I am not going to be one of those people that are like “Stay out of my gym assholes”..
Instead I’m going to give some very sincere advice. Please listen to it and follow it..
#1: Set a reasonable goal. Not something dramatic.
*Why? You’re NOT going to follow through if your goal seems too far off of your current state.
You aren’t going to look like this in 3 months. That is impossible to go from starting out to this sort of a physique in 3 months. (Insert female equivalent for women.)
(It takes a while to get to here.. #personal experience.)
#2: Expect things to go wrong.
*Why? Because NO ONE started out ‘perfect’. Many people take “Omg I fell off the treadmill” as the end of the world… or some sign sent down to them from heaven that this isn’t their path..
You’re going to make mistakes. Everyone has. Personally I’ve hit myself in the crotch with a dumbell, was flung off a treadmill going too fast, when I first started (after YEARS of doing (seriously) nothing physically..) I PUKED EVERYWHERE.
So expect nasty things to happen. Just like anyone starting something new.
Would you really expect to be able to walk into a new job (cashier, surgeon.. any new job) and do it perfectly? NO. That is UNREASONABLE.
So why take that attitude to this resolution?
#3: Don’t think of it as a new years resolution.
I know its really ‘cute’ and whatever to think of it as that… or that ‘everyones doing it’. But no. You aren’t going to consider this a new years resolution. Nope.
Why? Because you’re doing this for YOURSELF. This isn’t a ‘new years resolution’, this is YOUR revolution. This is you taking your own life and changing it. This is 100% for you!
So many people make new years resolutions and quit. But why shouldn’t you?
Because. When people follow under the same label as others, they are more apt to quit if they see others quit.
Almost a sort of ‘Well if they failed, then I guess if I quit then its no big deal”. But this is your body’s revolution! Don’t let yourself get caught up in semantics!
#4: Don’t put any external rewards out there. “If I do this then I’ll…”
I know you’re going to be “BUT ERMGARERDS CLASSICAL CONDITIONING” (What you mean is ‘Operant Conditioning’.) It’s been proven time in and time again that if someone goes into something for intrinstic reasons then they’ll participate (and want to) much more.
So don’t do this to ‘Impress a boyfriend/girlfriend’… do this because it is going to improve your lifestyle, your QUALITY of life. Do it because (and take it from me who was EXTREMELY CYNICAL AT FIRST) you will enjoy it. You’ll learn to love the rewards, the exercises and even the environment if you let yourself.
But seriously don’t fall prey to going to the gym only to do some rewarding behavior afterwards.. if you do this then the gym will feel more like an obstacle rather than a place where you can just let go of all that stress, angst, whatever..
Eg: Its been shown even in children with toy preferences.. if you give them a reward for doing a particular action then they’ll do the action for the reward.
But then the child will be less likely to play with that toy than a ‘control’ child that wasn’t given this ‘paycheque’ for playing with X toy.
#5: “OH MY GOD THIS HAS BEEN SO LONG. JUST LOOK AT THE TIME. WOW. ALL THIS AMOUNT OF TIME WASTED. GOD I DON’T EVEN SEE IT. HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS.”
- Said the person who had been standing at the bus station for 10 minutes.
It can be awfully tempting to ‘set a goal’.. and to monitor it with exquisite detail.
And you know what? I encourage you to set a goal! Please do so! (As I said off the bat, ensure it is realistic.) BUT don’t monitor it by how much time you’ve spent. As I said in the title of this section.. time is really going to work against you if you look at things that way. A small fraction of an amount of time will look HUGE if you analyze it.
But in reality? It is small. People tend to blow how long they’ve been taking part in an activity.. dramatically so!
I’ve seen it happen time in and time again.. a person gets really revved up to start working out.. goes for a week.. and then I never see them come again. Or its a month.. never to be seen again there.
How long is a month really? You can think of it as 2 pay periods… 12 of them in a year.. ~30 days.. 4 weeks. You can slice it so many ways.
But a month is nothing. 3 months is nothing.. even half a year or even a full year is so minor it is hilarious that we get ‘caught up’ on it.
The worst thing you can do is let yourself fall prey to ‘time’! Are you happy with your physique now? If so then I am truly happy for you. But if you’re not.. then imagine if you had started even a year ago? Wouldn’t things be different now?
1 year can make a MASSIVE difference in physique even to a person who isn’t eating properly or training properly.
So set a goal. But NOT one that relies on time. Blatantly ignore time if you must. If one thing is for certain, it is that you will constantly improve and you WILL be moving forward if you just go and do it.
#6: Take your mind out of it.
Years ago this was MY issue. This was the demon lurking in the shadows whenever I thought of starting.
