The time has come and it is now time to put up or shut up. This is meant to be fun (training is), but you might have some anxiety or fear about training and honestly you might not enjoy the first week (or month) of your training. Knowing that you are going to have some pieces possibly working against you, take the time to put things in order that are going to set you up for success.
Set the schedule
Things you schedule time for get done. So figure out which days you are going to train. Sounds simple, but when life gets crazy it is easy to skip out on your training. Block out non-negotiable time each week for you to go work out. Set this like an appointment that you wouldn’t dare skip. Make sure that it is a consistent time each day and preferably when you know you tend to have energy. If you are someone that likes to sleep in and have a hard time functioning in the morning then you should probably try to work out in the afternoon or evening.
Find the time
We all have time, but don’t like to admit it. The obvious first mistake we have is that we sit down and watch TV for too many hours. Now, to start with your exercise program maybe you just walk on a treadmill at the gym watching the same television that you would watch at home (a win is a win right?). This will at least get you out there doing something. Look at your schedule and try to find out where is the waste? Since my concussion I tend to try and go for about an hour long walk each night. Aside from the evening where I teach night school this is easy since all that I do is cut out the TV that the wife and I might watch otherwise.
Don’t make your goal to be full blown rocky training montage out the gate. Your only goal when you begin is to start simply and slowly progress. If you currently don’t lift weights at all, one set of 10 repetitions represents a monstrous increase in training volume. Any one that squats after not having squatted for a long period of time knows this since the first time that they lift they are sore for days after because their body is not used to this type of stress.
The first week you are working out just go to the gym for ten minutes. You can just say you are going to walk 5,000 steps. You are going to do one set of push ups. Set a low bar that you can quantify (measure the number of) and you will find out that most of the time when you come in to train you are going to go above the minimum and really get some solid work in.
Slowly increase your minimums
After you have conquered the walking 5,000 steps each day increase that number to 5,500. Follow that number amount for a week and then increase it again. Keep moving it upwards or add another goal like doing 5 pushups. Build on your successes slowly but surely and you will hopefully also be seeing your body change consistently with time.
Find something you enjoy (caveats)
Training (or at least parts of training) should be fun. Find the exercise, workout, or piece of equipment that you enjoy training on and add that to each of your workouts. Maybe you like to elliptikillit, or ride the not-so-excite-bike, I don’t care. But find something that you will enjoy doing that does make you work hard and in ways that will actually help improve your health and fitness. If you like walking on a treadmill at 1mph while drinking a Gatorade, congrats you are now literally and metaphorically going nowhere. It still needs to be stressful in a way that makes your body improve with time. You can go dominate all of the curls at the end of your workout, but make sure that you are still balancing that work with, oh let’s say, all the other muscle groups on your body. This might also be finding a sport activity that gets you moving and working hard, just be careful about going to hard in the sport right out the gate.
It is week one, the goal now is to schedule your training and make sure that you can find the time to get that in. Once you get that done make sure that you are setting some simple goals in the beginning that will help you build some positive momentum and keep building yourself up with time. Remember you are starting on a journey here. The goal isn’t to blow yourself out the first week with being incredibly sore, instead think of yourself like a snowball rolling down a mountain in that your goal is to keep building more and more momentum so that eventually you can’t be stopped from training hard. Good luck on your fitness journey and I just keep staying with it regardless of what the lazy voice inside you might say.