For the average person, starting out a workout regime can seem overwhelming. There are literally thousands of workouts plans, ideas, sworn miracle 8-week programs floating around on the web that can make anybody’s head spin. Some range from 30-day booty squat challenges, to gaining 7 pounds of mass in 7 days training splits. There are plans for every desire and goal someone may have. I’m not saying that some of these plans are not good, just that there is a simpler way to start off your fitness journey.
Before starting any workout plan, the most important starting point is to know your “why.” What does this mean for you? It means you need to ask yourself why do you REALLY want to start working out. I have asked this question to hundreds of people and would always get an initial generic answer of “I just want to lose weight,” or “I just want to build up my chest.” After spending some time talking with them, the real reasons usually came out later. Some did not want to end up in the hospital fighting terminal illness like their parents, while others were in fear of being bullied and wanted to get bigger and stronger.
After you have become open and honest with yourself to establish why you are willing to put yourself through early morning workouts, pain, soreness, and discomfort, only then will you be able to harness the power of intrinsic motivation to endure all that is to come. When the going gets tough, you can stay focused on your “why” and make it through those tough patches of training.
Over the years, I have found that simpler is better when setting your fitness foundation. As the years pass then you can add more variation and increase the complexity of your training. In the beginning, less is more. Get good at the basics of fitness. Learn how to breath during your training, learn the age-old cue of “keeping your core tight,” learn how to ground your feet, and learn how to listen to your body. These basics will be discussed in depth in later posts, so please stay tuned.
Now you need to address your strengths and limitations. What can you realistically do now? If you want a six pack of shredded abs but can hardly do one hanging leg raise then perhaps advanced workout techniques are not to be programmed...yet. I learned a long time ago to learn the basics and keep learning them. Learn how to squat and keep learning, even if you have been squatting for over 20 years. There are 6 basic movements that I think everybody should learn and practice. That being said, these movements should always be programmed into your training. Kettlebell swings, deadlifts, squats, presses, getups, running.