New Year Motivation

You know the drill, January 1, hit the gym. New Year, New You. Let’s get that bikini body. And get rid of the flabby arms and the double chin. No more donuts. Too many new to fitness and wanting to improve themselves set the wrong expectations thinking it’ll be easy. Then realising that it requires too much of a commitment. Or it requires too much of your time. You’re not disciplined enough to keep going.

So here are some tips and tricks to get started into fitness and a better way of life.

Don’t go all in all at once

Start small. One day a week, if needed. Three days a week is best. Four days a week is hardcore. Have one training outfit per workout day of the week so you always have something fresh to wear. Eat a bit more protein than usual. And have a banana or chocolate milk after a training session.

Remember that your body will start to change. Your appetite will go up. Your body will get more tired. You may gain or lose weight. Don’t freak out. And more importantly, ignore the scale. And most important, you need to give yourself a full year as you learn the ins and outs of fitness and your body adapts.

Go for a full body workout

Go for six exercises per training session for a full body workout to start starting with legs and ending with arms in the order below, if possible.

  1. Legs – The power squat machine is preferable. But a hack squat, leg press or a variation there of works too.
  2. Chest – The chest press machine; seated or horizontal.
  3. Shoulder – Shoulder press is best. Or the seated deltoid machine.
  4. Back – The back has the most variation in exercises. You can try the cable machines for the pull down, seated cable row or the rowing machine.
  5. Triceps – Triceps would be the most complex of the exercises due to the points of the muscle attachments. Either do the cable pushdown or the pushdown machine.
  6. Biceps – Stick to the simple curls. Cable curls. Dumbbell curls. Machine curls. It’s hard to mess this one up. Except, keep the elbows to your side when curling.

If you still have energy to burn and/or time to spare, experiment with some of the other machines and weights.

For each exercise, start with a light weight and increase by 5 to 30 pounds per set. You should aim for 10 to 12 reps per set. And a maximum of five sets if it takes you a few sets to find your maximum weight. But don’t start at maximum right away.

Rest is important

You grow big and strong when you rest. So make sure to rest at least one day between workouts at first. And go to bed eight hours before you’re due to wake up. Or rather arrange yourself to fall asleep eight hours before you wake up.

Balance is everything

Take a break if you can’t manage the perceived lack of time or life’s stresses. Regroup and try again. Reassess and remember why you’re doing this. You want to be healthy. You want to look great naked. You want to be strong. You want to lose weight. You want to be able to keep up with your kids.

Find inspiration on social media

Now hear me out. Don’t go looking for the influencers that post pictures of their abs in a bikini. Look for those that post videos of their workouts. Find those that do the sort of exercises that would motivate you to go to the gym and improve yourself. You’ve got your choice of body builders, Crossfitters, strongmen athletes, powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters, functional athletes, kettlebell trainers, and just your run of the mill gym rat.

Look at the exercises they do. Pay attention to their form. Look for ideas and new ways to train and keep things interesting.

Finally

Don’t give up. This is not a race, but a lifestyle change.

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