When talent is not enough: the 10 tenets to train regularly
It is the most classic of scenarios: you sign up a yearly subscription at your local gym, filled with of good intentions and trusting you’re going to rock it (often inspired by the resolutions of January or September). A year goes by, and you have donated your entire subscription to the gym, like an anonymous benefactor giving money to a charity (well, at least you’ve got another gym bag you can add to your collection).
The world of fitness is divided into two large hemispheres: on the one hand, there are hard-core fans, sometimes even accused of touching the fanaticism. These are the people that do not miss a training session, that at 40 years old want to look like 25 (and succeed). The same people that monitor their results constantly, who, at the first seasonal flu, wonder how they will survive five days without training. These people have grown up following the myths of Demi Moore, David Beckham and all those celebrities who have made their body moulded out of marble a trademark to exhibit decade after decade.
On the other side of the fence are instead the so-called gym novices. These can be further classified into an infinite number of micro-worlds, ranging from couch athletes to eternal dreamers who, if they don’t get immediate results, immediately give up. Gym novices are a plethora of people that say “not today, maybe tomorrow” to those that say “why bother with the gym”, hardened hedonists that train 5 minutes for every 20 minutes of break chat/social/WhatsApp. It is difficult to find a way out in this group. Yet many have tried.
Because you know: sport is good for you, our body needs to move, society requires us to be in shape at all ages and so on and so forth.
The 10 tenets to train regularly
In order to get out of the gym novice faction and start to train regularly, 10 tenets can come to our rescue, allowing each of us to free the athlete. These are not magic tricks, but effective strategies that could prevent a choir of angelic voices from singing at your next entrance to the gym, to finally make you train regularly.
1. Don't expect amazing results from the start
The first weeks of membership in the club are the most critical because our good motivation is likely to perish under the weight of fatigue and the illusion that with a couple of rides on the Skillbike our body will reach the levels of the fittest cyclists on earth or those of top male and female models.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that
Rather, we should begin to start our new fitness life abandoning the idea of having everything immediately, which is dangerous to both our self-esteem and our perception of reality. Results will surely come, but only with regular training and a lot of dedication. That is why it is important to set intermediate goals: a few kilos lost in the first few months, a reasonable load, proportionate to the capabilities that allow us to do our lifts properly … In short: your goals will be met, in time.
2. Choose a workout that suits you
It’s foolish to underestimate yourself and to think you’re not fit for the gym. There is always a sport that’s right for us, so put yourself to the test. Choose a discipline for which you feel you are suited: physical activity is like a dress that must fit you well, so that you can wear it easily and regularly. It’s useless to force yourself into a dress in which we are too tight or that does not represent us.
For instance a Boost class is extremely targeted for an audience wishing to do more cardio training in an engaging way, so they can finally have some fun while getting a toned body. A Brave class instead is geared to those who want to increase their muscle mass. These two are but an example to reiterate how it is important to focus on a goal and choose the training that most easily will help us to pursue it. There are many offers in the world of fitness, but it is important to know how to choose.
3. Rely on a good coach
Many group-training sessions, as well as most sports, are characterized by a key figure for our physical and motivational results: the coach. Let’s rely on his/her advice without fear of confessing our deepest fears and needs. A good coach will be able to listen to us, understand us and direct us, just like a mother bear would do with her cubs. In this way, it will be easier for us to take advantage of the coach’s advice and not to be entangled in the jungle of fitness.
4. Get a fitness partner: group training
Who better than those who sweat, work and train with us every time, to understand and support us in times when willpower falters? The fight against fitness is a battle that is sometimes difficult to win on our own. For this reason, having one or more allies at our side can be a winning strategy to train regularly, a psychophysical state slightly less spiritual than the nirvana of fitness.
Try to involve a friend or a nice colleague you register to your HIIT classes or opt for a group training that seems to be the new horizon in the field of sports-oriented results.
Getting to know new people, exchanging advice, opinions and goals is the best way to become attached to a community and consequently to a sport.
5. Choose the right clothing
The mirror will always be our worst judge. In this light, kick-starting our regular training with technical clothing in which we feel comfortable is not only the most elegant way to approach a discipline but also a stimulus to train regularly. Seeing ourselves in new clothes that we feel “ours” can motivate us not to waste all the good intentions after we’ve subscribed to the gym. Have we bought running or weightlifting shoes? Do they look cool? Well, let’s use them then!
6. Location, location, location
The location has never been a secondary factor. Running in Miami Beach between the palm trees and the sun is not like running through the fog of the darkest suburbs. That’s why it’s essential to find a place that reflects our needs, even when it comes to fitness clubs.
It can be a centre we know because people we know go there, a place where the staff is known for competence and affability or simply the one closest to home – at the end of the day, short distance wins over everything.
In short: whichever the club we choose, that is the place where we should sweat for the next few months; therefore, choose it carefully. Another important component of the setting is music. It doesn’t matter if you like AC/DC or Selena Gomez: no matter what your taste, music must give you the energy to tackle your training in the best possible way. Imagine how not engaging running on a silent treadmill could be, without the right background pumping in your eardrums!
7. Measure your workouts
More and more apps allow you to monitor your workouts (for example, the Skillathletic and mywellness apps). The important thing, however, is to remember that we are not all the same, so let’s focus on ourselves and not on the friend next to us, who may have a different metabolism from ours (most of the time better, but this is just another unnecessary detail that falls under the hashtag #lifeisnotfair). If our goal is to lose weight, let’s not weigh ourselves every day. It makes no sense and is very demotivating.
Let’s give ourselves some time
Results need to be consistent. That’s why it’s a good idea to wait at least a month between measurements: the percentages of lean and fat mass do not drop or rise as if they were the hormones of a teenager!
8. Take it slow and easy
Another evergreen scenario: as soon as you sign up at the gym, along with the subscription, you sign a tacit personal agreement that leads you to believe that from now on you will live a life free from gluttony: no more alcohol, no more junk food, no more smoking, only regular training and a Zen lifestyle. However, let’s be real: all this goodwill is bound to end during the first birthday or graduation party in your calendar.
Nutrition and good intentions are fundamental
Yet a good workout can’t work if you’re stuffed with junk food. It is also true that it is unlikely that we will immediately revolutionise all our old habits. Bad habits must be taken down one by one, but little by little and according to your own needs. In this way, sacrifices will be less difficult to endure. To strict diets, always prefer softer, but binding, dietary changes, which will allow you to maintain the new lifestyle in the long term.
9. Do not live training as a burden
The key to regular training is to do what we like. You cannot feel compelled to train, nor can you get stuck in a boring discipline for a long time. There are many worlds within fitness; it’s up to us to look for the one we like best!
10. Find your own tenet
We have said a half-truth in this article: for the commandments suggested by us are nine and not ten as initially claimed. The reason is simple. We are not all the same and we would like the tenth tenet to remain personal and discretionary to each of us.
Only once we know our needs in depth we can discover, along with these tips, what is the last ingredient that will make us train regularly. Maybe one day you will discover it by starting the Skillathletic adventure, collecting individual experiences from those who have been walking on the training parterre for a long time!
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