I’m not going to show you a motivational picture of someone who, against all odds, has chiseled abs and ask “what’s your excuse” or “everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, if they can do it, so can you”. I’m not even going to tell you what workout to do because none of it matters.
What matters is where you start.
About a month back I got a Facebook message from Jen – an old friend from highschool who after college worked a few years, moved to Texas, got married and had two kids.
She said her friend posted a picture from a cookout over the weekend and it scared her! That 20 pounds she couldn’t shake off after the kids is starting to take over.
“I just don’t want the jiggle on the back side of my arm and I’m afraid I’m starting to look like my mom. Monday, I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m eating nothing but salad, joining a gym and working out every day until I lose the weight. But this time… I’m keeping it off.”
As a professional coach, I’ve helped hundreds of people just like Jen. Every workout they’ve ever done has stared out with force — they got fired up, set unrealistic goals, go out too aggressively, burn out quickly then give up before they can ever see any real results.
I’ve learned with fitness, the secret to success isn’t in the long term plan. It’s how you approach the plan. It all starts in the first 30 days.
Here’s what you need to do to be successful
Focus on movement and habits first…
For the first 30 days, start hitting the gym just twice a week. Because balancing life is tough. Add a family to the mix, sometimes doing something for yourself can feel impossible, doing at least 30 minutes of strength and 15 minutes of cardio just twice a week is achievable.
We all know frequency is important so, how frequently should you workout? It depends on what you want to accomplish.
- If you’re happy where you are, workout twice per week.
- If you want to see changes, workout three to four times per week.
- For dramatic transformation, workout five even six times per week.
Conditioning comes second…
Days 30 thru 60, working out twice a week will be a habit that is easier to continue than it is to break. This is when you start a food journal so we can see what you’re eating during a typical week and weekend. Often times your frequency won’t increase until we have 80% of your diet under control. You’ll more than likely be coming 2-3 times per week, feeling different and looking better.
This is also when you know the movements but we start to tighten up on form. Start paying attention to the loads you’re lifting and manage pace.
Strength comes last…
Days 60 and beyond, you’re addicted. You know the movements, you manage the pace and you’re getting stronger by the day. You have an understanding of how to fuel your body. Fitness is now a lifestyle for you and you realize how you feel on days when you miss a workout and eat dessert — except now you understand how to budget time and balance nutrition.
Congratulations, you’re now that annoying person who actually likes to workout!
COO & Master FitCoach, Koko FitClub