Hello, new gym goer! Welcome to the land of lifting heavy things and putting them back down again, getting your heart rate up real high, and sweating profusely!
You are going to LOVE IT HERE!!
Before we give you the go ahead to move and grunt and perspire until you can’t no more… let’s go over a few ground rules!
There are some common mistakes we see excited, and well-meaning New Athletes make!
We don’t say this to be condescending – we made them too! But we say this because these mistakes tend to increase your risk of returning to old habits (i.e. never going to the gym) and decrease your chance of achieving your fitness goals. YIKES!
When these common mistakes are made, they can lead to disappointment, burnout, and emotional fatigue that ultimately result in someone stopping their fitness journey before it even really starts! So let's learn what they are so we can NOT do them. Let's go!
Too much cardio, too little weight-training
Cardio is awesome! But making sure you compliment it with some weight training is important!
Some people turn to cardio because weight training can be intimidating, or their (unfounded) fear of getting too bulky… and while getting your heart rate up during a high intensity cardio workout is definitely a good thing, too much of a good thing is… well… a not-so-good thing.
Too much of the same movement – especially a high impact movement like running – can cause lots of wear and tear on your joints. You may find yourself feeling constantly sore, which may make you stop working out all together. As well, if your goal is to lose weight via exercise, pure cardio workout routines can actually cause you to loose muscle mass which will impact your metabolism and hinder you from loosing weight.
We can combat all of this by incorporating weight training into your exercise routine! Free weights, resistance bands, body weight, you name it! The possibilities are endless... and so are the benefits.
Too much all at once!
Start slow. The hardest part about working out is staying consistent. We want to get results NOW. But results don’t come from working out alone: rest is also very important! As is focus.
Be sure to take rest days, especially as you are just starting out. As well, it can be a very exciting time where you discover all the new skills and moves you want to master: muscle ups! Pistols! Squat snatch! WOWZA!
The best thing you can do for yourself is choose actionable and reasonable goals. Eventually you wanna be able to workout 5 days a week… but since we’re brand new, let’s do 2 workouts and 1 mobility day a week and see where that gets us! Or, I know you want to do muscle ups, like, YESTERDAY?! But let’s break it down into mastering a strict pull up first!
Comparing yourself to others
If you are the newest one at the gym, it can be easy to get discouraged. You might be presented with all these things you can’t do yet, or feel like you are lifting the lightest weights or the slowest in the pack.
What is important to remember is that everyone else started and struggled, just like you. Even Claire who looks like she was born to do muscle ups, or James whose starting weight back squat is 300 lbs.
If you compare yourself to others, it’s an unfair assessment. Everyone is working hard to be where they are at, and you are comparing your 1-Week -into-Working-Out Self to Claire whose been doing gymnastics since she could walk and James who learned to squat at high school football practices and has had gargantuan glutes ever since.
Moreover, where you are at is AWESOME! Give yourself some credit: you are pushing through and remaining consistent during the hardest part of your fitness journey: the beginning.
Before you know it, you’ll notice you’re adding a bit more to the bar or performing a few more pull ups or going 100 more meters on your runs than you were a month ago. The only person you can or should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday.