Is there anyone who does not want to lose fat and gain muscle ? This physical nirvana is the goal of virtually all of us. Skinny has always been in, if not then lean and toned certainly is and probably always will be.
A proven way to get into shape is to join a gym, here you have an environment suited to helping you achieve your goals. You may think gyms are not for you but those who join gyms tend to achieve more than those that don’t. This is due to a few reasons:
Health professionals oversee your training.
There is a large variety of equipment to use, this overcomes boredom which is a common complaint.
There are usually many classes on offer, great for those who need motivation.
Meeting people with similar goals, social training can bring excellent results.
Once you have paid to join you want results for your money.
Many gyms have links to dieticians, nutritionists, physiotherapists and masseuses meaning if you require a specialized service you can probably find it.
So whilst some can go it alone and train at home or in the park there are good reasons for almost everyone to join a gym. Many people though find the process extremely daunting and even downright terrifying, in fact, there are very few people who do not find it intimidating to join a gym. The most common concerns are:
“I’m going to make a fool of myself”.
“I don’t know what to do”.
“Everyone is in better shape than me”.
“The place is full of muscle-bound men”.
“Everyone will stare at me”.
Firstly, yes people will know that you are a new face in that part of town. You will have a ‘show-round’ where you check out the facilities before joining. Here you can feel as if you are a lamb being paraded before the slaughter, they may as well stick a sign on your head with the word ‘Newbie’.
The main thing to remember is whilst you may be in the company of those who are younger, fitter and skinnier, those people want to see the change in you. They want to witness the transformation. Think of how many improvement shows there are on television now. Everyone is improving something be it a car, house or person. Even food gets transformed in front of our eyes. We all want to be there for that ‘reveal’ when we see the outcome.
In addition to this, you will very quickly gain the respect of everyone in the gym if you get in there and simply get on with it. We all admire hard work. We also find it inspirational to watch. Therefore an obese person who turns up in a gym and sits chatting to others before stretching and hitting the showers will be quickly castigated by the other users. If though that same person enters the gym and gets on with their workout pushing themselves to their limit the other members will admire their attitude and respect what they are trying to achieve.
You know if you are overweight, so do others, you can’t hide this fact. The point here is that you are doing something about it; that means more to people than almost anything else. We all love someone who tries their best.
So once you are in the gym what do you do? This is a minefield, almost everyone you speak to will have an opinion about what works and what worked for them and, more importantly, what will work best for you.
When taking advice try to determine a few points:
Is the person offering you advice qualified? There are many health and fitness qualifications and whilst these are a good place to start many gyms and health clubs do not stipulate that their staff have to be qualified. Whilst this may sound scary, really it is only common sense. You would probably listen if an Olympic athlete told you what to do in the gym, would you care if he or she had no qualifications? Probably not.
Does the trainer have personal experience of your situation? This is one of the most important factors to consider. If you are trying to get back in shape after childbirth a male trainer can help you, however, he will never know exactly what you have been through and how your body has changed. A female trainer may have experienced your exact circumstances and achieved exactly what you are looking to do. She knows first-hand just what you need to do to get your figure back.
As well as this some people are gifted, they are naturally lean and muscular, training adds to their magnificent physiques and they look leaner and more muscular. Most of us are not like that, if you want to lose 50lbs then you should listen to someone who has lost 50lbs, your muscular trainer has probably never done that.
Goals are incredibly important and this is the place where most fail at the very outset. What do you want out of this? Do you want to be a certain weight? Dress size? Look like a certain person? If so cut out a picture of them and put it on your mirror. Your goal should be solid and tangible, something you can easily measure.
Most certainly the most relevant goal is body fat percentage, don’t focus on overall weight, this won’t work as muscle is far heavier than fat. Obsessing over weight alone is a huge mistake. Most gyms can take your body fat and give you the results. Do not skip this step, it is very, very important to know where you are starting from.
You should also get yourself measured at the chest, waist and hips, possibly the thighs as well. Be honest about your size and fat content, remember this is the starting point, from here on everything improves. You may not feel to tell your nearest and dearest your personal measurements but you should. Making your results public gives you more drive to go ahead and change the numbers for the better.
Once you have your figures keep hold of them, you may hate yourself for having a waist that size or hips that big however these are all feelings that can turn into positive action which will motivate you to progress. You may not know it but you have taken the first and hardest steps to changing yourself for the better.