In the beginning
Part 1: mindset
You’ve got your new workout shoes, under armor shirt and shorts, time to hit the gym and push it till your wheels fall off!! And, if you hit it like a sugar induced toddler the wheels will fall off. It’s time to start a training program. The first steps you take will greatly influence the chance of you sticking to the program or giving up. We all have to start somewhere, and the right actions will set you off right. And the first step to a successful start, is mindset. Your mind is what will keep you in the game and it’s also what can take you out.
Where a lot of dads go wrong, is they hit the gym incredibly hard. They’ve been inactive or not as active for years and want to make up for that inaction in a few days. After that spark of uncontrollable energy their bodies push back. The body’s “alarm” system kicks in to remind you what your doing is not the norm. Your body wants to stay in the “norm”, or homeostasis, your body likes it here. Now, if your homeostasis is a sedentary lifestyle you want to “shock” your body to a new level of homeostasis, the right way. Just like your life with kids you need to adapt. The alarm reaction is normal and if you do it right your next phase is muscular development. If you do it wrong or over do it you’ll hit the exhaustion/injury phase which will drop you back to square one.
I have briefly described to you the general adaption syndrome, it’s how our bodies adapt to resistance training and/or conditioning . The alarm and development phase is what we want, the exhaustion/ injury phase, not so much. With this said we have to understand that progress comes with time. If you’ve spent the last 10 years adapting your body to a sedentary lifestyle, don’t expect to force your body to adapt to your new activity level in a few days. Which is why if you ever hear of a 4,6, or 8 week program that promises crazy results, they are just trying to sell you a non existent short cut. Our bodies don’t quite work that way. Not saying you won’t see results, just not like the ones they show on the before and after photos. We have to be realistic in our expectations and if our result is as easy as feeling better, than we are ahead of the game.
How do we develop a bullet proof mindset? A mindset that will keep us in the game, keep us taking action and moving forward. Face it, if you hate excercise your going to still hate it after you start a program, you might even hate it more. And, no doctor in the world will convince you to love excercise. It comes down to the reason you want to improve your fitness or maintain your fitness. It’s about your “why”. Why do you want to take action. Everyone has their “why”, whether it’s to be able to play with your kids, going on that backpacking trip or living a healthier life. Solidify your “why”, make it your reason to move and keep moving. Remember, no matter how slow your moving, your still going faster than the guy sitting on the coach.
In the next few articles I’ll go over specific programming to get the best out of your first workouts when working on the stabilization of your body. When you look at why so many people give up on fitness programs you find the most common reason is mindset. Your dedication to this new endeavor is key. When your ready to take action nothing keeps you from taking that action, when your not ready for action, you’ll find any reason to postpone action.