By: Zach Columbia BS. NASM. FPT
Imagine walking forward your whole entire life and suddenly being told you’re only allowed to walk backward from now on. Obviously, you body is not used to walking backward for any extended period of time. Your new gate will be drastically different from your old gate. You’ll feel sore in muscles you didn’t know you had. You’ll experience tightness in different areas of your body. You’ll probably even notice changes in tone and definition. You may even experience aches and pains as your body changes. Then, after several months, you’re suddenly allowed to walk forward again. Walking forward feels way more natural and more efficient. It feels like it’s the way things are supposed to be. So, instead of just walking, out of shear excitement, you begin to run. Unfortunately, since it’s been so long, and your body isn’t used to that movement pattern, it’s inevitable that the new/old movement will create some sort of change that results in a minor injury.
This is essentially what happens with a new workout program.
Everyone used to be in shape as some point. They were used to moving and then they stopped. They started sitting, they developed poor posture, essentially, they started walking backwards. Now, it’s go time though. They’re motivated and feeling ready to get back into shape. They’re not ready just to start walking forwards again, they’re ready to go on a full dead sprint ahead. The results and weight loss are calling their name.
I fully understand wanting to come out of the gate full speed ahead.
It’s great to see new people super motivated but going from zero to hero in no time at all is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to a fitness program, slow and steady wins the race. Training insanely hard for two weeks and then having to take two weeks off because you’re too beat up is not a good way to see results. Fitness is not a race, it’s a lifestyle.
When starting a new program, first recognize that it’s not a short-term challenge.
If you have that mindset, you’ll quit long before you get anywhere anyway. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen to thousands of people! If you want to get in shape, because you’re unhappy with the way your body looks and/or feels then vow to start moving in the opposite direction and never stopping.
Ease yourself into your workouts! Don’t start training six days a week! Start with three or four. Don’t change your diet overnight. Instead, start replacing unhealthy habits with healthier habits one at a time. Most importantly, don’t get frustrated with the process. Focus on the process. Learn to appreciate and enjoy the journey.