Question: If you’re stuck in a fitness rut and want to get back in the gym, what is the best way to start a new routine?
Answer: It’s ambitious to adopt the “go big or go home” mentality, but it may also be the worst thing you can do to when starting a new fitness program. It is actually better to start slowly and build your body up for future success.
Your muscles will take some time to adapt to a new fitness regime. For optimal progress, use free weights and cables (not machines!), and focus on technique rather than loading on the weight or performing endless reps of exercises. The goal is to see results, not to get injured!
Be consistent with your workouts and set reasonable goals, such as getting to the gym or doing cardio outdoors 3 times a week. You will become stronger, improve endurance, and stay motivated if you give yourself enough time to rest between workouts. Don’t get crazy and change your exercises every workout. Follow a 4-6 week program and then make changes. This will ensure you don’t get too sore after every session and you will continue to see progress.
I also find it helpful to remind yourself of your commitment to your fitness progress. Leave yourself sticky notes on the mirrors in your home, leave reminders in your desk at work about how to eat right, post pictures of healthy body images in your home and office, and stay accountable to your fitness goals.
Have fun and stay fit!