How to start exercising after it's been awhile
Does this sound like you? You’re all signed up for your new nutrition program. This cutie is gonna loose some weight and build some booty this year! A weeks worth of meals are prepped in the freezer and your next meal is ready to go! Check, check, checkin’ off the list! You’re feeling totally excited and in control. You got this! Next goal, EXERCISE!
Fast forward a minute. Congratulations! You actually made it to the gym and you're walking towards the entrance, looking all cool in your new workout outfit. You have your gym bag in hand, your jug is full of water, your airpods are fully charged and your spotify play list is ready to blast some death metal melodies, or maybe even Cher’s greatest hits. Hey now, we don’t judge, whatever sweetens your salty and gets you pumped, right? It’s been a while since you’ve
worked out, maybe even years, but no worries, you’re gonna give it hell!
This is the part, where if you were able to stand outside of own your body, and be your own friend, you’d high five yourself on the way in, but after your, “give it hell session,” you’re gonna want to stand outside of your body again and punch yourself in the face on the way out! No joke!
I decided to blog about this topic because you’ll never know how much I wanted to punch my own lights out last week! After a little holiday break from the gym, … ummm, okay let’s be honest here. My break actually included hunting season, and Thanksgiving week, Christmas, New Year’s… yeah, okay, cat’s out of the bag! I went on a gym binge break and I’m just gonna cut to the chase now and admit that I didn’t put a governor on myself during my first training week back! If you’re not familiar with what a governor is, it’s generally used by parents to slow down their daredevil kids. They put them on dirt bikes or motorized vehicles so your kid can burn tire rubber at a snails pace, basically buzz killing their speed demon capabilities. Yeah, I needed one of them!
Somehow, on my very last set, I pulled a muscle in my neck, bad enough that I couldn’t turn my head or lift my arm much. Handy when you’re trying to ignore the annoying person that's sitting to your left, but not so handy when your plan was to train all week! The thing is, I knew better! This wasn't my first rodeo, but apparently that didn’t stop me from getting ahead of myself.
This is just a whim, but surely there’s other people like me that come at life with barrels blazing, right? Hopefully, you can use this same advice that would have been helpful, had I listened to it,…. LAST WEEK!
Here are some tips from myself, and Matt Clary, our Rebel Genetics Nutrition and fitness training Guru. He a pretty motivated person AND, he doesn’t pull muscles often, like I did, lol!
so, WHERE DO YOU START?
1. HI DOC!
First things first, don’t start a training program unless you have the green light from your doc. Yeah, I know, redundant information, but seriously, if you’re in your silver or golden years, and you haven’t been to a doctor lately, this might be an especially great place to start.
2. FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
No doubt, sometimes it can be challenging to get the brain to convince the body, to actually get started. Especially if your muscles have been on vacation and are tight and weak. This doesn’t mean your brain muscle has to follow suit! Sometimes, as harsh as it sounds, we have to simply decide to NOT give ourselves a choice. Just start! Yes, you’ll be sore. Yes, you’ll be tired. But, remember, a snow ball starts out small and gets bigger and bigger as it rolls. As that icy globe continues rolling, it also gains momentum. It doesn’t matter if you roll it slowly, or send it downhill at an alarming pace. Just like you, as long as it’s rolling its gaining. Eventually, it can even turn into an avalanche! Well baby, now's the time to build that snowball! Soon enough, you’ll be energized, stronger, and motivated, without having to talk yourself into anything.
If you missed our last blog, Top 10 Ways to Create a Nutrition Resolution , Tip #10 talks about creating a positive attitude and how to self motivate yourself. So if you simply get nauseous at the thought of physical exertion, it's worth the read.
3. MAKE A COMMITMENT
I'm gonna do some throwing under the bus for a minute. Only to prove my point about commitment. Don't worry, it's for a good cause.
My brother, Nathan Sutti, owner of Kinematic Improvements, in Dallas, Texas, is an amazing and well respected practitioner of prosthetics, who was born with a heart defect and is also an amputee. He's probably one of the most inspiring people you can ever meet and he knows the importance of motivation and staying healthy. His goal this year is to become even more disciplined in regards to his health and fitness. He's done so much for me in the past and we really didn't want to charge him for a nutrition plan, but he insisted that if he didn't pay, he wouldn't hold himself accountable or be as commited. He continued to explain that when he invests his hard earned money in something, he's more likely to stick to it. A light bulb went off and I swallowed hard, feeling a bit guilty at the thought of taking his money, but fully understanding his position. We had heard this point of view many times already. It's actually quite common, and in most cases it's the truth.
Hold on now, before you let any of those tail feathers get ruffled in a bunch. If you're thinking that you can get some really great information without spending a dime, you'd be absolutely correct. There's lot's of great information out there to propel you along for free, and that's a great thing. Definitely take advantage of that. The point I'm trying to make is sometimes when you know that you're spending hard earned money by investing in knowledge, memberships, equipment, nutrition, or anything else that directly helps you reach your goals, you suddenly become more motivated to be more accountable.
The best advice we can give is to gather as much information as you can and invest wisely. Spend when it will motivate you and help you to further your health journey. There's multiple ways to do this. Invest by joining a gym, or purchasing some home gym equipment. Visit a local nutritionist or purchase an online plan. Our advice isn't to break the bank. Investing in something as simple as resistance bands can go a long way. Stay within your budget but make your health a priority.
4. PUT A GOVERNOR ON YOURSELF AND FOLLOW THE 50-75-100 RULE!
Whether you’ve taken a decent break, or haven’t worked out a day in your life, this rule applies!
For your first week, resist the urge to take classes, unless it’s a class like beginning water aerobics. You need to wake those bones and muscles up before attempting to win the race. Weight training is a great place to start, BUT, and that's a BIG BUT, set your governor to 50% This is 50% of what you think you can do. In other words, if you haven’t worked out in a very long time, you shouldn’t be silently praying for your set to be over. It shouldn’t be crazy easy, but it shouldn’t be hard either. Make sure you remember to rest between sets. Stick to 3-4 sets max when weight lifting, and keep cardio at a minimum. Even if you think you can do more, DON’T! On day two, and especially three, when you begin to hear those muscles using their outside voices, you’ll be grateful you didn’t push it more than you did.
Week #2 INCREASE TO 75%
Now you can increase training to about 75%! But, don’t forget to start light to warm up those muscles and avoid straining! You should feel better this week. You’re starting to build muscle and get into the swing of things. You should be feeling more motivated too, because you’re starting to see and feel the benefits.
Turn it up to 100%
Now you can release that beast that's been dying to get out since the beginning! You should be at 100% of what your body is capable of doing now, so you can start to push yourself and advance every week from here on out. As a goal, try to hit weight training PR’s every time you work a muscle group. That is, if you have a good training program and a great nutrition plan to support it. We always recommend weight training, and cardio in moderation for the best results, but if you’re dying to take up hot yoga, spinning, or pole dancing, go for it!
If you can remember the 50-75-100 rule, you’ll be ahead of the game. It’s way better than having to wait until your rubber necker muscles heal, only to start over at 50% again! Happy training everyone!