Begin Your Fitness Journey

Begin Your Fitness Journey

Begin your fitness journey

I am yet to meet any unfit individual who is okay with his or her condition, and does not wish to change. They might deny it, but in reality they always wish to become fitter. While all unfit people wish to become fit, the key factor remains that wishing is not going to get you there. You need to take action! You need to get out of your comfort zone and need to start sweating it out, and by sweat I do not mean sweating it out in the steam room. You need to exercise. Hard work, dedication, certain sacrifices is the price that you pay to get fit. If you do not wish to pay this price then dont even bother trying. I am sure you will never expect to become a world Boxing champion putting in 10% of the effort that a champion gives, then why expect fitness to be an easy achievement?

So if you are mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared then let me first explain the 3 costs that i mentioned.

Hard work- obviously getting fit will involve moving your body a lot. You must work at an intensity that is tough for you. If your workouts do not challenge you at all, then you will not succeed. For eg. if you can do 10 push ups with ease and find 12 to be tough, then do 12 push ups. Doing 10 will not benefit you a lot. Of course aiming to do 50 in this case is just plain stupid! Never fear hard work, because there truly is no substitute for hard work.

Dedication-all great achievements in life need dedication. Can you imagine topping your class by studying only 15 minutes, when the top student studies 4 hours? Obviously not, you need to ensure that you are dedicated in your effort and do what is needed regularly. Any sort of failure to do your task on time will bring a halt in your progress.

Sacrifices- we often say that athletes are so lucky! They do not have to go to offices and can workout the whole time. If you think so then you need to realize that working out is the job of an athlete. His playing field/gym is his office. At night when you are watching your favorite television show, he is sleeping to wake up early for his practice. Do you think that he does not wish to watch TV or party with friends at night ever in his life? You bet he does, but these are the sacrifices that he makes to be the best in what he does. So you need to realize that you too will need to make sacrifices in your life to get fit. If that means giving up a favorite late night tv show to get 7 hours of sleep a night, restricting yourself at the dinner table, etc. then you need to do it. Think of the prize that awaits you.

Now before you start thinking that i am going to ask you to give up all of your favorite things in life, let me assure you that I will never do any such thing. You just need to be sensible. Unless you are planning to compete with an athlete, you do not need to follow the exact lifestyle that he follows. Depending on how much you want, you have to work and sacrifice accordingly.

Here Are Some Tips That I Would Suggest That a Beginner Keep in Mind When Starting On His Fitness Journey

  • Focus on working out regularly rather than focusing on getting perfect workouts- do not expect your initial workouts to be perfect. Expect to make mistakes especially in the beginning. Just ensure that you work out regularly as per your routine. Your workouts will become perfect with time.
  • Do not kill yourself in a workout- this is one thing which hampers the progress of many trainees. Often trainees believe that their workouts need to leave them half dead. They workout till they drop. Unfortunately doing so will ensure that your next few workouts will be negatively affected by it. Make your workouts tough but not to the point where you will not be able to recover for your next workout.
  • In the beginning focus strongly on your form- your first few months should ideally be spent in learning the proper form of various exercises. This will ensure that you will be highly successful in the long run. A strong base always helps in long term success.

So keep these tips in mind to succeed in making fitness a lifetime asset. Now I will give a sample routine that you can follow as a beginner. This routine will work for both mass and strength gain as well as fat loss in the beginning. As you progress you might need to change your routines to more specific ones for your purpose. However for a beginner this routine is a simple routine that will help him or her get introduced to exercising.

Resistance Training 3 Alternate Days a Week

  • Push ups     3 sets of 8-10 reps (start with hands on floor/bed if unable to do on floor)
  • Barbell rows    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Barbell good mornings   3 sets of 8 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats   3 sets of 12-15 reps

For the bodyweight exercises add 1-2 reps every second or third workout, and for the weighted exercises add more weight every second or third workout.

If fat loss is your goal then add 1-2 cardio sessions on your non resistance training days. So start with this basic workout to familiarize yourself with exercising, and then you can do more as you progress.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad