You have goals and are eager to reach them. You’re thinking about joining a gym again, feeling it’s the right time and you’re ready. Last time you regularly went to the gym, you felt great and want to experience that again. But things are a bit different now. You’ve put on 20 lbs and still have that shoulder problem. You’re wondering if just working out will be enough to get fit, considering your body has changed. To answer this, we need to consider a few things: your current fitness level, your specific goals, and how motivated you’ve been previously.
Understanding Your Fitness Level: The Key to Starting Right
If you’re new to exercise or returning after a break, it’s important to start at the right level. Group classes are fantastic for motivation, but they might be too much if you’re dealing with extra weight or injuries. A better option might be to begin with a few personal training sessions. These sessions can gently reintroduce your body to exercise and help your trainer understand the right intensity for you.
Many people try to jump back to their previous fitness levels when they return to the gym. While it’s great to aim for that feeling of being fit and strong again, it’s crucial to recognize and respect where you are right now. One-on-one sessions can be especially helpful in this regard.
Don’t worry if you start with personal training. Many enjoy it for the tailored approach and accountability it provides. And if you have a specific goal, your trainer can develop a realistic plan to get you there, gradually building up your fitness.
Setting Achievable Goals: Why Exercise Alone Might Not Be Enough
Your goals will determine the best approach to take. For general fitness, working out two to four times a week might suffice. But for more specific goals like correcting muscle imbalances, training for an event, or weight loss/muscle gain, we might need to tweak your plan.
In our eight years of helping people in Scarborough with their fitness and health, we’ve noticed a trend: many come just for workouts but really need nutrition coaching and lifestyle support.
Yes, it’s tempting to think more classes or cardio will do the trick, especially for weight loss. However, what you eat is equally important. Without paying attention to your diet, you might find yourself frustrated down the line, feeling like your efforts in exercise aren’t paying off. To effectively lose body fat, you need to consider your diet as part of your training.
The great news is that eating healthily doesn’t mean eating boring food. We help our clients enjoy their meals. A successful diet is one that you can maintain long-term, and we believe in that wholeheartedly.
Assessing the “M” Word (Motivation)
Motivation is something everyone seeks, especially in fitness. But often, people spend too much time waiting to feel ready instead of taking action. From my 30+ years of consistent exercise, I can say only about 20% of the time did I actually feel motivated.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy exercising – my husband and I wouldn’t have opened a gym if that were the case. But my motivation doesn’t depend on my mood. I exercise because I know it’s good for my body, mental health, and longevity. Those are my real motivators, not a fleeting feeling.
Now, let’s focus on your goals.
Wanting to return to the gym is a great start. However, if you’ve struggled with consistency before, simply getting a gym membership might not cut it.
Many people join a gym, start off strong for a week or two, and then life happens – a busy day at work, an off weekend with food, illness, or soreness. This leads to missed days, feelings of guilt and striving for perfection, and eventually, the belief that the program didn’t work or feeling unable to return after a break.
This is a common experience, and there’s no shame in it. Recognizing this pattern in yourself is not your fault. In fact, acknowledging it can be empowering. It can help you make different choices and break free from this cycle.
Hiring A Coach Can Help!
The truth is most people can learn to move their body more, but to maintain consistency and face the real things that will help them lose weight – they struggle.
Working out at the gym for 3-5 hours a week is awesome, and way more than many people in society do. However, what about the other 165 hours in the week? This is where your progress can be lost or gained and that’s why working with a coach & hiring a personal trainer can be a game changer.
In order to be successful you need a plan that takes into account your goals, fitness history, mindset and external environment. Getting an action plan and accountability is how you will get the quickest results and not waste time working out and not getting the results you want.
We know it is a new way of thinking to look at your fitness goals like this. But we can guess that if you are “starting again” it is most likely because your last plan didn’t work. At least long term.
You don’t need a new program, you need a new approach and we can help.
We offer personal training, group classes and nutrition coaching and can build you the perfect plan customized just for you. Book a goal session with us to find out more.