In my opinion, it's one of the hardest skills to develop as a human.
Some are better at it than others, but we could all practice more empathy.
I often challenge myself and my team to put themselves in the shoes of a person who has never been to the gym before.
The lady that walks in, knows a ton of clients, has an extroverted personality, and is confident all around is easy to work with.
Even if she has a laundry list of injuries, that comes naturally to the coaches, the hard skills, the science. It's what they learned in school, and it's our specialty.
What I'm talking about is someone like this...
They've seen us on Facebook.
They haven't been to a gym since they were in high school.
They are overweight, lack energy, lack confidence, and in general, they are just not confident with themselves.
They probably have been following us for some time, driven by us, read our daily posts like this one, and one day, a trigger happened, that they finally decided to make the leap.
I'm not talking the leap to join and start, I'm talking just the leap to reach out via e-mail saying they're interested.
If you're not that person, it's hard to imagine, but reaching out just to say "I need help" is a HUGE first step.
Once that happens, they have to commit to a time to come in and meet with us, they've never been here before so they're scared, intimidated, and not sure what to expect.
Ideally, after meeting with us for 45-60 minutes, we've calmed about half the nerves.
They still have nerves of having their first full training session, feeling stupid, looking stupid, and not knowing what to do.
Remember back to your first day?
Hopefully, by you reading the above you at least see that we get it.
We always challenge ourselves to put ourselves in the shoes of a person like that.
What would I do if I was that person...
If I was brand new to fitness or getting back into a routine after years...
Here are my thoughts in no particular order.
I'd reach out to a specialist. Not some gym that just rents equipment. That's like going to the family medicine guy for a heart defect. Sure, he's no dummy, but you'll just be much better off at the cardiologist.
I'd start small. If I was doing nothing, I'd just shoot for 7-8 workouts in the first month and then go from there. I wouldn't get caught up in the details, I'd just make sure I stepped foot in the gym 7-8 times. Ideally, I find a place where once I step foot through the door they take care of the rest. If I am on my own, I'd do 20 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of cardio for those 7-8 workouts.
Nutrition wise, I would eat healthy 80% of the time. If you've gone from eating like crap, eating out a lot, and not preparing your meals don't start counting calories, packing everything in Tupperware, and refusing to eat sweets. It won't work. I'd eat 3 square meals a day, mostly consisting of a good protein and some vegetables with a palm full of carbohydrates. I'd hydrate often and well. I'd have a protein shake if I was hungry in between meals, and if I wanted to have a glass of wine or go out with friends I would limit it to 1x per week.
I'd aim for 200 hours of sleep per month. Ideally, I'm getting at least 7 hours per night, but things happen, and I'm ok if that's not every day. However, at 200 hours per month, I can't be sleeping 3 hours a night and then having to sleep 3 days straight at the end of the month to make it up :)
Goal-wise, I would set a goal during those first 30 days to come 8 times. That's it. I wouldn't obsess over the scale, I wouldn't count calories, I wouldn't worry about anything other than the above. After the first month, then we can dial in goals, but let's just build the habit of doing something new a couple times a week.
Finally, I'd find a way to hold myself accountable. Whether that's a gym that holds me accountable, a device, an app, a gym buddy, whatever it is, I'd find something or someone to talk me off the ledge when I feel like quitting, to push me, to motivate me, and to inspire me.
So there you have it.
That's what I would do.
I totally get it.
I'm super comfortable in the gym...heck I own one so that would be a little weird if I wasn't comfortable :)
However, we totally understand the nerves of starting something new.
Take the advice from above and always remember two of my favorite quotes:
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”
Enjoy the process.
And my other one...
"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, or your middle to someone else's end. Don't compare the start of your second quarter of life to someone else's third quarter."
We were all there at one time.
You're just up to bat right now :)
What're your thoughts?
If you're a beginner does this sound about right?
If you used to be there and are now more comfortable in the gym, what other advice would you have for someone?
Dedicated to Your Success,