Navigating the murky waters of fitness….

“Don’t do cardio, it’s a waste of time, lift weights instead”

“Stop lifting weights, it’s going to make you look bulky, just get a treadmill to use at home”

“The treadmill Is useless, Walking is better”

“Walking is useless because it doesn’t raise your heart rate too much, do HIIT workouts, much shorter and more effective”

“Research shows too much HIIT will catabolise your muscles, lift weights instead”….

….

And the cycle continues!! This can be very confusing  and overwhelming especially for someone just starting out. 

I have learnt one thing  from my decades of experience in this field, from training different clients, from implementing different training techniques on them and on myself too is that, there is  NO one training style that is suitable for everyone.

Just as each style is unique, so is each person and therefore each one will get different results. 

There is however something out there for EVERYONE, something that you enjoy doing, something that you can adhere to  and  stick to. You just have to find it.  Now, I am not going to sugar coat things and say “oh only do what you like” because that’d be a lie. Sometimes  you may have to suck it up and do what you may not necessarily think is “fun” but it may be crucial to your goals’ success. However, you can choose the majority of your training style to be something you truly have fun with.  It may take a while for you to figure out but don’t worry, you will get there!!

Below are a few tips to help you started on this journey:

  1. Be READY and I mean not just physically ready but mentally ready because if you think your journey is going to be easy, well, it’s not.  I am not saying scare yourself out of working out, not at all, exercising is a necessity for everyone. However, most people fail before they even truly begin because they underestimate the amount of commitment and dedication that you need to put into it. So before you just on the fit train, have a little chat with your inner self to remain strong, committed and determined.
  2. Choose something that you ENJOY. As mentioned above, choosing a training style the you enjoy will make your workouts more fun. This will increase adherence and consistency which in turn will bring you results. So if you like dancing, dance away, if you enjoy lifting, lift, if you enjoy walking then walk daily, if you enjoy animal flow then do your thing! Whatever it maybe, do it and stick with it. We all know who we enjoy doing  so if you are confused with regards to where to start, start there. 
  3. While it’s important to choose something you enjoy, it may be equally important to add some aspects to your training that you may not enjoy very much. Your specific goals will guide you towards the most effective training style for you in order to achieve them. For example if you enjoy cardio but your goal is fat loss then Ideally you want to focus on resistance training. You see, while cardio may burn calories during the workout, resistance training burns calories even while not working out. Resistance training ( e.g. lifting weights) allows you to build lean mass ( muscles) , the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn (even when not working out), the more calories you burn, the higher the calorie deficit you can achieve, the higher the calorie deficit you achieve, the greater your fat loss. So while you may not necessarily enjoy lifting weights, it’d be a smart move to add it to your training program.
  4. Keep it SIMPLE. In fact, this could be one of the most crucial point to try and remember. which heart rate zone is better for results, how many kilos to lift, how many sets is best for fat loss, how many reps is best for hypertrophy, exercise tempo etc etc. While there are a lot of variables to think about and you will in the future, some being more important than others, you don’t need to worry about these when you are starting out. Unless you are a competitive athlete, which heart rate zone to stay at isn’t something you should focus on. You want to know what’s best for you? A heart rate that’ll make you feel like you killed your workout, a set and rep range that’ll allow you to put in 110% effort into your workouts and a weight that will keep you challenged. The longer you hang around, the more you’re going to learn about your body and what works best, the more you’re going to learn about fitness and the more you can fine tune these details to keep getting results. However, in the beginning, keep it SIMPLE!
  5. Regardless of the training technique/activity you end up choosing, stay CONSISTENT! Whether its weight lifting, cardio, yoga etc consistency is key towards achieving ANY health and fitness goals. Starting and stopping will only make your journey longer, will only demotivate you and make the whole process overwhelming. Trust the process, do the work, stay consistent, stay determined and you WILL see results. Oh, and have fun 🙂

While sailing through the murky waters of the fitness world may be confusing, rest assured, once your path is clear, with hard work, discipline and consistency, your goals are within your reach. Just, never give up. If you’d like some help kick starting your journey, feel free to contact me.

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