Things I Wish I Knew When I Began My Fitness Journey
by Jamie Nordby, Results Coach at Fuse Fitness Coaching - Champlin
We all wish we had known what we know now when we first began our fitness journey – we wish we didn’t care as much about how we looked in the gym or knew that rest days were actually supposed to be a thing. So if you are starting your journey (or THINKING about starting), we’ve cleared the air on various unsettling thoughts you probably have.
You can’t always rely on motivation
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat – people don’t post rough days on social media. There is not one person who is motivated every second of every day. There are days where I wake up completely exhausted and unmotivated to go to the gym – find something more concrete to rely on. Get to know your body – if you can tell you’re tired but will feel better getting a workout in, go for it. If you can tell your body is sore and you have a lot going on and can’t see yourself getting anything out of a workout, take a rest day. You will not always be 100% motivated; the good news is, you don’t need to be.
Progress isn’t linear
If you are beginning your journey with a goal in mind to build muscle or cut body fat, buckle up – you’re in it for the long haul. Our weight can fluctuate anywhere from 2-4 pounds in a day. When you take other factors into account such as sleep, digestion, heavier meals (#tacos) and/or Mother Nature, your weight is not going to be the greatest measurement of success. Tracking your progress over the course of several weeks or months will allow you to see the strides you have made – even if you can’t see it day to day.
Rest is part of the process
YES, rest days are a real thing and YES, you should be taking them. Our muscles are broken down in the gym when we lift heavy & push ourselves; rest days allow your body to replenish its energy stores & repair the damage done to muscle tissue during your workout, allowing those muscles to rest and grow. Rest days are also key for maintaining motivation – working out hard every day poses the risk of overtraining, which can cause increased fatigue, loss of enthusiasm & a higher potential for injury. Not sure what to do on a rest day without your weights? Read a book, binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, start a puzzle (or not), or use the extra hour to spend more time with your family & friends – the gym isn’t going anywhere.
That person is not staring at you
You are not the only person who 1: doesn’t know everything about the gym, and 2: is worried someone is staring at them. Worrying that someone is staring at you in the gym is the equivalent to worrying about people staring at you on the beach – everyone is worried someone else is staring at them so it just looks like we’re all standing around staring at each other! Your fitness journey is between you and yourself; pay attention to what you are doing and don’t worry about what is going on around you (I mean, worry a little bit – we don’t need you running into anyone….)
Just because they’re fit, doesn’t mean you’re not
I personally have found myself thinking this on MORE than 500 occasions. “Wow that person is in way better shape than me” or “wow, they have much more defined rear delts than I do” (Who thinks that? Oh yeah, this girl). Just because someone is smart doesn’t mean you’re stupid, so how come because someone is fit, you can’t be? Everyone has a different body, is focused on different goals, and is on different stages of their journey. Don’t worry about comparing your day one to someone else’s day 600 – there can be more than one fit person on the planet, I checked.
Hard work SHOULD still be enjoyable
If you see someone get really good results from running but you don’t enjoy it, you WON’T see those results. There are a million different ways to move & challenge our bodies, and there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy the process. If you try a Zumba class and you don’t enjoy it, you don’t have to continue. If your friend loves to do yoga but you can’t focus that long, you don’t need to do yoga. Find what works for you and enjoy the journey, because it can be a really great one.
It’s ok to ask for help
The trainers at your gym are not there to try & sell you everything under the sun – they’re there to answer questions and help you get more comfortable with your workout. If you aren’t sure how to use a certain machine, ask a trainer or someone that is currently using it. No one goes into their fitness journey knowing how every piece of equipment works & what muscle group it targets – take your time, ask for help, and then kill your workout.
So now that I have successfully eliminated every single ounce of fear you had about working out, head over to the Fuse homepage to sign up for a free trial week (unlimited Small Group training and a complimentary 1:1 session!) and begin your fitness journey with us!