If I was to think about everyone that I've ever spoken to in the gym that has just started their journey to health and fitness I reckon over 90% of them are at risk of overdoing it to start with. What do I mean and how do I think things could be done differently? Read on to find out!
I think it's fantastic that once the decision has been made to improve health and fitness people go all out. What a great show of commitment and passion to change. I believe it's linked to our current culture where we want everything yesterday and are pretty impatient to wait for things. In my opinion though there's just a few things that could go wrong with this way of introducing yourself to training and I think there could be a few different things to do to help get the best results.
Firstly I think going all out to begin with is a recipe for injury. If you've been relatively sedentary for any great period of time your body is going to be stiff, unbalanced and likely have certain areas that are vulnerable (usually your joints). Going from nothing to 4-6 workouts a week is going to take its toll and put more and more pressure on these weaker areas. Eventually they're going to give way and mean you're back to square one.
Secondly if you go all out to begin with you're more likely to burn out. What I mean by this is eventually the toll of the extra stress and pressure you're putting on your body could become too much after a few weeks an you'll just feel like quitting.
The last thing I think could happen is getting bored. If you've not got a lot of experience working out then you'll likely be quite repetitive in your workout. Eventually you could get bored and again lose your enthusiasm for the gym.
So what can be done to help improve your chances of success?
Firstly I'd say that although it's admirable to go all out to start with I think it's better to ease yourself into it. Start by going a couple of times a week and taking it relatively steady. When that feels ok it's time to turn it up. Add another session and increase the intensity. Once that feels ok up the intensity / session numbers again. Doing this helps your body ease into the new lifestyle, giving it a chance to keep up.
Secondly I would advise you to do some research. Speak to personal trainers or health and fitness coaches in your gym. You don't have to hire them but most will give some quick advice. The conventional way of working out isn't the best in terms of looking after your whole body and these people will be able to help you be more effective with your time.
Lastly I would advise to hire a trainer or coach. If you can afford it even for just a month then I would suggest you speak to me about a bit of tuition. Hiring some health and fitness coaches isn't just about getting a workout. Some of us will teach you as we go. We teach you how to plan your own sessions and look after your body so you can keep going. Couple this with advice on lifestyle rather the just focusing on gym work and you'll be arming yourself with the best tools to help your success.
So to summarise - don't overdo it to begging with, get advice or work with a trainer or coach to begin with and your chances of success and sticking with it will increase exponentially!