There are SO many fitness plans out there and they all promise amazing results and transformations. It can be overwhelming to start when it seems like all of these professionals know what they’re doing. Especially all the cool looking Insta workouts. Trying to get started, dealing with intimidation at the gym and how to start a work out plan, are all pretty daunting tasks. These are all the topics that’ll we’ll be talking about today and hopefully you will leave feeling more confident!
So the main answer to the overriding question, “how to start a workout plan,” is to just. start. Shocking, right? Ground breaking. All jokes aside, it’s true. Starting is half the battle. Maintaining the momentum and motivation to keep going is the other half.
You can do this. I know it’s intimidating and scary but you totally can. You are worth the investment in your health. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a start.
My daughter is learning to walk right now, she’s getting pretty dang good, but when she first started she fell after every half step. She bumped her head more times than I can count. Guess what, now she stands up, walks all over the house (a little wobbly) and has even learned to tuck her head when she starts to fall so she doesn’t bump it. Pretty smart. Now I’m crying thinking about my baby growing up…
Where does that motivation and fearlessness go? We’ve all been there, learning to walk, learning to fall. What if we all gave up? There would be a bunch of adults crawling around and that would be hilarious!
Honestly though, just start. Start doing what you KNOW how to do, like walking. The rest will come.
The Plan, Keep It Simple… Sweetie
Just starting is a huge step in the right direction! However, for success you will eventually need a plan. A plan is so important because it gives you direction. Even experienced “fitness gurus” will usually have plans in place to help them achieve their goals.
Here’s the thing, there will be tons and tons of “plans” online, usually in the form of an e-book, that will all promise to be THE plan for you. I would stay away from those, for now.
If you are just starting out, my recommendation is, go to the gym and ask for a session where you go over JUST the basics. Take a list of things you don’t know how to do and learn proper form. I cannot express this enough. Proper form is paramount and you need a good foundation before starting any work out regime.
Some Important Exercises To Learn:
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep Curls
- Single Arm Rows
It’s important to keep it simple when you are beginning. These exercises are super simple but very valuable in a workout routine and will get you pretty far.
There are also many resources online that can help you with proper form, however, I would still strongly encourage you to see a professional, in person, who can check your form before you move forward with a plan.
How to Pick the Best Plan for You
As I mentioned before, there are so many plans online telling you they are the “best.” They will try to seduce you into joining their “challenges” etc. All of these aren’t bad but, if I am honest, I don’t like the e-book exercise plans. I actually almost wrote one to sell and didn’t like the idea of a “one size fits all” approach. We are all different and we all have different needs.
So, how do you pick out a plan that is best for you? Here’s a simple guideline to follow when looking for a workout regime:
- Is it helping me reach my goals?
- Can I physically accomplish the tasks outlined in the plan?
- Do I know how to do it?
- Do I have any injuries that this plan could potentially aggravate?
If you don’t feel confident in answering these question or honestly don’t know the answer, I would consult a personal trainer. If you find a good personal trainer, they will take ALL of these factors into account and will be able to formulate a plan for you that meets your needs.
There ARE good personal trainers online, but, be weary of the e-books and hands off approach that many of the online trainers have. This is your health. If you were going to spend a lot of money on a car you would want to do business with someone you can trust. Your health and livelihood is no different. Actually, it is, it’s so much more valuable.
What I Do NOT Recommend
It goes without saying that I’m not a huge fan of the e-book approach. Furthermore, I would shy away from HIIT (high intensity interval training) programs or programs that are strictly cardio based. If you’re doing jump squats and jumping lunges every other day, I would rethink that plan. I have done those plans and they are not well formulated and lead to injury.
Dealing with Gym Intimidation
OK! You’ve learned how to do the basics, you feel good about your form, you have a plan in place to help you meet your goals and now… it’s time to go to the gym. Earlier I said that starting is half the battle and maintaining your plan is the other half, well, going to the gym is the 3rd half (I’m not great at math, but you know what I mean).
Going to the gym is probably the single most intimidating thing in all of life, ok so maybe I am being dramatic, but it’s definitely up there. I grew up going to gyms. My mom literally had me in the gym childcare at 6 weeks old. If anyone shouldn’t be intimidated by the gym, it’s me. I almost lived there.
Guess what, even after years and years of gym experience, if I am doing anything more than the treadmill, I get insecure and anxious. I have those thoughts “what if people look at me… what if I am doing something wrong… what if a trip… are they still using this bench? oh god… should I ask?” You know what I am talking about. You have probably been there too.
Here’s my advice (no don’t picture everyone naked… I have heard that suggestion and never really got it), do it anyway. If you wait until you feel confident, you will never do it. Just like my daughter, if she waited until she felt “ready” to walk she never would have taken the first step.
Confidence comes from doing not waiting.
I wish I had some magic unicorn words to give you that would make it easier, but you have heard all of those attempts before.
Truth is, it’s going to be awkward, it’s going to be hard but it will get better! Pretty soon you’ll be strolling in to that gym doing your own thing not worried about anyone else.
I will say this… most of the spandex, matching outfit wearers and the grunters with the string muscle tanks are there for each other. They aren’t there for you and me. What a relief.
You got this. You can do this. If you want to share some of your funny gym stories or ways that this post resonated with you, please let me know below! I’d love to hear from you!