If you missed the first blog in this series read it here.
Let’s get it started!
Going to the gym, take 1!
You followed my advice and did not let the gymtimidation stop you from getting to the gym. You are all pumped up from your PEAK ATP, ready to kick some workout butt! But now what? Maybe you are looking around the gym and are not sure which way to go and what to do. Well for one, be proud of yourself for taking the first step. You got there and that is sometimes the biggest obstacle. Here are some quick tips on what to do now that you are ready to workout.
Make a Mental Note
First and foremost, set your mind right. The gym is liberating for me and will be for you too once you find your groove. Have a goal in mind for the day. Yes, just the day. Don’t worry about all the weight you want to lose, or what you will do over the weekend or how will you ever get those leg striations. One day at a time. Maybe set a first day goal of doing 15 minutes on a cardio machine.
Styling and Profiling
This may not apply to everyone, but feeling good in what you are wearing may help set your mind right. Choose something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. If you need motivation of a new outfit, buy it. If you find your comfort zone in your old college t-shirt, then wear that. For me, matching my shoes to my outfit makes me feel complete. Do I get a better workout this way? Maybe! If it sets my mind right, then maybe it does make me work a little harder or at the least puts me in a better mood.
I don’t work out because I hate my body; I workout because I love it. Find a workout that you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t run. Try the arc trainer or even take it outside and kayak.
Find yourself a sweat proof pair of earbuds or headphones and crank up that Pandora. Whatever genre of music puts you in the zone is what should be playing in your ears. If you secretly love the Beach Boys, jam on and find your fitness diva!
Try a class
You can channel your inner high school nerd and get right up front or quietly fade into the back away from any attention. Either way, you have a trained instructor leading you through movements. Being a part of a class is also instantly motivating, feeling the energy from everyone else. You may even make a friend or two. And before you know it, you’ll be holding each other accountable and sharing fitness goals.
Avoid Peak Times
If you can make room in your schedule to go to the gym at a certain time then by all means go then. But if you can, go to the gym during off hours so you can really take your time and familiarize yourself with the equipment. Plus, no waiting for the most popular machines.
Good Form and Lighter Weights
When lifting, your body doesn’t know what weight you use, but it sure knows muscle activation. Did you hear that? You can easily cheat on your form and lift heavier weight OR you can focus on technique and crush that 5 lb. dumbbell. Making the mind muscle connection is more important than lifting the heaviest weights there. Focus on the movement you are doing with the muscle you are targeting and give it your all. Take it to 10 on the intensity scale and you will feel accomplished.
Stick with it!
Let’s be honest, you are not going to see results the first day, probably not even the first week. In fact, you may just feel sore, tired and hungrier. Please trust me and give it time. Typically, change takes about three weeks, which is also the general amount of time it takes to form a habit. This is one of those good habits, so stick with it!
Listen to your Body
If it hurts, stop. The gym is not a torture session. Intense yes. Medieval torture practices, no. And stretch… EVERY time. Utilize dynamic stretching before to warm-up and static stretching to cool down. Your body will thank you for it.
Take this advice along with PEAK ATP each morning, HMB throughout the day and enjoy your new fit lifestyle! Stay posted for more tips on how to start a weight training and nutrition plan.
Danyelle Mastarone, Fit Mom & Figure Competitor