Getting started -- and staying committed -- to a fitness routine

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 12:05 AM GMT
    I joined RJ a long time ago as I was starting to build an exercise routine. I went lifting a few times a week (and running on the off days) -- but after a few weeks of being diligent, I started to slip. Over the next few months, I petered out altogether. I was never much of an athlete growing up, and so I reverted to my old (lazy) ways.

    Next week I move to a new apartment (a studio with no roommate!) and I think this transition is a good time to start working toward some new goals. I'd like to slowly build up an exercise routine -- and stick to it... but I need some help from you guys!

    1. What would you suggest for a first-timer who, while not unhealthy, is not really fit? I'd ultimately like to gain muscle, but I have a crazy metabolism that makes weight gain very difficult. That said, I think it makes sense to first focus on developing a "baseline" level of fitness, including aerobic fitness. At the moment, I couldn't run to save my life.

    2. What are your tips to staying on-track and keeping motivated?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Apr 27, 2014 12:17 AM GMT
    I would start by working out every day, even if it's just a for few minutes between brushing your teeth and going to bed. If you force yourself to do it every single day, without exception, then it will hopefully become a habit. Then you can develop a routine over time that's easy to stick to and easy to get back to if you fall off the wagon.
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    Apr 27, 2014 12:24 AM GMT
    Find a few things you enjoy doing to so you do stick to it. Example: I like swimming so therefore I stick to doing it.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Apr 27, 2014 12:53 AM GMT
    I'd start out working out three days a week..Focus more on lifting, less on cardio. Motivation, It has to come from within. If you want a more muscular body, you'll do those things that will get you there. If it's all talk, progress will never take place.Simple as that...Good Luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    when i first started i always make sure I bring my gym clothes. and I also have planning because I want to make sure I have at least an hour and a half to workout. And I workout every other day. (either mon/wed/fri or tu/th/sat) By planning ahead, I can make sure that I have time to workout and do other things like waking early, studying, etc.

    as for staying motivated, sometimes it includes telling myself that
    1) "I went to the gym today even though my mind feels like it's too cold/lazy to go"
    2) "I wasn't distracted by workout and I did all my needed sets in the allotted time I give myself to do" or "I finished all my sets and did a little something extra (for fun)!"
    3) "I moved up higher weights gradually and I feel like im getting stronger"

    lastly, im those skinny people who is very hard to gain weight, let alone muscles. But I find that after I have a good workout, I can eat a bit more~ This might be a mini motivation to keep workout consistent i guess.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 27, 2014 2:30 AM GMT
    HottJoe saidI would start by working out every day, even if it's just a for few minutes between brushing your teeth and going to bed. If you force yourself to do it every single day, without exception, then it will hopefully become a habit. Then you can develop a routine over time that's easy to stick to and easy to get back to if you fall off the wagon.


    Well said by Joe... and I'd add a couple of other things...

    One, try and develop friendships with guys who, like you, are trying to make a change with regard to fitness .. a lifestyle change. Having peers to help you stay on track means MUCH, even if you work out by yourself. Having that bud to ask if you have done what is required does help. I use it for other things, not just fitness.

    Two, notice how you look now, even take pics, the "before" approach... and notice how you change.
    Sometimes, it can be an amazing result. Even if not, you will feel better and have a sense of accomplishment.
    I was in your position at one time, then I started having lower back problems from horseback riding without a saddle when I was young. The answer was fitness.
    What I didn't realize was, what was going to happen.
    Sometimes I really can't believe the progress and what I look like!

    Three, Embody it! LIVE IT! Make your fitness goals a
    part of your everyday life. Talk about it... you will
    no doubt.. be successful!
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 27, 2014 2:46 AM GMT
    Cut out the aerobics.

    Staying on track ?
    --Choose 3 days that you can get to the gym, and, unless you're injured or seriously ill, get there.
    --Choose the exercises you want to do, and do them each workout day.
    --After 6 months, go 4 days a week, exercising half your muscles on Monday, and again on Thursday, and the other half on Tuesday/Friday.

    Do sit ups before your workouts, each workout day.

    Are you doing the exercises correctly ?
    Do a little research, on line, to find out.

    Motivation ?
    You've gotta want the body badly enough to do the work, and to make working out a regular part of your life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 4:19 AM GMT
    Become obsessed with your body and ways that you can make it better. Listen to you body and know what and where you need to focus. Find alot of different exercises that you can mix up from week to week. Working out without diversity can get old and monotonous. Here is a link to a site that over a thousand different exercises for all bodyparts.

    http://www.jefit.com/exercises/

    and as someone else pointed out.. less cardio and more resistance training is the only to gain muscle size. A 3 set 12 rep routine is a good place to start. You can eventually add in drop sets, supersets and burnout sets. and as I said early, mixing things is the best way to not get burnt out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:10 PM GMT
    The value of an iPod and some great music cannot be overestimated. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:12 PM GMT
    Here are a couple suggestions to consider that might help you get started and remain motivated:

    If you can afford it, find (a) personal trainer(s) you like, set a regular schedule with him, her or them and show up for those expensive sessions. You'll be paying whether you show up or not. He, she or they will help you reach your goals, whatever they is. You are less likely to be injured, and you won't be repeating the same workout day after day. Repeating the same training day after day is not only boring. It's counter productive.


    Find a sport you'd like to do. Learn how to do it. This will take time and training and give you a reason for becoming fit.... besides improving your chances of getting laid. It's likely to to hold your interest longer than focusing exclusively on your own body image.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:54 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidMotivation ?
    You've gotta want the body badly enough to do the work, and to make working out a regular part of your life.

    This is VERY true! Also, finding a time during the day that really works for YOU is paramount! Before work, after work, mid day, a time that you can be consistent with.
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:56 PM GMT
    field123 saidThe value of an iPod and some great music cannot be overestimated. icon_wink.gif


    One of my rowing buddies did his undergrad thesis in psychology on music and erging (indoor rowing on a machine). He found mixing up music helped keep people focused. The only music that didn't enhance training was heavy metal music which drove people to be withdrawn anti-social and uninspired to do anything.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    I know (from reading around and from your comments) that too much cardio can be counter-productive to weight gain. But like I said, I think it make sense to work toward a baseline level of general fitness, before trying to embark on a more deliberate weight lifting regime.

    To that end -- I went running today, for the first time in far too long. When I say "running," I mean that I alternated between walking and running (probably 50:50) for about 30 min. It wasn't easy but it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be either. I have a friend who is going to start training for a 5K, and depending on his current level, we might run together... if I can get over the initial hump of "oh god, I'm going to vomit."
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    Apr 28, 2014 5:52 AM GMT
    You know what's honestly worked the best for me and keeps me coming back to the gym? Simply going to the gym with no expectations; just go to have fun - I feel no pressure, have a great time, it allows my body to lift what it can lift that day, and it just feels like a regular part of my week.