Let me say some facts:
#1: You’re there for YOU. No one else. Don’t make it about others.
*I don’t care if it is boyfriends, coworkers, friends, family.. you’re there for you.
But most of all you aren’t there to be judged by anyone. No stranger should EVER be able to hold such power over you to influence whether you’ll take initiative on something you want to do or not.
Like anything, if you want to do something? Then screw anyone that would say you can’t, shouldn’t or won’t. You’re not hurting anyone, or infringing upon anyones rights or civil liberties, by going to the gym to help yourself.
#2: Everyone is too busy doing their own thing to care!
If you go to the gym you’re there to hit the iron, run on a treadmill, stretch in the aerobics room, run on a track.. whatever your reason.. that is why you’re there.
Likewise, everyone else is there to do what they need to and then move on with their own daily lives. (A point I’ll cover below!)
It is INCREDIBLY RARE to actually see a douchebag that lazes around (Oh you will see a few I promise though.) and sits there staring at people.
But.. at least 80% of the time they’ll be the ones being glared at by others for (1) wasting equipment.. not using it? STOP SITTING ON THE DAMN MACHINE! (2) Why the fuck you starin’ brah? Mirin? (3) Insert so many more reasons..
Actually if you want to watch a rather funny series heres one :P
I guess the point I could really only make here is that .. you’re there for yourself. And no one cares if you’re working out! In truth they will actually gain respect for you.
Because we’ve all had to start out.. believe it or not no one started out with a glistening 8 on their stomach, giant pecs, ripped arms, etc.
People start from so many places.. (1) injury (2) rehabilitation -drugs for instance (3) wanting to lose weight.. etc.
So most likely if you’re giving it your all.. you’re going to get at least one ‘Ripped asshole’ that you’d probably otherwise think was judging you (I’ve personally had someone come up to me and freak out at me.. because I was ‘judging them’) actually be CHEERING for you in their head.
‘Come on! You can do it! One more rep!’
We’ve all been there. And it takes a fair amount of mental fortitude to just shrug off our own inhibitions. But to do something, you need to put them on the backburner and let them fade. You’re there for you first and foremost.
And most people aren’t assholes. Believe it or not.
#8: Start reasonably.
Yet again another game our mind likes to play on us.
You’re NOT going to be able to curl 40 pound dumbells when you start. You will not be able to run hard for 30 minutes on a treadmill when you start. You will not be able to run 42867389472349823498 miles on a track in 5 minutes.
These are all obsurd. And go hand in hand with setting reasonable goals. However I know most people probably took that point as physique-wise.. here? We’re going to talk about the actual PRACTICE.
If you need to lift 5 pound dumbells then all the power to you, because you’re going to get stronger and next week you might be able to do 10.. and then from there if you keep at it you will be able to hit much higher weights!
If you can only manage to go 2 minutes on the treadmill without puking. (*Raises hand in confession*) then go as long as you can (hopefully not vomiting in the process) and then take a break.. grab a drink of water.. and then try some more. You’ll notice DRAMATIC differences even after a month.. I know I did!
The key is to do whatever you can do, and do it well… and then progress further. NOT to walk in there and be able to deadlift 500 pounds or bench press 450. If only we could all just walk in there and pull off such things.. :P
#9: Vitamins, fats, etc:
In before I get told that I’m wrong about fats because society says we should dodge all fats as much as we can.
“Fat free”… something we see a lot of today.. don’t we? Walk down any isle in the store and there is bound to be at least one food item proclaiming its worth by this ‘merit’.
Irony? Fats, like anything, come in so many forms..
What are their functions?
-Reduce soreness after exercize
-Thermogenesis (heat production of the body)
If you want the truth the benifits are across the board. But most of this probably means very little to most people… but what is one of the effects that getting a proper range of fatty acids garners?
Irony, right? So get your fats.. ‘Essential fatty acids’… idgaf how. If you want to help your health across a variety of domains while supporting weight loss then seriously do consider these.
I’ve been asked what I personally use a few times so this is what I use for EFAs..
Do you need this product? Nope! But this is just what I personally use..
I personally am PEEVED that more people don’t take a basic multivitamin. I don’t care who you are, what your goals are- or aren’t.. why aren’t you taking a multi!?
Our nutrition is so often poorly balanced that it is a bit terrifying to be honest. If you want to perform even remotely close to your peak then take a multivitamin.
I can’t emphasize how much I think everyone should take a basic multivitamin at least. This is even moreso if you’re exercizing, running, etc. To lose weight, to gain muscle, whatever.. you’re going to need these vitamins!
