Motivational guide for your gym takeover
By Bradley Cordero, Contributor
The stage is set, 2017 is slowly coming to a close and like every other year, you’ve accomplished basically nothing.
Not to worry, because you promised yourself that 2018 would be your year.
What exactly does that mean? Well, for the first time in your young adult life, you’ve decided that you want to start going to the gym so you can begin feeling better.
Essentially, you’re ready for change, you’re ready to get better and here’s how you’re going to do it.
Preparation and Planning
So you’ve made the executive decision of tackling the iron temple like many before you have.
Now what? It’s time to prepare and plan. First step is prep.
You want to be sure your gym attire is up to standard with the rest of the world. For your sake, avoid any pieces of clothing that may attract more attention to you than needed.
Things like stringers and any shirts that may be way too tight or revealing should be kept for the mirror at home. In doing this, you can feel sure that no one will be staring at you for too long while you’re putting in work.
Furthermore, if you feel like you’re the type of person to have a mental breakdown in being in a new place like the gym, then bringing a gym buddy is highly encouraged as well.
When looking for a training partner, consider the following:
If they are someone you know that already goes to the gym, that’s perfect. Most of the time, that means they have experience and probably know a thing or two when it comes to the gym.
Plan your workouts ahead of time.
Know what days you’ll be training which muscles and always have a pair of headphones handy. In doing all this planning and preparation, the gym can become a much less daunting place.
Now that all the planning and prep is done, it’s finally time for you to step foot into the gym.
You now realize that the first exercise on the program that you’ve probably found on the internet involves using some sort of complicated pulley system.
If there was ever a time for trial and error, this would be the time. More likely than not, these machines will have decent instructions on them regarding their use and benefits. Study these and you may never make a fool of yourself again.
As for the dumbbells, approach them with the utmost respect as they will either make or break your gym experience.
You will either conquer them, or crumble like a cookie under them. When you first walk up to the rack, leave your ego at the door. It’s not about how much weight you move, but it’s how efficiently and consistently you move it that counts.
If you’ve been at the gym with a gym buddy, odds are you chose them because they know way more about the gym than you, good choice on your end.
If you’re a beginner, listen to what they have to say, they want to help you. If you’ve come alone, that’s no big deal. Watch the other patrons and observe, but don’t stare as that may be seen as a little weird. If you’re really in a pinch, the internet can be a good place to search for guidance.
If you’re serious about making progress, mark down important milestones.
Whether it’s completing that extra three reps or hitting that personal record on your squat, you always have room to improve and it’s important to know how far you’ve come if new feats of strength should arise.
Your first gym session is over and you’re hurting all over.
Now, if you’ve done your research, then you probably know that getting fit involves much more than just lifting weights and doing the exercises.
In reality, staying in good shape is equal parts healthy diet and exercise. The first few months after you’ve started going to the gym, you’ve probably looked up every supplement on the market, which protein powder, pre-workout and other miscellaneous items are better.
You’ve made beginner gains and feel like some real hot stuff.
But, you’ve plateaued.
Probably because you’re still eating the same trash you were eating before you decided to make a change. This is where many struggle when making this change in their lifestyle. The exercise may be there but the diet part may be lacking in comparison. Something you could try to help is meal prepping.
In preparing your food ahead of time, you know exactly what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and can easily control the amount of macronutrients such as: carbs, proteins, fats, etc.
The easiest meal option that many beginners tend to gravitate towards consists of chicken breast, rice (white or brown) and some sort of greens on the side.
You did it. You’ve successfully tackled the gym. The key now is to keep it up, stay persistent and be willing to love to hate yourself from time to time.
With that being said, as long as you’re consistent, progress will follow.