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How to Start Working Out

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I receive many questions from folks who have not yet begun their fitness journey and really just want to know – how do I begin?  It is really a great question and let me share my thoughts on this topic.

There are 2 main items in my opinion to start with before you even get into the workouts themselves:

  • What is your WHY?  Why are you starting?
  • What are your main goals?  Write them down!

You WHY is so important as this is something you can always reference back to throughout your fitness journey.  Why are you starting to workout?  Is it to live longer, have you had an unfortunate life scare, are you concerned where you are heading, do you feel unhealthy…  Whatever it is think about it and capture your WHY.

The next key step is to WRITE DOWN your key goals.  This is so important in order to fine tune into what type of workout program will make sense for you as whatever you select it must match your goals.  As an example, if you want to build muscle, then picking a program that has no resistance training (aka lifting weights) then that program probably isn’t the best one for you.  If your goal is to tone up and slim down, then a total resistance/weight lifting program is probably not best for you.  Your goals can also change as you move forward depending on what you want to focus on.  My goals change throughout the year so it is very common.  But make sure you WRITE DOWN your goals and then you can move forward into the program selection process.

After you have those 2 items covered, you align them to a program that fits best for you.  Here in Beachbody, coaches such as myself are here for you for FREE to help select which program makes the most sense at this time in your life.  There are a number of factors that goes into that process as well, which I will not cover here (another post idea), but your coach can help and I strongly suggest to connect with someone that you are comfortable with.  Beachbody has a variety of workout programs that have a wide range of focus areas that will match whatever your goals are.

Ok – so you have your WHY, goals and have worked with a coach to select your workout program – now what?  Here are some key items I feel are so important to share when you start:

  • Make sure you also focus in on your eating habits.  I will not call it a diet as that has all sorts of baggage that comes with that term, and your eating should not be for a period of time but a life commitment.  Dialing in your eating is extremely critical to your success.  Many folks mention that what you eat actually contributes for up to 80% of your results with the rest coverage by your working out.  I am not sure if that ratio is correct but it is critical.  You can work out all you want but if what you put in your mouth is all bad then your results will not be what you are looking for.
  • Find a team/coach/group/individual to help make you accountable.  It is imperative you have a support system where you can ask questions, check in with daily, and have them keep you accountable.
  • Start slow.  The old adage of walk before you run is so true.  At the start you are probably going to be so excited (and maybe nervous) that sometimes you will go to hard and injure yourself.
  • Focus on FORM.  Do not push harder to lift heavier weights because others are – make sure your form is strict as they will help you meet your goals by properly doing the move and also prevent you from getting hurt.
  • Always, always, always warmup and cool down with your workouts.  Take the time and do these!  Enough said
  • When the schedule says to take a rest day – do it.  Your body needs to recover and quality programs have rest and recovery days scheduled in as needed.
  • For the first two weeks, expect to be sore… A lot. After that your body will start to adjust.
  • Absolutely take your before photos. They are really great for showing your progress to yourself.
  • During the first 30 days, your weight may or may not change much. Some people it does and some it doesn’t. There are a few factors for this. First is that your body composition is changing. You’ll be adding muscle and losing fat. The second factor is that often times when you start intense workouts your body retains extra water. After about a month or so it stops and you’ll feel like your losing a pound or two a day. I say this mostly in case this happens you won’t think that you’re doing something wrong or that the program isn’t working. For me, the magic started around day 30.  The reason for that is also a bit of protective “swelling” and some irritation. Intense workouts break down muscle tissue, the body’s natural response is swelling, one for protection, two for healing/rebuilding, three to flush out lactic acid built up during the activity.
  • Don’t worry about keeping up with the people in the video. At first you probably won’t be able to.  MODIFY as needed.
  • Don’t look at whatever program you pick as a 30 day, 60 day, 90 day, etc program. It’s a lifetime program that you can do in cycles. I
  • Drink plenty of water
  • No matter what, keep pushing play.

With all of that said, you really want to HAVE FUN too – right?  Make your workouts fun.  Challenge yourself and push hard with solid form but make it fun.  Without having fun it will be a challenge to maintain your new lifestyle.

Mike Miele – Beachbody Coach – P90X Certified

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