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Christopher M. Young, CPT, FNC
Online Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

What Everybody Should Know Before Starting (or Continuing) Their Fitness Journey

I was talking with a client of mine the other day, and they had asked me what I typically recommend for new beginners to the weight loss and it got me thinking. I don’t blog as often as I should (but I am making a more concerted effort), but I feel that if I am going to write about something, it has to be substantial and valuable. Today is hopefully going to be no different.

So what should the Noobs (gamer speak for new person) know before starting (or even continuing) their fitness journey and trying to transform their body?

1. Excessive Cardio Is Not the Answer

Seriously, it is perfectly fine if you are a runner, training for a marathon, or just building endurance, but if you are trying to reduce fat and transform your body’s physique, you have to do more than just running until your legs give out. The majority of your training should be strength training with cardio mixed in.

2. Track Your Mother F’n Food

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I get messages, emails and calls from clients who are frustrated beyond belief because they are not seeing results. When I ask how much they are eating, I get long silences, pauses, and blank stares. The majority of your results is going to happen in the kitchen, and if you have no idea how much you are consuming, then you probably are not going to get the best results. The biggest reason is that most people think they are eating less than they really are, only to find that when they start tracking food, they are eating in excess of 1000 calories or more than they thought. That’s a big mistake to be making. So track your food. Whether it is portions control containers, calories, or my personal favorite…MACROS. Track it. Just Track it.

3. Set Realistic Goals

It is likely that you have been damaging and destroying your health for years. Expecting to drop all the weight and body fat in just a couple months is highly unlikely and unrealistic. Whatever time frame you think you should take to hit your goals, triple it.

4. Lots of Diets Work

What?! Crazy talk! I know. The truth is, the basics of most fad diets rely on reduced calories and junk food, increased carbohydrates and fiber in the form of veggies, and watching portion sizes. It isn’t rocket science, but it can be confusing. It is one of the reasons why I have many diet plans available for my members. Diets work, it is mostly about commitment, consistency, and patience.

5. I Pick Things Up, I Put Them Down

Imagine that Samuel L. Jackson is yelling at you telling you to “Lift Mother F@#$er!” As I have said before, strength training is going to help build and transform your body. Challenge yourself, always be growing. What I mean by this is, are you stronger 1 month from now than you were when you started? Yes? Great! That means you are building muscle. No? See Samuel L. Jackson and go try pushing yourself and adding more weight to your sets. It will actually help build a better body.

6. Motivation is Not Always There

The truth is, motivation stops after a few weeks. You are excited and pepping yourself up, doing self chest bumps in the mirror, and shouting “you got this! Let’s do it” all day in the beginning, but then it happens. You wake up and the motivation is gone. It is just not there anymore. Now the real shit begins. Now you are being tested. What you do from here will push you in the direction of success or failure. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, even when you don’t feel like it. That means you got to get to the gym when you would rather Netflix (and chill), you gotta stomach another meal of chicken and broccoli when a pizza is far more appetizing. The reality is, its not always easy. Sometimes you have to rely on sheer commitment when the motivation disappears.

7. Habits Formed Become Easier to Maintain Consistency

To piggy back off of #6, forming a habit is one of the best ways to maintain consistency. What most people don’t realize is that the discomfort they feel when starting a new program, a new way of eating, or doing new exercises they have never done before is temporary. After a few short weeks of doing or eating the same things, you start to establish a habit. A habit once created, is much harder to break. Creating good habits are essential to your success while you work on eliminating the bad ones.

8. You Have to Give Up the Crap

You cannot believe the fads that try and sell you on the idea that you can eat whatever you want and get great results. Plain and simple, it is bullshit. Eating like crap is going to make you look and feel like crap. If you want to change your body, change the crap you put into it.

“But my friends can eat what they want and never gain weight. I want to be like them”.

So what if Susie Q can eat like shit and still rock a bikini? It doesn’t make her healthy and if you do not have the same hormonal structure your gluttonous friend has, you will never be the same as them. For the sake of your long term health and your transformation progress, don’t eat like your friends. Eat like someone that gives a shit about their body.

9. You Can’t Compare Your Results to Others

Every single person is different. It is important to focus only on your own progress, and stop comparing your results to others. Your progress and your journey is uniquely your own. Your hormones, stresses, jobs, and lifestyle are uniquely different. To try and compare your results with another persons is like trying to find a matching snowflake. Just commit to your health, understand that it is not always kittens and rainbows, sometimes you will struggle, and sometimes you will destroy goals like a warrior. All that matters is that you give it all that you have, every single day, even though some days you will have more and less than others.

10. Patience My Young Padiwan

This actually ties into setting realistic goals, but you have to be patient. Your body has spent years being abused by you and your unhealthy habits. Give it time to adjust, adapt, and grow. Working out for 4 days is not going to produce the results you want. It takes time, consistency, and most of patience. Trust the process. Stay committed to your health, and in time, you will start to see your body transform.



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