Nearly everyone that makes a resolution at some point in their lives (or frequently throughout their lives) that includes some component of getting fitter. Often times this includes starting a new workout program to lose pounds but with only a vague or confused understanding of how to accomplish that goal as efficiently as possible.
You Google workouts, read fitness magazines and blogs, watch the personal trainer at the gym, and get (often unsolicited) advice from friends and family. You try to mash all that information together and create a program for yourself that incorporates everything that seems to work for everyone else. And you don’t succeed. You don’t lose weight. Or you lose weight but gain body fat. Or you burn out because you’re doing too much too soon and it’s not sustainable. Or you get injured because you’re not giving your body enough time to repair, regenerate, and recover.
To see the greatest results and establish sustainable habits, we have to step back a bit and start with the basics. You have to go slow to go fast. Being ultra-competitive myself, this was a hard concept for me to believe, let alone embrace, but after arthroscopic hip surgery two years ago I was forced to go back to the beginning to rebuild a solid foundation to get back to being active. I was a runner, a Crossfitter, an Olympic lifter, and a firefighter. I was intense. And then, very suddenly, I wasn’t. I couldn’t do those things anymore.
I had to go back to the basics during rehab. And it was challenging! I learned how important proper form is – and how much more difficult that makes everything! And that much more beneficial as well. I was doing only bodyweight exercises, focusing on form and muscle activation, really having to pay attention to what my body was telling me it was ready and capable to do. I did no cardio. I did no high intensity intervals. I focused on foam rolling, mobility, stability, and dynamic warm-ups. I did push-ups, planks, pull-ups, and glute bridges and stretched to cool down.
I got stronger. I got healthier. I got happier. And I want to help you do the same!
Going slow to go fast.
When we jump into new programs without a proper foundation we are inefficient, wasting energy and developing messed up movement patterns. Those messed up movement patterns can then affect our ability to build lean muscle mass or generate strength – the power houses behind stoking your metabolism. So you don’t gain as much lean muscle. You don’t lose as much body fat. You feel frustrated because you’re doing everything right and convince yourself that nothing will work. But that’s not true!
As hard as it may be, scale back your program. Start with good movement. A body weight lunge done with good form on EVERY rep is much more effective at building lean muscle mass and strength than a shitty lunge done with heavy dumbbells. If you try to build on a crappy foundation. eventually it will all come crashing in. That means pain, injury, or elusive results.
So focus on improving your mobility, on maintaining stability throughout a range of motion (like when you’re doing that lunge), and on being diligent about performing all movements in your workout program with proper form – even if that means you can’t do as many repetitions of an exercise as you’d like or use as much weight. That’s a good thing! It means your muscles are working harder, that you’re building strength and stability, that your getting leaner, stronger, and fitter.
If you want to begin or revamp your workout program, start with bodyweight exercises. Nail your form. Only perform perfect reps, even if it means just one! As your mobility and stability improve, you’re strength will improve and your movement patterns will become more efficient and more effective. The things you do every day will become easier. Your athletic performance will improve. You’ll get leaner. You’ll breathe better. You’ll sleep better. You’ll look better naked.
Then you can add some weights or plyometrics to increase strength and power. But you MUST start at the beginning. Even if you’ve been working out for years. You must start with the foundation, as hard as that may be.
I will help you build the foundation.
Go slow to go fast.
I’m also going to share with you all kinds of other ways to get healthier and more fit. It doesn’t have to be a workout at the gym or in your living room. It can be fun. It can be play. It can be channeling that inner child that has been just waiting to bust out!
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