“The best way to get started is to quit talking and start doing” ~Walt DisneyMy first goal after deciding that I was done playing football was to lose fat. It was late November in 1999 and I was around 250 pounds and over 28% bodyfat. I knew that I didn't want to be that way anymore. At that time, I certainly didn't know the best way to lose fat and keep the muscle that I had. What I did know was that it was going to take more responsible eating and different training. So, I got started with what I knew and asked for lots of help along the way. I like having a goal. When I have a goal, the path to that goal becomes clearer and I can use my goal to guide choices that I make about my fitness, wellness, and nutrition habits. When I pass a decision through the lens of my goal, I can determine whether that choice gets me closer to or farther away from my goal. I have lots of conversations with people about their fitness goals. What I used to find surprising was that rarely do the people I talk to have a clear goal. This makes things difficult when it comes to using that goal to guide decisions. I realized that my first job was to help those people define and clarify their goals. This process, however, can take some time. I’m here to let you know from personal experience, that even if you don't have a crystal clear goal, there is good news. Whatever your fitness goal is, there is a way to start getting closer to it. It’s by DOING something! Yes, yes, you could spend the next fifteen hours, days, or weeks planning the best strategy to get in shape, but if you just get on the course, you can refine your destination along the way. Don’t make uncertainty about having a specific strategy into an excuse to procrastinate. Start NOW Whether your goal is to lose fat, to gain muscle, or just to be able to chase down and corral your kids, it all starts in basically the same way. Eat better and move more. I have a friend who is nautically inclined (sailing seems to be full of solid life lessons). He’s a pretty sharp guy and, in a conversation about fitness, he brought up that “you can't steer a ship that isn't moving”. If fat loss is your goal, then getting there is a product of steering your eating and exercising behaviors in the right direction. To move toward your goal requires steering, and steering requires “moving”... The keys to fitness are the same at their core, so you can decide what works best for you. Basically, these include: strength train, get sweaty, breathe hard, and stretch where you’re tight. Choose one or more of these. Want to lose the gut? Strength train, get sweaty, breathe hard. Want to get “ripped” or “jacked”? Strength train, get sweaty, breathe hard, stretch where you're tight. Want to enhance your physical ability to perform better in life or sports? Strength train, get sweaty… yes, you know the rest. The great part is that these basics are going to provide the base from which you can launch forward into specific programs to accelerate the progress toward the results you’re after. Even if you may not yet be totally clear on what your goal is, you can get the ship moving in the right direction. The point here is that you already have the right stuff to get moving, and getting moving helps you steer in the right direction. Once on course, you’ll be far more likely to refine your methods and see even faster progress towards your goal! Just about anything you can do to get stronger and improve your conditioning will help you get leaner, and once you have taken the first steps, it's always easier to “correct your course” to keep making progress during the journey. If you’ve been building a solid base of cardio and you decide that you want to have better tone in your shoulders and arms, your base level of cardio will provide a nice place to start strength training. The better your level of endurance, the more sets, reps and exercises you’ll be able to do at a certain weight. More sets and more reps (at a given load) means more positive body change! On the other hand, you're already resistance training and you decide that you’d like to be leaner, you probably already have a bigger “engine” for burning fat, and getting in some cardio is your next step! The real point here is this: stop waiting for the perfect plan and get started with what you’re comfortable with. From there, get the education, accountability and guidance you need to keep the progress coming. Check out how GymCloud can help right here.
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