When people ask me how to start working out for the first time, I know it’s because people get overwhelmed in the details. I get that, because while I don’t have a problem with fitness, I do have a problem with business. I crashed and burned my gym business at one point in time, even though everything was going well, and then I got overwhelmed and I didn’t know what to do.
So to answer the question about how to start working out for the first time, I must tell you how to prioritize. This means, what is the 80/20 of it. What 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort.
When I see someone has a problem with one thing, I try to relate it. You have a problem with this. I had a problem with that. What’s the overriding principle that helps people cut through the crap on a variety of subjects. It’s focusing on big ideas. So fitness I do not have a problem with, so I’ll help you with that. You got to take the biggest thing, and I think one of the biggest things, right at the top, is so simple that you don’t even have to actually do anything, and that’s sleep.
How To Begin Working Out For The First Time: Step 1
First, forget about cutting out your junk foods or anything like that, or getting started right away on an exercise plan. Why don’t you first make sure that you’re not stressed out and that you’re getting proper sleep, because your body can’t function without that. So that’d be a number one sort of thing.
Personally, my mobility work is bad. So I know mobility work is the number one thing I have to get done every day, even if I don’t get a workout in. I have to get in the squat position, and I have to do some twisting and moving because for me, a priority is to not hurt so that I’ll want to work out. Doing something like this every day, if I at least get that accomplished, I know I’m moving long-term to where I want to be.
Now for you, perhaps your first thing is to get some sleep. If you’re getting only five to six hours of sleep, fix that before you move onto eliminating chocolate bars. None of your body systems are working properly if you are sleep deprived. This makes you unmotivated to work out.
How To Begin Working Out For The First Time: Step 2
After sleep, I would move on to diet and eliminate the biggest dietary problem for you. These are saturated fats and simple sugars. These areas are confusing for people. “What foods have saturated fats? Can I eat carbs? What is the difference between carbs and sugars?”
It’s easy. Start cutting back on anything that comes in a wrapper. This eliminates things like chips, pop, chocolate bars, pre-packaged meals, all those sorts of things. You know that those foods aren’t the sort of things you want to be steering towards. So learn how to make one good thing that doesn’t come in a wrapper, and put that in your pocket and use that, build on that.
So you have two big steps here. That is get a good amount of sleep, and that can be whatever for you, because some people work better on different amounts. Generally speaking, eight hours. Not always practical. So me personally, it’s between six and eight. Eight on the weekends maybe, if I’m lucky, and usually six during the week. I think seven is great. So put that in your pocket, that’s the sleep factor. That makes sure everything works right.
Next, slowly get rid of your packaged foods. You know, if it tastes really good, and it’s salty or it’s sweet, it probably shouldn’t be in there. Those are the two big cornerstones.
How To Begin Working Out For The First Time: Step 3
After sleep and junk food, you’re looking at exercise. So just top tier stuff here all the way across. The thing with exercise is there’s this mentality that you have to go hard, and you need to have these crushing workouts and all that.
My belief is to get rid of the things that cause the aches and pains in your body. They are signals that something is out of balance. So if you have knee pain, you’re not going to feel like doing cardio or all the big exercises like squats and deadlifts if you’re a lower deadlifter, and lunges. All these big exercises that are really productive. But you’re not going to want to do any of that if it causes you pain every time.
So for someone like that, you step back and you go, “Well, how do I start to get rid of this knee pain?” Diet, hydration, and regular movement fixes a lot of bodily problems. So something simple like yoga, very easy. Don’t go for a super fast flow or anything like that. Find a very easy yoga class, or even get yourself a DVD. I have several I could tell you about, I just don’t have them in front of me. But you can watch them anywhere, you can even download them to your laptop, take them with you or put them on your phone so that you can get them anywhere.
A rested, well fed, pain free body craves physical activity. You’ll naturally feel like taking a short 20 foot jog. Your walking pace will pick up, you’ll want to do some cardio, you’ll want to start experimenting with the weight training and those kinds of things.
So you need to get into it, like a rolling effect. Keep gathering momentum, don’t try to do it all at once. Don’t worry when you see fitness experts and stuff flashing their abs and telling you to make these cataclysmic changes to your lifestyle. You don’t need to do that. You’re going to be here until the day you die, so there’s really no rush.
Just keep chinking away at it and you’ll see the habits start to build on each other. It’ll make the process enjoyable as opposed to something that you jump into like cold water, and you get the shock and you want to get out as quick as possible. Slowly turn that dial until it becomes something that you’re comfortable with and you’ll want to do every day because the feedback you get from it.
When that starts to happen, when your body moves the way you want it to, and when you feel good, and you’re using the bathroom regularly and all those sorts of things, when that starts happening you’re going to want to keep doing the right things because the feedback you’re getting from it is worth so much more than any sort of discipline that you have to show to get it.
So sleep, start eliminating the packaged foods, and start moving with something you enjoy. Moving can be walking, yoga or whatever. Progressively get your joints and everything working better and feeling better so that you feel good, and you’ll slowly start to ramp up out of choice and not out of wicked amounts of self-discipline and willpower.
SELF-DISCIPLINE AND WILLPOWER WILL FAIL YOU IF YOU DON’T START SEEING RESULTS.
I hope this answers your question of how to start working out for the first time.
Oh, if you like what I’m doing here, let me know. Give me some kind of feedback and ask me questions below.
P.S. Here’s The First Part Of This Article: How To Start Working Out
This article is from the book “How To Start Working Out” by Raymond Burton which you can purchase on Amazon right here.
In the next article on how to start working out, we’ll cover sets and reps and exercise selection.