Ready to start working out and actually stick with it, if you’ve never really done it before OR if you took a long break? I’m sharing tips for how to get started and stay committed.

Ready to start working out and actually stick with it | Burpees for Breakfast

How to Start Working Out and Stick with It

One of the biggest goals or resolutions for January is starting a fitness plan. Whether you are starting for the very first time, getting back into a program after some time away, or just switching up your current plan, January usually signals change. It’s AWESOME that people want to start working out and have goals for the new year. However, alot of people quit on their goal after a couple months, weeks or even days. I’ve been there – I know that feeling all too well.

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Setting goals is sometimes the easiest part, right. It’s actually working to meet those goals that’s challenge. Meeting the goal requires a level of hard work and dedication, a level some people don’t realize until they’ve started. So, what are some reasons people start working out, but can’t stick with it?

  • Goal is too lofty: Setting big goals is great, but is your goal too big for the time frame in which you want to meet that goal? Is the goal too lofty in relation to your current lifestyle? Your goal has to be specific, realistic and timely.
  • Starting big, rather than small: Want to lift heavier weight in the gym? That’s awesome. Do it. But it’s not like you can go to the gym one day and magically be able to lift x number of pounds. You start small and work toward the big goal. Setting SMART goals is the way to go.
  • Don’t enjoy the workout: I like heavy lifting, yoga, HIIT workouts and the occasional run. Some people might not know how to meet a fitness goal and just choose the type of fitness they know – running is a common example. If you don’t enjoy your fitness routine, it’s alot easier to just stop doing it.
  • Goal is not inline with your purpose: Let’s go back to the running example: If my goal was to increase my running mileage for the year or run a marathon, it would make sense that I would include more running in my workouts. If my goal is to lift heavier weight or progress my yoga practice, running miles a day just wouldn’t make sense. The goal has to be in line with the purpose.
  • Lack of quick results: If you start a fitness routine, you will likely be sore the first few days. After a couple of weeks, you might feel more comfortable, less sore. By the first month, you personally, should start seeing results. If it were as easy enough to start working out and see progress on the first day, everyone would be doing it. That’s not the case. If you want to see results, you put in the work. It’s not negotiable. Results take time, hard work and dedication. If you can’t put that in, then get a different goal.
  • Overwhelm: Where do you even start? There are so many forms of fitness out there, so many classes, programs, YouTube videos, articles and more. It can be so overwhelming to know where to start.

How to Start Working Out

Just start moving

This is what I told my Beta Testers last week and it’s what I’m going to tell you: Just Move. Your movement does not have to be some fancy schmancy workout, where you need tons of equipment and a cute outfit to go along. When I was growing up, my mom started walking just a mile a day with a friend. She slowly built up to something like 6 miles a day, at a pretty quick pace. She ate healthy and started losing weight. She started with something as simple as walking a mile a day, which means, you can too! Don’t wait to find that perfect program, just start moving, while you are looking. Take action.

If you are just starting a fitness plan, i.e. you’ve never workout out before:

  • Start walking and moving more throughout the day. If you work a desk job, schedule mini walk breaks throughout the day. Take the stairs, go to the bathroom that is farthest way, park farther way. Take a walk before you leave in the morning or when you get home at night. Just start walking. If you are ready to get into the gym, treadmill or elliptical are okay for getting in extra steps, but don’t be on it for more then 20 minutes. Do intervals where you push hard for a minute, then walk for a minute. Incorporate bodyweight exercises before or after your time on the cardio machine. Squats, lunges, push-ups, a pulling exercise and a twisting core move are all more than enough to get started. * be sure to look into proper form for each exercise.

If you’ve worked out before, but you took some time off:

  • Perhaps start with the program you did before you took a break. Ease yourself back into it, depending on how long the break was. Maybe you want to try a new form of fitness: join a barre class, join a crossfit gym, take a new class to your gym. Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics and do bodyweight workouts. I don’t think we give bodyweight enough credit, but you can get really strong!

Set SMART Goals

A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish. Can I get a ‘oh yeah, you right!’?! I can say that my goal is to do 30 push-ups, but if I have no plan for how to work on those 30 push-ups…then it’s not likely I’m going to be able to do them.

Related:  4 Tips for Goal Setting & Finishing a 2,000 Piece Puzzle

SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. create behavior goalsAll these components work together to help you achieve your goal. Let’s enhance that push-up goal: My goal is 30 unbroken push-ups in 4 weeks. This goal has all the components. Take it one step further and , like…by incorporating push-ups in 3 workouts per week; completing as many unbroken reps as possible and add 1 – 2 additional reps each workout.

If you are just starting a fitness plan, i.e. you’ve never workout out before:

  • Grab a pen and paper. Take a few minutes to REALLY think through your fitness goals. Do they make sense? Are they SMART goals? If not, how can you make them SMART? Don’t be afraid to ask for help here. My Beta Testers have been sharing their goals for the past couple of days. Some people struggle to create a SMART goal and need to chat with someone that can say – Yes, you are on the right track. Or, no, dream bigger darlin’.

If you’ve worked out before, but you took some time off: same thing!

