Well, you finally went and did it this time, didn’t you? You decided to give your couch a break, plunk down some cash, and get yourself into the gym. This time it’s going to be different. This time you won’t crumble after 3 weeks. This time you’re going to shut that smug little voice in the back of your head up. Well, congrats, because if you’re reading this then you picked the right gym this time.
My name is Mark and for the next few minutes I’ll be your fellow client/success coach tasked with getting you through the first couple weeks at AFS. You’ve got some questions- that’s perfectly normal- I’ll do my best to answer them.
I know what you’re thinking…”how the heck can I be sure this is the right place for me?” The first thing you need to know is that I’m not a trainer, I don’t work out for a living, and no one in my life has ever come to me for fitness tips. I’m an AFS client too. I was sitting in your seat a handful of months ago with the same optimism you have right now (but probably with more self-loathing). I sat down at Devin’s desk and told him my workout philosophy: “I hate working out- it’s boring and I just don’t enjoy it.” Months later I’m still dragging myself out of bed for early morning classes. (It should also be noted that I am NOT a morning person.)
I told you that bit to tell you this- If I can find success working out at AFS, then ANYONE can. I know too many people say that these days, but never has it been more true than here.
Push It Real Good
This is the heads up I wish someone had given me when I started going to AFS classes- you’re gonna be sore at first. Maybe even really sore. I remember planning my days after my first couple classes around avoiding encounters with stairs. I would grab all of the stuff I needed for the day before I went downstairs because I was NOT going to make any more trips up the stairs than absolutely necessary.
Quit groaning at your screen- yes, the first few days are tough, but it’s supposed to burn. You’re using muscles you probably haven’t used in years. The good news is that if you stay consistent it’ll stop hurting. After your third or fourth class your body gets more accustomed to the exercise and you can stop avoiding toilets and low chairs 😉 .
A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish
Stop me when this sounds familiar. Last night you decided you were going to get up early, hit the gym hard, and start the day like a champion. Now 5:00am has rolled around and you can’t hit the snooze button hard enough to make the dread of working out at this ridiculous hour go away. Twenty six snoozes later and forget about the gym, you’re late for work. No problem because your evening is open so you can get a good sweat in at the gym on your way home from the office.
Unfortunately the world doesn’t agree with your plan and work goes: crazy e-mail, stupid e-mail, waste-of-time-meeting, weird e-mail, three conference calls you didn’t need to be on, “urgent” e-mail, and now Dave in IT decides he doesn’t feel like doing his job and the system is down. Now you have to stay until 6:45 to enter orders that should have been done four hours ago. 696 is backed up, because it’s always backed up, and who knows what 275 is going to look like. 55 minutes later- WHO’S READY TO GO TO THE GYM?!?
We both know this story ends with drive-thru food, maybe a glass of wine, bad TV, and regret. A few more attempts like this and your gym membership can’t get cancelled quick enough.
Here’s something weird that I finally found out about getting in better shape, and it has nothing to do with working out. Success mostly depends on scheduling.
We all have times that we feel better than others. Some (crazy) people actually like getting up early, some are hitting their stride at 11:00am, others are invigorated right after church. My point is that the key is scheduling your classes at times when you feel motivated, not when you will “give yourself a break.”
I try and get to early morning AFS classes. I HATE waking up before the sun, but I know that there’s no way I want to work out after I leave the office. It works for me. Find what works for you.
When I say schedule workouts, I really mean it. You need to make them non-negotiable times in your week. Put them in your phone calendar, write sticky notes, whatever. You are working out then and missing them is just not an option.
Rocky Wasn’t Built in a Day
Losing weight and getting in shape is great, I’m glad you’re serious about doing it- but please don’t hurt yourself. This is new to your body so make sure you do it carefully. These three things will help:
Stretch – Jumping right in and doing squats or resistance push ups isn’t doing your body any favors. AFS classes always begin with a dynamic warm-up and end with a stretch. Do your best to make it on time so you don’t miss out on this important component of your workout! If you’re looking for extra stretching you can do at home just ask your practitioner!
Take it easy – You’re going to do great. Once you get the hang of classes you’ll be getting better and better at all of the stations. Don’t try and be a superstar right out of the gate though. A few less reps per exercise with the right form and pace is better than doing extra reps wrong and risking an injury.
Ask questions – AFS is excellent for many reasons, one of the biggest is the fitness professionals that teach each class. These people know how, when, and why you are supposed to bend your knees more or use your back instead of your shoulders. Let them show you how to do things right. If you have a sore ankle they can also show you how to modify moves to work around that and get the most out of the class. Ask!
How are you feeling now? Good- you look like you’re ready to get into the gym and kick some a#$. To stay motivated, just think about three months from now. If you decided instead not to do the work and keep putting it off, just think about how pissed you’d be when you realized how much better you could be feeling and all the heads you’d be turning had you started right now.
Let your friends and family know what you’re doing too. By putting your goals out in public it’s harder to quit when people know that you’re trying to accomplish something. Even better is that it’s really encouraging when people ask about your progress- it feels great to say this working out thing is going well and that you’re seeing results.
Just remember to embrace the burn, schedule right, and keep an eye on your form. See you around the gym.
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