How Do I Start Training?

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

It's a New Year (the Chinese one) and, after a fair amount of deliberation, you have finally decided that health has an important role to play when it comes to how you want to live the remainder of your life. One big step to take is to start working out and it’s often a daunting one if training in a set environment has not been your thing for the last few years. 

 

The First Step

So let's start with step one and see how far we get. I would start by deciding what type of training interests you -and not what seems the most trendy. There are enough training options that when it comes to training choices, finding the right one should not be all that tricky if you know what you like. Maybe you enjoy doing weights, or spending time on the treadmill, or possibly taking part in group sports. At the end of the day, you just have to choose something that appeals to you, safe in the knowledge that if it doesn't work out you can always try something else (unless you’re locked down in a 3-year contract!).

 

Assessment

10 years ago you might have been a high school athletic champion but that means nothing today. A few years of office work, lack of sleep and a not-so-balanced diet means that your body may not be in tip top shape anymore. Figure out where you are starting from, not to compare yourself with others but for you to have an idea of what your true current fitness level is at. This will help you find the correct training intensity that might save you from breaking your back during the first week. 

 

Humility and Patience

Be sure to seek advice from people that have either gone down the same route or know how to guide you on the best practices to get you on the right path. The most common mistake that I have seen is people want the results and skills overnight, compromising the technique and base level foundation needed to help them achieve the best result possible. This usually means early injury, or they plateau much sooner than they hoped.

 

Goals

Setting a goal keeps you motivated plus gives you an incentive to really give it your all when it comes to your training. The best results I’ve seen have always come from clients that are training towards something, attaining those goals is also very rewarding for trainers. 


These goals don't always have to be an event, sometimes just having the ability to run up a flight of stairs or beat your 7-year-old (okay, 4-year old) in an arm wrestling match is enough. 

 

Recovery

The first 2-3 weeks will be tough on the body. Expect the discovery of muscles in places you never knew existed, and that your cat-like dance moves don’t match your flexibility anymore. This will pass and as you get to know yourself better, the pain will become more manageable. Be sure not to go overboard in the very beginning. Give yourself a chance to adapt and practice good recovery methods by giving your body what it needs to repair. 

 

Sleep enough and put the right food in your body to give it the building blocks it needs. 7-8 hours is usually a good guide and getting enough protein in your diet will also help you make it through the initial stages. 

 

Difficult until its easy

Starting something new can seem daunting but we all know it gets easier after a while. If you don't take that first step then you can't get anywhere other than here. Learning new skills and experimenting with my training has been an ongoing passion and one simple thought process I have always relied on is that at some stage even the fittest, strongest or most skilled person had to start from zero.

 

Conclusion

You know what it takes to get going and that it won’t be smooth sailing but there is no magic, so get out there and start. Visit us for a consultation to discuss your goals and we will get you set on a relevant path for best results.