The gym was full today. There were several new faces in my spin class. At the beginning of the new year, I make my classes a little easier so that those trying to stick with their New Year’s resolution don’t get too discouraged. But, by the end of the month most of those new faces will be gone. A few people will turn that resolution into a long-lasting lifestyle change, but the majority fizzle out. Here are some suggestions to help you stick with that resolution and be successful at getting into shape.
Don’t spend it all in the first month. Some people come out of the gate at full speed and burn themselves out within a month. You need to build your aerobic base first. Ease into it.
Try to find something you like. Gyms offer lots of classes. Spin, step, dance, rebounding, yoga, pilates, powerflex, kwando, kickboxing, and so on. Try several different classes. One of them might catch your fancy.
Don’t worry about looking silly. If you take a class that is heavy on choreography, expect to be completely lost for a month or two. There is a learning curve. Some people are so self-conscious about not being able to follow the choreography that they never make it through the learning curve. Don’t worry about it. Everyone was new at some point, and they too were completely lost. Those people on the front row of the step class who are doing spins and high kicks and ballet moves were once on the back row feeling lost and out of place. So, stick with it; nobody is judging. Once you find your rhythm and learn the base moves, you’ll have a lot of fun. While you’re learning, here’s a tip that might help you in step class: count. Count the beats. A step routine usually consists of combos that fit into a 32 count phrase. Each movement is usually 4 or 8 counts. It is sometimes helpful to count out the steps/beats. This will help with your timing and also help you learn the moves. Any basic or intermediate class will be formatted with 32 count phrases with everything fitting nicely in the phrase. If you find yourself in an advanced class, watch out. They might be doing some split phrasing, syncopation, and odd count movements. You can give an advanced class a try, but expect to be even more lost.
For you macho men, don’t worry about looking gay. You can take an aerobics class while retaining your heterosexuality. That pilates class won’t emasculate you. In fact, it will probably be one of the hardest workouts you’ve ever done. If you’ve ever watched a pilates or yoga class and thought that it wouldn’t do anything for you, you’re wrong.
Ladies, don’t be afraid of weight training. It’s not going to make you look like a linebacker.
If your gym offers classes on a pilates reformer, sign up. The reformer is awesome.
Find a workout buddy. Maintaining motivation is hard. Having someone share the pain with you can help keep you going.
Get a personal trainer. You are more likely to be sucessful with a trainer. A good trainer is worth the extra money.
Weight loss isn’t linear. You may find that you’re not losing much weight during a given period of time. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Keep at it. You may find that you will suddenly lose a lot of weight after weeks with no progress.
Repeat after me, “Spot reduction is a myth”. You cannot lose weight from one particular area. Your body loses weight according to its own plan.
Accept your shape. You might lose twenty pounds and still have bigger hips than you like. You could have great abs and still have love handles out back. That’s the way it goes. Even at the peak of the bike racing season when I’m running quite lean, the love handle areas are still a bit squishy. My body won’t completely give them up and that’s the way it is. Accept your body’s shape. What’s important is that you are fit and healthy.