Starting an exercise routine is kinda like learning how to run. Ok, I know how that sounded but let me explain. What I mean is that exercise is progressive. You can’t expect to properly execute advanced movements in the first couple of weeks. First, we must “crawl” and learn how to master the basics. So here are my five tips for starting and finishing a new exercise program.
1. Schedule Your Workouts
Find 3-5 days in your week including weekends, depending on the frequency of your exercise plan. After you pin down those days that you usually have the freest time, find a 2-hour block of downtime. Use a calendar, put it in your phone, and treat these workouts like a doctor’s appointment.
2. What Are Your Goals?
It’s important to define your goals before just following any plan. Different destinations will require different directions. Are your goals reasonable? Just like I procrastinated studying for exams in college, many of us also procrastinate getting into shape. We both know that pulling an “all-nighter” the night before the test or losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks doesn’t work very well. Especially in the longer term. Once you define a realistic and achievable goal, it’s time to find a plan to compliment.
3. Find The Right Plan
Finding the right plan can be stressful. Do I use Pinterest? We may struggle to see thru so many options and decide what’s best for our goal. Some people try a program designed by someone on a whole different fitness level. Starting a program too advanced can lead to burning out, injury, and lack of results. Let me make this easy if you don’t have enough experience to know what program to follow, it’s likely that you could benefit from a coach. However, for those hard-core do it myself type people, use social media. Instagram and Youtube have millions of resources. Use keywords related to your goal and interest. Use your intuition when listening to someone promoting their approach to getting you results. See if this person has testimonials or reviews.
4. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress can be a key player in keeping you motivated when things get challenging. The best black and white medium we can use to track progress are pictures. Preferably taken at the very beginning and every four weeks after. Ideally, photos will be taken first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. Best to get a front, back and side view wearing minimal clothing (underwear, sports bra). A scale is not necessary, but can also be used to see progress. I don’t recommend it, as I find it controls people.
5. The Tip Nobody Wants to Hear
You may have guessed it. It’s nutrition. This is going to be the biggest piece of the puzzle in regards to getting results, and that means sticking to the plan because you’re seeing changes. So what’s my approach to nutrition? Well the most precise while allowing food choice freedom, would be tracking your macros. Macros or macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Finding the right ratio of macros and total calories can be difficult. There are several online calculators when you do a simple google search. Personally, I use the Muller Equation to find my basal metabolic rate, then multiple that number by my current activity level. Finally, once total calories are calculated I find that a 60/20/20 ratio works well for most people. That would mean 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% fat, and 20% protein. To some, this may seem like a tedious, in-depth method. It definitely is, but it also works.
Let’s Get Started!
That’s it! My top five tips on how to start and finish a workout plan. I hope this helps some of you find your goals and stick to them. Find the right program for you and don’t stop until it’s finished. Give your best effort to your nutrition, it will not only improve your workouts, but your energy, sleep, and attitude. Stay well!
Charlie from Primitive Hustle Co