now in the best shape of my life.” – David
Think about the benefits that carry over to your life, rather than just going through the motions.
“Some may not be able to understand this, but with my illness I had no energy, I was in constant pain, I would work and on time off would be recovering so I could go back to work. A few weeks after seeing Heidi twice a week – I needed less recuperation time from work, I had some energy, I could open lids on jars, carry in my groceries – little things that bring quality to a life.” – Marla
“I wish I realized how important single sided exercises were years ago. Even two years ago! It is important to understand how the exercises will help you in everyday life. You do a lot more stuff using a single leg or arm than you imagine.
I think I would tell someone just starting to think about what they struggle to do in their everyday life. Use that as a goal. Tell your trainer. Watch for the improvement in those tasks. Sometimes it seems like things are progressing slowly, but that changes with time. For example, I can now squat down to the floor to do things and can still stand up afterward. It has been a long time since I could do that.” – Rob
There’s a learning curve with everything – don’t feel you have to nail it on the first try.
“It’s totally natural to feel awkward in a fitness setting when first learning exercises, and even experienced exercisers sometimes struggle with that same awkwardness when they’re trying something new in the gym. Once I recognized that everyone goes through that same clumsy learning process, exercise became much less daunting, and a lot more fun!” – Leah
Be honest with yourself about potential barriers, and make a plan to overcome them.
“I’ve been able to stay consistent by figuring out when workouts suit me best. For me, first thing before work is the best time; after work, the drive to be at a gym simply is not there (or not as strong).” – David
“Setting it as a priority in your calendar will be of great benefit until it becomes more natural/integral part of your routine. I have no problem going to the gym to workout – that is a scheduled thing in my calendar. After struggling, I have started putting my home workouts in my calendar. I always feel better after exercise but fitting it in is my problem.” – Marla
You’re capable of more than you think.
“When I first started, I wish I knew not to let my fear of being seen as weak dissuade me from immersing myself in an environment literally designed to make me stronger.” – Leah
“I think the best thing I have learned most recently is that I have it in me to lift more weight than my mind thinks I can. I still can’t believe how much weight I do on deadlifts. I just have to trust in my capabilities, my form and technique and the wise wisdom of my trainer.” – Rob
Take the focus away from outcome (like the reading on the scale or the weight you’re lifting), and shift it towards what you can control – your habits and your effort.
“Since working out has become a part of my regular routine, I’ve come to appreciate how I always feel great and am in a good mood after a workout. I don’t constantly focus on what my progress looks like, because I think the best feeling is realizing that all of the small accomplishments over weeks and months really add up, and when I look back over the last year, I can see that there has been huge progress. I like looking at the long-term picture – I am much, MUCH stronger than I was before I started training with Mitch and Heidi!” – Ellen
“I have been training with Mitchell in the mornings for the last 8 months. This has helped me begin my day with a strong workout that creates energy for my workday. I find that working out the morning has helped jump start my water consumption.” – Cristi
Don’t underestimate the impact that regular physical activity can have in your life.
“I came to Biomechanics because I have a chronic illness that was TAKING OVER my life. I was desperate. I work in a hospital, and on a daily basis I saw my patients work hard in hopes of returning their bodies back to their pre-injury/pre-illness state; that was the kick I needed. Starting to work with Heidi has helped me so much in living beyond my illness, I have surpassed my initial goals and realize that workouts can help ME have some control over my body.” – Marla
“There is absolutely nothing but positive results coming your way once you start. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you want to be in life: a strong body is going to help reach your goals (physical, financial, emotional, and on and on) faster and more effectively than a weak body will.” – Leah
Ready to find your success in the gym? We’re here to help! Reach out with any questions you may have, or book in for your free initial consult at www.saskbiomechanics.ca/training