In my last post I discussed why it may be important to utilize Muscle Activation Techniques prior to starting an exercise program. In this post I will list some of the reasons why people quit exercising within three weeks of joining a gym and some simple strategies to stay on track.
1. Over training
We all want results and we all want them now. So when people begin an exercise program one of the most common mistakes is training way too long and way too hard. Most people have been in a sedentary state for years when they embark on an exercise program. Walking from the car to the gym door is a significant physical stress for many people. Let alone pounding the weights or hitting the elliptical machine for an hour or more. Your best bet is to start out extremely slow. Limit your time in the gym to 20-30min at max the first few weeks. Keep the intensity very low and give your body a chance to slowly adapt to the stress. There is a big difference between hard and optimal the main being that hard is rarely optimal.
2. Not Changing your eating habits
This almost could have been it's own post right after the information about Muscle Activation Techniques. Most people who begin an exercise program are eating a Standard American Diet. And the SOA is a source of stress in and of it's self. Unless you are a genetic freak of nature you are not going to be able to change body composition or tolerate an exercise program if your diet is terrible. Exercise breaks down the body so the demand for quality nutrients for repair and growth becomes significant. Everyone can stand to eat significantly less sugar and drink more water. So let's at least start to cut out the sugary drinks and replace them with water.
3. Not building the time into your schedule
Exercise needs to be scheduled just like going to the dentist, the doctor, or your hairstylist. The only difference being it needs to be scheduled multiple times per week instead of once every couple of months. Pick days and times that you know can always work for you. Don't just try to cram it in when you happen to have free time. It's is much easier to stick with going to the gym if the timing is always consistent.
4. Picking the wrong gym
This is one of the most under looked yet common reasons why people bail out right away. You need to feel really, really comfortable at your gym. You need to feel comfortable on the workout floor, in the cardio area, and the locker room. If you have kids you need to feel comfortable with the kids club and the people who work at the kids club. The front desk person should make you feel comfortable the second you walk in the door. If you feel uncomfortable and intimidated in any way you are in the wrong gym. Don't pick a gym because it is close to your house. Don't pick a gym based solely on price. Pick a gym that you really like so that you will want to keep going back there over and over again. When you are trying to decide on a gym buy some one week passes to a couple of different gyms. That way you can try it out and see how you feel at each one. Paying for one week passes at multiple gyms sure beats paying monthly fees for a single gym you never step foot in after those first few weeks.
5. Hiring the wrong fitness professional
Professional is not even the right word in ninety nine percent of cases. Most personal trainers are nothing but professional exercise observers. Or they are trying to get in touch with their inner drill sergeant. Neither of which is going to help you to maintain a long term exercise program. The human body is very complex and it becomes significantly more complex the second you begin to expose it to the types of forces that occur with resistance based exercise. This is not the time to go bargain shopping. Do that with toilet paper and cat litter at Costco. It's a much better investment to spend a hundred dollars a hour with someone who really knows what they are doing versus that same hundred for two hours with someone who doesn't. In order to get the best possible results you need a professional who truly understands exercise mechanics. You want someone who can provide a thorough assessment and is completely aware of your current exercise capabilities. You want someone who knows where to start with you and knows how to design and progress your program appropriately. You ideally need someone who has been educated via the Resistance Training Specialist program. (www.rts123.com) In almost every major city there is going to be trainers who have been exposed to the RTS program. Here is a list of the trainers who are certified mastery via RTS (http://www.resistancetrainingspecialist.com/roster.html ) If there is no one in your community reach out to me and I will help you find someone who has been educated via RTS.
I hope this list was helpful in some way. Exercise is an important part of human health. We all should be participating in it in some capacity. So avoiding these five mistakes should make that participation a little bit easier.
If you are in Austin, and you would like to work out at a private gym with a mastery specialist trainer with expertise in muscle and joint health, contact us at www.austinmusclerestoration.com.
Muscle Restoration Specialist