Getting started on a new fitness or exercise program can be a bit overwhelming. When walking into a new gym for the first time it may be quite intimidating seeing all these fit people doing movements or lifting loads you could never imagine doing yourself. It doesn’t have to be too hard though. You can make the beginning of your fitness journey a lot easier by following some of these tips.
Focus on Form
To ensure you get the most out of your training and remain injury free it is important to build a strong foundation. Make sure you take the time to learn and use correct technique for all exercises. Developing your technique and form can take time. Don’t rush it, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help when you need it. Learning how to do things properly from the beginning will ultimately lead to more progress and fewer injuries over your training journey. You may have to go a bit lighter or do less volume to start with but it will benefit you more in the long run.
Great. You have been training for years, or you have a personal training background. You may have a better understanding of biomechanics and movement than others. But you might not. Everyone can learn from others as long as they’re prepared to listen and take advice when given. Don’t be that person who acts like they know everything yet barely knows the difference between a dumbbell and a kettlebell. If you’re willing to listen, learn and take on board any advice given, you will progress a lot faster.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It is important to remember not to compare yourself to others, especially when first starting off a new exercise program. A lot of the people you see may have been training for a long time, probably much longer than you have. You might not be able to do the same movements, lift the same weights or do as many sessions as some of these people. That’s ok. You’re at a different stage in your journey. Comparing yourself to others and trying to copy what they do can sometimes leave you disheartened, or even worse, lead to injuries.
Focus on yourself. Compare yourself to you. Work on building up your strength, fitness, training volume, and technique base. Constantly trying to better yourself and improve your own performance will be more rewarding and meaningful. Before long you will look back and see how far you have come in a relatively short time.
Celebrate Your Wins
Even the little ones. There will likely be many points on your journey that you struggle or things don’t go as planned, but there will also be many successes on the way. So celebrate them. You don’t have to make a big song and dance about them, but take note of it and focus on the positives. Keeping track of your progress and success over time will keep you motivated and keep you progressing towards your goals.
Factor in Recovery
Of course, it can be exciting starting a new exercise program and you may want to dive right in and get into the gym as much as possible. Going too hard too early though can often lead to burnout or injury, especially if you don’t have much of a fitness base to begin with. Make sure you factor in recovery time and listen to your body. Take rest days when you need them. Do your stretching and mobility work. Get on top of any niggles before they become injuries. Hydrate and eat well to ensure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to perform optimally.
Goal setting is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on track. Structure your goals using the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Goals can be either performance or aesthetic based, as long as they are specific and relevant to you. Break any larger goals down into smaller, more achievable goals that you can tick off along the way. This will help keep you motivated and on track towards achieving your main goal. Your goals may be fairly small and simple to begin with, but as your training progresses you can revisit and reevaluate your goals to keep you moving forward.
Like with most things in life, you get out what you put in. With a bit of effort and the right attitude, your fitness journey can be a very fun and rewarding one. So follow these tips to help you create a better, healthier, fitter version of yourself.