Hello again everyone!
First of all- I just wanted to thank everyone who read my last post and gave me such overwhelmingly supportive feedback! You guys seriously rock my (currently halloween themed) socks! You all have blessed me so much already and made me feel so accomplished, THANK YOU for giving me a much needed confidence boost as I struggle through these first few posts and really “find my voice” or whatever the blog- jargon is for getting in the swing of things. As I mentioned in my first post, please send any inquiries to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’d like to put together a Frequently Asked Questions post in the near future (because I get a lot of them).
One of the questions that I did receive was asking about what kind of routine I started out with when I first got into working out. To be quite honest, when I first started going to the gym, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Literally. I wandered about and would use one machine, then another, then another, and call it quits. Really, I was just too afraid to ask anyone for help (PLEASE DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKES) and I wasted a lot of time! I took to the internet to do my investigating (PTL for Google, am I right?!) and ended up stumbling across different cardio based workouts that had been put together by other people, and I started doing those. Most of them were HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts and were really difficult for me starting off (especially the running… I am not a runner) and I ended up being very frustrated by my inability to complete them or to perform to the standard I had set for myself. I ended up getting so frustrated that I very nearly threw in the towel then and there. It wasn’t working, so it must not be for me, right?
WRONG! Holy hallelujah, was I wrong! Somehow I mustered up enough motivation (or was it desperation? Technicalities…) to keep going, and I decided to just listen to my body. I knew that I wasn’t much of a runner, even in my more active days. What on Earth was I thinking, trying to jump straight into running 4 miles a day?? I ended up started out on the stationary bike (easier on my bad knees), and I would sit on that sucker for an hour and read a book and just bike to my heart’s content. Eventually I kept bumping up the resistance level and I was able to maintain a faster speed, and just being able to see that little bit of progress was astounding to me. It was probably one of my first real “Hey… I can actually do this!” moments. For that moment, I was on the mountaintop, and that made all the hard work I had put in leading up to that point totally worth it. Eventually I realized that in any good workout regimen you have to change things up and keep your body guessing, so I finally moved on from the bike I loved so dearly and was able to start using the elliptical and running (plus, my gym just got a Stairmaster, which I am loving so far). Now I’m a Cardio Queen and it’s one of my favorite things to do and my favorite way to relieve stress! There’s nothing like a good sweat session to whip my attitude into shape.
When I started, I focused almost entirely on cardio because I was so concerned with cutting fat and losing weight. If I could go back, I would definitely have done more strength training at the beginning. What I didn’t realize was that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, and (surprise) the more weight you will lose. Also, when you’re starting to build that lean muscle that comes from light to moderate strength training, watching your body tone up is a huge confidence boost and a great way to really see what you’re accomplishing. The best advice that I have for someone starting out is to find a good balance of cardio and strength training, and listen to what your body tells you as far as your limits are concerned. Don’t push yourself to the breaking point because you haven’t seen the results you want yet- it takes time. Patience is important in this process (although most days it seems as though God has neglected to give any to me), and keeping your body healthy and taken care of is the most important part. Pushing yourself too far leads to injuries, and let’s be honest- ain’t nobody got time for that.
Nowadays my routine is still pretty heavily cardio based. I’m still trying to cut body fat (see ya NEVER, thunder thighs!) so I try to do at least 30 minutes every time I’m in the gym! Also, as I said before, I really do love cardio and the stress relief that I get from it (#cardioqueen). Right now I’m starting to include more and more strength training into my routine as I’m trying to build more muscle than just the lean tone that I have now! I rotate through doing upper body, lower body, and heavy cardio/core days. I go to the gym 6-7 days a week- but that’s just me. Go as often as you feel comfortable and as often as fits your lifestyle, especially in the beginning when you’re just getting started. Your body needs to adjust and have time to recuperate if necessary! I only go so frequently because fitness and working out has been a major way that I manage my depression and anxiety- but that’s a story for a different time!
I hope that this has been helpful for any of you guys just starting to get into fitness, and if you have any questions about specific exercises that I do or anything please just holla at ya girl via email or post it in the comments and I will do my best to answer those questions that you have!
Happy Sunday and don’t forget as we start this new week- Never miss a Monday!