Saturday, April 20, 2013

Are you new here? (Fitness Newbie)

The very first time I walked into a gym, I felt as I was walking into a Sorority/ Frat House. Everyone was sweating, grunting, running, lifting and all super focused. I just kept waiting for someone to turn to me and say "Are you new here?" and then subsequently tell me to GTFO. Didn't happen. Everyone just kept on doing their thing and I hopped onto a treadmill because it looked pretty easy. Well, just starting the stupid thing, was a hassle. I hit the button that had some kind of program and it started in on me: "What is your weight?" I lied, 130 pounds. "What is your height?" I lied, 5'7" (don't ask me why I lied about that, it's something I've been doing since high school...) "What level to start?" GEEZ! Am I going on a run or am I on a friggin' date with this thing? 52,343 questions later, the treadmill started at a 18 minute mile. Pretty sure I took two naps before I got to a mile but once I did, I hopped off and went home...not returning to the gym for a LONG time. 

Getting into fitness is such an ordeal. You feel like everyone knows something you don't and that's completely frustrating. Also, when you say you want to start, all the sudden everyone's a coach...even the fat guy who works across from you wants to give you his crappy advice, "You going on a mile run? You should Carbo-load and eat lots of spaghetti with a loaf of bread." Next thing you know, before you get your running shoes on, all that Alfredo and Olive Garden breadsticks are doing their work on you and you're fast asleep only to wake up bloated and, yeah, that's just a story I made up...never happened..nope.

Fitness doesn't have to be scary or even worse, dreadful. A mistake I see a lot of people make is that use fitness just to lose weight. That's the wrong idea. Think about this for a second...what happens when you finally lose those 10 pounds? Your goal is checked and you move on to other things in life like finally going back to college or finding a husband to mooch off of...either or right?!

Here is what you need to drill in your head. First: Fitness is about making your body strong and healthy. I know that doesn't sound great now but really, when you start being able to open your own peanut butter jars and lifting that couch off the floor to look for your missing hair clip, it's an incredible feeling. It's such a domino effect that your quality of life is dramatically improved just by keeping your body in motion. Losing weight is just a side benefit, just like better sleep and more focus will be when you are consistent at it. Secondly, fitness should be fun! You should ENJOY working out! I know, sacrilegious right? Well, cheer up buttercup because I'm going to show you different types of fitness workouts that you're bound to fall in love with one or a few! 

Because you're a fitness virgin, you need to be guided through a workout. This is EXTREMELY important! You don't want to start something and get hurt because you can get yourself into some serious, life long damage. My best advice is to start with a class of some sort. Each of the following are classes based on your  attitude:

Are you the type who doesn't like a lot of commotion? You don't want to start weights and you aren't feeling like running is your thing. You're into something peaceful and looking for flexibility along with strength.

Try Yoga!
Don't underestimate how good yoga can be for your health. It is for EVERYONE! Flexibility is extremely important for strength movements as well as daily movements. There are so many types of yoga but here are just a couple that I like:
Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga)
This type of yoga is done in a class where the heat is turned up!

Aerial Yoga 
They suspend long sheaths of fabric from the ceiling and you workout yoga moves in mid air!

Let's say you're more energetic, you like going to clubs or being in a high tempo type of environment. 

Try Zumba
These people always look like they are having fun and they are! It's basically a dance class with tons of loud music and moves to help you build coordination and relieve stress levels!

Let's say you're not a club type either...
This me busted from a club fight in '09. I wasn't even drinking...or fighting for that matter. 8 stitches is all it took for me to never return...

Anyway! You want the loud music minus the drama  dance moves...try spinning!

Please visit the website for full details. It's such a great information source that I'd hate to mess it up in my own words.  Spinning always kicks my bum and you'll have such great legs, Tina Turner will hate on you.

If you're wanting to feel powerful and gain self-confidence (along with a great bum and a strong core)

Roundhouse kick that laziness right in the chops! KA-POW!

When you need someone to put the pressure on you and motivate you with lots of body weight exercises....

Boot Camp. Do all the things I never did in actual boot camp...

...And I was probably a lot worse off in Basic Training because of it.  Such a great way to build strength and endurance. On the Mayo Clinic website, it states:
"One boot cam workout might stress calisthenics while another stresses military-style drills.  Some even incorporate martial arts moves. In pretty much all cases, however, you can expect to do calisthenics, such as pullups, pushups, lunges and crunches, as well as drills and sprints.  In essence, a boot camp workout is a type of interval training - bursts of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity."
Or what if you just want to be a bad ass? What if you wanted to excel at life and finally achieve all of your goals and dreams?  

 Then it sounds like you're ready for Crossfit. 
That's Andrea Ager...killing a muscle it.

This is Christmas Abbott. My woman crush and also the picture that got me into Crossfit.

And finally, this is a little old lady showing you up!  BOOM!

Okay, so I'm a little biased towards crossfit because it's what I'm in love with. How does one describe crossfit? I don't know!? How does one describe a beautiful sunset on a tropical island to a man who's been blind all of his life? WHO KNOWS?
But I guess to put it in short, this is crossfit:


A great way to look for any of these classes is to first check your local gym or look in your community to find any of these classes. Your advantage is that you have a trainer guiding you and because you're new, they usually offer discount prices on packages. Some even offer FREE intro classes! and always offer incredible deals for practically more than 50% off the original costs on fitness classes! 

Whatever speaks to you, just go for it. Try it out. Have fun and build yourself from the inside out. 

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