Yet again delving into my personal: http://ca.bodybuilding.com/store/univ/animalpak.html?_requestid=4255715
I’ve been using this for YEARS. It is solid… oh, and if you do get it don’t be intimdated by the number of pills..it just covers all bases properly. And yes I do take ~29 suppliment pills a day lol. (I have others I use..)
#10: It’s minor! It CAN be incorporated into your lifestyle!
“Working out is such a huge deal!” <- Something I hear far too often.
TIME: I myself do train everyday and the amount of time can really vary.
I’m not quite sure why people think that it is some grand commitment.. like 3 hours or 8 hours.
24 hours are in a day.. what do you need to commit to be successful? I’ve seen people do even just 40 minutes a day. Only 40 minutes! That is utterly nothing!
SCHEDULE: My preference? Crack of dawn.. 5:00am.
Why? Because I’m a student and I work with cadivers in lab, go to get lectured and brutally scrutinized, etc etc.. my days are long and I don’t have all that much time to myself.
But in reality I could put it anywhere.
-First thing waking up
-Before heading home
-Before going to bed
-After dinner (before resting/studying for the night)..
You just put it wherever.. there is no right or wrong answer to where to put it. It is a very small amount of time that can be thrown anywhere you choose! It doesn’t even have to be at the same time.. (Although my preference is to keep everyday at the same time). One day can be crack of dawn, the next between lectures and then after that before going to bed..
People blow this factor way out of proportion. It is a very small amount of time dedicated, but the rewards are so large for doing such a small thing!
#1: Set a realistic goal for your physique.. you’re not going to be 100% different in 3 months! That is not realistic and it will hamper your pursuit of your goal!
#2: You’re there for YOU. Not for anyone else. Don’t make this about girlfriends, boyfriends, impressing a peer from a class, or even worry about the others in the gym.
#3: If anything.. people in the gym are looking at you and cheering you on in their heads. Starting isn’t easy, and we all had to! It earns a lot of respect when I see someone pushing themselves as hard as they can.. doesn’t matter if they’re benching over 200 pounds or if its only 40. If you’re pushing yourself to your limit and not giving up.. that takes guts. And I respect that completely.
#4: Keep your expectations for your performance reasonable. If you go in there thinking you’re going to curl 50 pounds right off the bat then you’re going to fail to meet those expectations and most likely quit. Same thing if you’re thinking you’re going to hop onto a treadmill and sprint for an hour.
#5: Take an ‘incremental’ view to this adventure.. don’t think of it as you’re “Showing how good you are”.. because that is just wrong. Instead take this as a challenge, to do your best. You’re going to start off ‘weak’, but over increments you’re going to notice gains in strength, physique, health, etc..
#6: Don’t consider this a ‘new years resolution’. Consider this your physical REVOLUTION. Putting cute tags on it to relate to others only helps you give up when you see others with a similar tag give up.
*So many people utterly FAIL their new yeares resolutions.. and others who have a new years resolution are more apt to rationalize quitting because “Oh they failed their new years resolution so me quitting isn’t that bad”.
Quitting is bad. You’re doing this to improve.. don’t compare yourself to ANYONE ELSE! Worst mistake one can make!
#7: Don’t look at ‘time invested’… or if you do take a cynical approach to it. And I mean an authentically cynical approach.
*How long is a month really? 2 pay periods? 4 weeks? If you did chest 4 times (once a week)… do you REALLY expect to have great pecs?
That is unreasonable.
#8: It is a fact that it averages about 5-6 ‘tries’ before someone actually manages to pursue a goal.
Don’t give up. No matter what. Or if you do, then ‘get back on that horse’. It’ll click!
Big point: You WILL see gains if you stick to it. Take your mind out of the situation, which I realize can be pretty hard to do. Your body will be transforming whether you ‘see’ the results or not. It isn’t an overnight thing, but it is a CERTAINTY. You WILL achieve the physique you want if you plow ahead. Get a good workout schedule, get a good diet, get suppliments (if you wish, I do use them) and then mindlessly do it. Excellence isn’t formed overnight..
You don’t see a surgeon walk into the OR after a single night of ‘work’ after walking off the street.. That guy has been reading, watching, practicing.. gaining those skills over time. Of course to get a ‘amazing’ physique won’t take as long as a career in surgery.. (I say I was actually pretty impressed with myself after even just a single year!). But the same theory applies. If you want something bad enough then just make a plan and follow it relentlessly. Don’t waiver for any reason.
Hmm I can’t think of anything more right now *phew*. I wish you great success in planning your new years resolution whatever it may be! but I hope that this can help even just one of you.. if it assists even one of you then its done it’s job. :)
Back to crying over anatomy.