Where to begin on the Road to Gainzville

One of the hardest things about a new undertaking is knowing where to begin. Whether it’s learning a new trade, beginning a new routine or starting a new diet, sometimes simply knowing what to do first can seem like a gargantuan task. For the uninitiated, I can absolutely see how starting a new workout program would be daunting. You’ve got to take a wealth of things into consideration which can inhibit motivation and focus, including (but not limited to) the following:

-Where are you going to be workout out? (outside? A gym?)

-The atmosphere and clientele of you’re preferred workout area (more serious? more casual?)

-The cost associated with working out (clothing and gear, gym fees, equipment-if not at a gym)

-Potentially not knowing how to use free weights or equipment correctly

-Finding time to incorporate working out into their daily routine

These are just a few examples of potential issues which can derail you when you’re beginning your trek on the Road to Gainzville. There are so many “hot” pieces of equipment/supplements/clothes and numerous other things vying for your attention and hard-earned cash when it comes to fitness…but in my humble opinion it’s all just noise.  The only things you truly need to begin your journey to make some gainz are the will to do so and some basic workout clothes-hell, I’ve gone to lift weights in jeans a couple times because I forgot my shorts! I’m here to provide some pointers to help you start your trek on the Road to Gainzville:

-Don’t go too hard in the beginning

Once you’ve committed to beginning a new workout plan, it’s natural to want to go “all-in” and do all you can in your first session. While this is a completely understandable place to come from, if you’ve never worked out before and then do 2 hours of moderately intense exercise, you’re going to be hurting for a while. While prolonged soreness is natural in the beginning, if you go too hard there’s a very real possibility you will not return for another session for multiple days. In the beginning, I’d prioritize frequency over intensity-if you’re straight off the couch you want to get in the habit of going to the gym every day or two in order to establish the mental and physical routine.

-Prioritize working out

One of the hardest things about starting something new is finding the time to do it. There are some specific tasks we must plan our day around-work/school, picking up kids, eating, etc. In order to ensure you get your workout session in, you should plan your day around going to the gym/running/whatever-it-is-you’re-doing just like you would for going to work. Whether this means waking up earlier, foregoing an extra long lunch hour or stopping on your way home from the office, carving out a time for your gainz session and making it part of your daily routine not only makes it significant to you personally, but makes it something that’s just going to get done. End of story.

-Don’t get overwhelmed

As we discussed earlier, there are so many gadgets and gizmos and whats-its ( 😉 y’all got that reference, right? ) available for purchase which purport to maximize gainz in a truncated amount of time, however the vast majority of those are cheap gimmicks designed to take your cash. Additionally, when entering a gym for the first time you’re going to be surrounded by people bigger, stronger and in better shape than you-however, don’t forget you’re only there for yourself. You walk into a workout facility (gym, public park, school track, etc) with your headphones and a specific workout plan you’re going to adhere to and you put in work. You don’t worry about what anyone else is doing-you’ve got a goal, and you can let anyone (or anything) inhibit your ability to achieve that. Focus on your gainz!

-Work out because you want to

As I’ve discussed previously, I do not believe in negative reinforcement. I do not work out because I think I “have” to, because if I think of working out as a chore/work not only am I less inclined to do it (I do stuff I “have” to do all day, like working), but I’m also not looking forward to/enjoying the actual workouts I’m doing. I’ve never found negativity to be a sustainable, long-term source of motivation, so I always put my workouts at the end of the day when I’m done with work so regardless of how my day goes, I’ve something to look forward to when I get home!

-Set realistic short term goals

I’ve discussed the importance of setting short term goals previously and I personally believe these are extremely important when you’re first starting out. If you’re straight off the couch, focus on making it to the gym/track/wherever, and doing light cardio for 30 minutes. Those small victories are something you need to track and be proud of, as it’s crucial to know you’re making progress when you’re first starting out.

Your workouts will not yield dividends overnight-if you’re an extremely inactive person and think you’re going to turn into John Cena after one workout, I hate to break it to you, but you’re gonna have a bad time. There’s no substitute for time and effort when it comes to improving overall strength and fitness, and this can be disheartening when initially starting. However, if you focus on self-improvement and stick to the pointers I’ve laid out above your journey on the Road to Gainzville will pay off!

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