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Start are your current fitness level & Find a plan that’s right for you

I didn’t wake up one day being able to do all the burpees or deadlift 200#. Just like you might not be able to do burpees or a pull-up or lift heavy weight, if you haven’t had those moves in your fitness plan before. In order to be able to do the moves I currenly do, I work for them. I started small and slow, working my way up.  If you are just getting into a fitness routine or even coming back after some time off, you likely are not at the same fitness level as the person walking next to you on the treadmill or your co-worker. It’s not to say that you can’t workout with people at a different level than you, but it’s important to scale workouts to fit your level. When I work out with The Hubs, do I do the 225# for my deadlift warm up, or 90# for my dumbbell bench press. Heck no! And sometimes, I don’t even do the same moves. I’ll sub out push-ups for bench press to work on form and do the movements at a weight that challenges ME! Start at your fitness level and work up. It’s all about progressing.

If you are just starting a fitness plan, i.e. you’ve never workout out before

  • Start bodyweight and work your basic, foundational movements (squat, lunge, push-up, pull, twist, hip hinge). Add a small amount of cardio intervals. Maybe your starting workout is only 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Keep track of it and progress.
  • If you are looking for a workout program, look for one that fits your current level. Unless you are doing a free plan, ask the trainer questions. Let them know your current fitness level and determine if the program is right for you, at your current level.

If you’ve worked out before, but you took some time off:

  • Take stock of how your body feels. Do you feel like you can jump in where you left off? Maybe you need a week or two of basics to get your body into the swing of moving. After that assess where you are at, then move from there.

Related: 5 Workouts for Every Fitness Level

A quick note on this: I see this alot, specifically in group fitness classes: people like to do the move that is demonstrated, when they should really be regressing a move. PUSH-UPS are a common example – butt can be up in the air or butt sags. Rather than do push-ups on the floor with bad form, get on an elevation and work your way down. I recently posted on Instagram a video of myself doing SOLID chest to the ground push-ups. Here’s the think, On Nov 1, I started doing push-ups on an incline (I used an aerobic step with 7 – 8 stackers). Each week, I did 40 – 60 push-ups, for at least 3 workouts a week. Each week, I took away a step until I was doing push-ups on the ground.

Read this: if you want to be good at a move, you MUST start with the basics. DO NOT be afraid to regress. You have proof that trainers do it! Safety first, all the freaking time, friends. 

How to Stick with It

It’s all about your mindset. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m on this mindset kick. Y’all, it’s just crazy how much of a roll it plays in everything, especially fitness. My Beta testers are thinking through some negative self-talk and limiting beliefs that might hinder their progress for meeting goals. First up, being able to recognize limiting beliefs and negative self-talk is KEY! Once you’ve identified them, how can you turn it around in a positive way? Do you need to put something in place so that when you feel those thoughts coming on, you can get rid of them before they ruin your day?

Related: 2 Sections to Add to Your Fitness Journal Today

I recently got a PR on my sumo deadlift (200#) and my conventional deadlift (185#). For YEARS, I stayed around 135 – 145# because I kept telling myself that I couldn’t lift any heavier or that I would hurt myself. When I shifted my mindset, everything changed. Each time I told myself that I couldn’t, I countered it with telling myself I was a badass that could certainly lift whatever weight was on the bar. I reminded myself that I at least needed to TRY and if I couldn’t then I knew what I needed to work towards.

You MUST be in the right mindset and you need to get rid of whatever is holding you back. Identify it and write it out. If your mind is in the right place, meeting fitness goals is going to be so much easier.

RelatedMaking SMART Choices & Owning It

If you want a few more tips for sticking with it, the four tips for getting in a holiday workout apply to any workout!

[bctt tweet=”Need help sticking w/your fitness routine? Change your mindset! #sweatpink @fitapproach ” username=”burpees4bfast”]

How was your weekend!?! Mine was seriously pretty much filled with work. Friday night we got Asian Grill because I’d been craving pad thai and potstickers allllll week. I did a little work after dinner and then started reading my DSLR manual. Wild and crazy Friday night, fo sho. Saturday, I woke for a workout – I did 1 round of the workout I taught in my Sunday class and then made a a little quickie workout with my new Surge! I’m SO excited to use this more and share workouts with you THIS MONTH! After a workout, I spent time at the coffee shop, ran to Hobby Lobby and spent very nearly the entire rest of the day, until about 10:30pm working on the final touches of my Beta program. Video editing is just the worst!

Sunday, I woke up early, did more work, set up at church, skipped service for a Starbucks run to do…more work. I taught my FIRST EVER Mindset 2 Movement class. It was great, but I definitely have some good take aways for next week. The moral is to stick with the basics and go with your gut. I came home to spend a couple hours doing…more work. Sensing a theme here!?! But, I stopped around 5pm and spent the evening hanging with The Hubs. We had pancakes and bacon for dinner, watched some TV (we are watching The Magicians right now – super good) and read.

The week is going to be good, but busy. I have a follow up at my Chiro for my SI joint, a coffee date with an old friend, a haircut (!!!!!) and more video filming! Here’s to another great week!

So, tell me:

What are your tips for how to start working out and stick with it?
What did you do this weekend?

XOXO,
Jen

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