Let’s Get Started

Have you ever been accused of overthinking a process? It’s a common issue among people as we begin to take new steps toward a healthier lifestyle. It’s natural to desire maximization of your efforts. No one wants to waste time. In today’s commercial fitness climate, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of programs that boast that they get it right. Efficiency is desirable for a number of reasons. It’s no wonder so many people feel a little lost at the start.

When I was starting my career as a Fitness Professional, my Mentor gave me some words of advice that challenged my earliest beliefs. He said, “Ron, just make people move.” His approach seemed oversimplified. He was boiling down my role to a platform that seemed too basic, too accessible.

Years later, this tenet guides my approach to helping my Clients. When people come to me certain of little else than the fact that they need to make a change, I tell them, “We need to get you moving.” They don’t hear, “Let’s get a mix of cardio and free weight use in place. Let’s establish some muscle confusion.” I don’t inundate them with the ingredients. I enforce the basics because basics are attainable immediately. “Right now” is when you can make a better decision. Right now, you can take the stairs. For folks who have bought into a specific system, I often hear them say, “I’m doing this workout, and I’m sure I’m doing it wrong.”

The response to not getting it right is simple. It’s okay. You’re okay. Use common sense, listen to your body. Try to get your form right for the sake of safety, but don’t let your desire for form impede your ability to get moving. You need to know the difference between pushing yourself and putting yourself in danger, but that’s readily accessible.

One of my Team Members faced an interesting challenge once. He’d taken on a client who had gained a significant amount of weight. He stood about 6’5”, tipped the scales at 400lbs, and most of that weight was belly fat. He was strong as an ox, but movement was going to be a challenge. His Personal Trainer remarked to me, “I don’t want him to do floor exercises, yet.” I challenged him to reconsider that idea. I said, “Getting him to the floor and back up is what he needs the most. It doesn’t matter how he gets up. I’m fine with him using his hands, climbing to his knees, pressing off of a box or a bench – whatever it takes. Get him all the way down and all the way up. It’s simple, but it won’t be easy.”

If movement is too easy, it won’t be effective. If it’s too complicated, it’s intimidating. If it’s too hard, there may be a risk potential. Find the middle ground. Challenge yourself, keep it simple, and don’t overdo anything. You can do that, right?

If you’ve agreed to that premise, the next natural questions are: When and Where?

When: When you can.

Where: Anywhere.

You don’t have to be in a fitness facility wearing dry-fit clothing and expensive shoes for what you’re doing to qualify as a workout. Get it out of your head that healthy living only looks like one thing.

The great thing about opening up your definition of fitness, is that it lets you phase in the more effective, formal, and traditional methods. Spend a month with a loose approach. After that, challenge yourself to seek another opportunity. Maybe that means joining a gym, maybe it means finding a workout partner to take walks with you.

This technique doesn’t end with movement. It’s true for your nutritional decision making as well. Not ready to track your intake? Okay, I can live with that (for now). Take a month and make the most obvious changes. You know what’s good for you. If you’re not ready to launch into a full lifestyle change, start by applying common sense to your diet. Spend a month making better fast food options. Replace fast foods entirely the second month. Then spend a month tracking your meals and making adjustments. It’s going to take time, so be patient. Be patient with your results and celebrate the Power of your decisions. Develop your Focus as you move forward.

Having made that point, please know that your best decisions aren’t on hold until you get things right. Your benefits, however small, are immediate. You’re fighting a war of inches and the good deeds you do for yourself will add up eventually, I promise. The evidence may take time to show up on your scale or in the mirror, but its present in your Heart when you feel better about your effort each day, week, and month.

Listen to my Mentor. Get yourself moving. We’ll figure out what’s next when we get there. We’ll keep it simple and we’ll do it together.