Getting regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy and keeping fit. However, it isn’t always easy to take those first few steps into a health and exercise journey; it can be daunting to get started in the gym with a normal exercise routine. Whether it’s a struggle with body image, gym anxiety, or it just seems like the end goal is too far out of reach, overcoming these mental obstacles is a bit easier when you can start on the path with a plan in mind.
Whether you want to pack on some muscle mass and grow your booty with the Bulgarian split squat, or you want to take off a few inches and lose some weight by focusing on burning fat, this guide will help you develop a healthy relationship with exercise as you get started in the gym.
Table of Contents
1. Develop a Routine
One of the major hurdles that many people struggle with when getting started with a gym habit is scheduling the workout session. Individuals struggle with this in a number of ways, and each of them makes it difficult to effectively establish an actual workout routine.
For instance, some people will start off by going to the gym at a random time during the day that seems to fit their schedule at the moment. This very quickly, though, becomes too chaotic to track and is vulnerable to inconsistency.
Instead of just trying to “fit in a workout whenever,” it’s much more effective to dedicate a certain time of day to going to the gym and getting your exercise in. This way, your brain and body will adapt to the exercise schedule, and it will eventually feel like a normal part of your day.
Some people enjoy waking up early for their workouts, while others prefer to hit the gym right after they get off of work. Find a time of day that works for you and your schedule, and try to be as consistent as possible. Keep in mind, though, that you can adjust your weekly workout schedule as needed. Some find that three heavy-duty workouts per week are enough for them and their goals, while others prefer to work out five days per week while taking things a little bit lighter during each individual session.
Finding an exercise routine that works for you personally is essential to keeping consistent.
2. Ease Yourself In
When you’re first getting started with a gym routine, it’s important to recognize that the journey to health and strength is a marathon, not a sprint. As such, you don’t have to jump into the deep end when it comes to lifting weights. In fact, if you rush and try to do too much too fast, you’ll likely end up hurting yourself, or at the very least, burning yourself out. Instead, focus on a sustainable introduction and integration of exercise and weight-lifting into your regular weekly routine.
This means taking the time to research the lifts and focus on your form before focusing on lifting extremely heavy weights. It also means understanding your own personal goals and doing the research to understand how best to reach them.
If you’re focused on building muscle mass, you’re going to want to lift heavier weights, add protein into your diet, and minimize cardio. On the flip side, if you want to lose weight, you’re going to focus on fat-burning lifts and will benefit from more cardiovascular exercise in general.
No matter what your goals are, easing yourself into the exercise routine, learning proper form, and building up to those 300-pound deadlifts is how you’ll develop a healthy and long-lasting relationship with exercise and the gym.
3. Focus on Incremental Progress
In the same way that you’re going to want to ease yourself into your gym routine, you’ll also want to focus on incremental progress. This is important in many areas of life, specifically when it comes to health and wellness goals.
While you can have an ultimate end goal in mind, it will quickly become discouraging if that end goal is potentially years away. Rather, even with an ultimate end goal, set more realistic and immediately-obtainable goals to work toward as well. This will help keep you motivated and allow you to celebrate the progress as you make it.
4. The Role of Nutrition
While exercise is important, there is no doubting the role that nutrition plays in our overall health and wellness. Without the proper nutrition and the appropriate calorie intake for your goals, you won’t see the results that you’re hoping for.
If you want to add muscle mass to your arms, shoulders, chest, back, booty, legs, or anywhere else, you need to be consuming more calories than you’re burning. You should also prioritize consuming clean calories, which will help you build lean muscle mass and true strength.
Health and wellness are important for us all, and getting a regular amount of exercise is crucial in that pursuit. Getting started in the gym is never an easy feat, but with a little bit of planning, some dedication, and a whole lot of self-love, you’ll fall into a gym routine that makes sense for you, your fitness goals, and your lifestyle. Good luck, and go get your sweat on!