Summer is right around the corner and with that comes BBQ’s, humidity, vacations and days by the pool. What? What did you say? Days by the pool? Yep, that’s right, and it’s not too late to start working toward your health and fitness goals. If you were one of the folks who decided January 1st was the day “you were going to take back your fitness,” there is still hope - a new hope if you will (Kudos to those who noticed the Star Wars reference).
The bottom line is that there is no one magical day (Jan 1st) or day of the week (I’ll start Monday) that you are going to START your fitness journey when all the stars will align and in 60 days, 90 days, 12 weeks, or whatever other unrealistic time frame some product promises, you will be the lean, shredded, meal-prepping, paleo-eating super-self you have always imagined. You can literally start any day and any time you choose and begin to work smarter toward the goals you have set for yourself.
Here is the number 1 secret: Consistency trumps everything. It doesn’t matter what you do, strength training, cardio, running, CrossFit, Zumba, HIIT, Cardio Kick box, kettlebells, Olympic lifting, barre, etc., the more consistent you are, the more benefits and results you will see. I use the word "journey" on purpose, because that is what it is - it a journey, not a destination. A constant and never-ending pursuit to be the absolute best version of you that you can be.
At the end of the day if you can answer yes to the following question, “Did I do something today that made me better physically than I was yesterday, then you have won the day. You string a couple of days, months and years of more day "wins” than day "loses," and the rewards and benefits will speak and show for themselves.
We have a saying at GameTime “better is always better.” This phrase can mean different things at different times. Sometimes getting better is simply showing up on a day you really don’t want to. Or perhaps it's swinging that bigger kettlebell for 10 reps, dropping an inch or two deeper into that body-weight squat, or finally getting the technique of the Turkish-get up down. Or perhaps it means you made better meal choices. It doesn’t matter what it is - “BETTER IS ALWAYS BETTER”.
Here are 5 things to do to begin this process…
Find a qualified instructor. When you are sick you go to the doctor, when you want to learn how to play an instrument you seek instruction. Why is it different when it comes to your fitness and health? Find a great coach, someone who will take the time to design a program that meets your needs. He/she should provide proper instruction on the techniques of the implements. Don’t look for how to kettlebell swing on youtube. Find a qualified instructor and get him to teach you. If that instructor throws you into a group of people and expects you to do the same thing as everyone else ... jump ship! A good coach has modifications, regressions, and progressions to allow the program to adapt to you and keep you safe, not have you try to adapt to the program.
Set realistic frequency goals. Sure waking up at 5 a.m. every morning and training 5-6x a week sounds great on a random Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. However, it may not be realistic to train that early or that often. My advice: start with one less training day per week than what you imagine yourself doing. So If you would ultimately like to go to the gym and train 4 days week, start with 3 days or even 2 days a week and allow yourself some time to develop a routine. Remember consistency will win out in the end.
3. Stop comparing yourself to everyone. A professor once told me the secret to becoming a professional athlete: find a flux capacitor, go back in time, and choose your parents wisely (another movie reference, Back to the Future). You can’t outrun your genetics; you won’t have shoulders like hers or biceps like his, or legs like this person or that person. You know why? You aren’t them; you are you, and you are going to develop the way your body develops. Stay consistent and push yourself every day to get better in some capacity, and you will be satisfied. Oh yeah, the days of staying out late, eating junk at 2 a.m. and still being able to pull off a two piece at the pool party are reserved for high school kids; yes it stinks, get over it. GET BETTER at being you!
4. Begin by training with a purpose. You may notice that the word train is used a lot. There is a reason. To train indicates that you are working towards something, whereas going to work out indicates random activities that make you sweat and get your heart rate up (i.e. burpees). Train with the intention of making progress over the long term. With every exercise and training session have a focus or a reason for doing what you are doing and be purposeful about it. No one ever got anywhere going halfway.
5. Stop thinking this has to happen in a certain time frame. Quick fixes are for drug addicts. Some of the most successful people are people who put in the time to become successful. Long-term effects outweigh short-term effects every time, and even if the short-term effects work, they generally aren’t sustainable. Want to lose weight? Don’t eat……anything...ever. Drink water every day. Guess what, in a week you will have lost weight, in two weeks you will have lost more, in three weeks you are probably going to die. See short term effects may work but they aren’t sustainable. There is a reason people who win the lottery often end up broke.
There you have it, 5 things you need to do before you begin your fitness journey. As you can see, getting started is more about mindset than anything else. It’s never too late and you are never too old to start getting better. Welcome to GameTime.
Drew Massey, MS
Executive Facility Director
GameTime Sports and Training
1210 Impact Drive, Columbia TN
Interested in GameTime? For more information on GameTime Sports & Fitness class schedules, training options, and pricing visit their website by clicking HERE.