If you are just getting back into fitness after having a baby or starting a program for the first time, you want to avoid these 3 types of fitness programs.
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Let’s talk about the three fitness programs to avoid when getting started on your fitness journey.
This is for my newbies.
This is for my beginners. This is also for those of you out there that listen and watch but aren’t doing because you’re just not sure, either what to do, or you might be intimidated by what is out there for you.
I’ve been talking about this topic for some time now, and I’ve always wanted to create that beginner program, because there’s a lot of fitness out there for the fit to get fitter, but there’s not a lot of fitness out there for somebody who is brand new to fitness or has been out of the game for a while.
They’re very difficult and challenging and I get the fear that most people have around getting started.
It’s so scary, because you don’t want to get hurt, right? And you’re thinking, “Is this going to be what gets me the results that I want? Because if I invest all this time and energy into getting into my fitness routine, is it going to yield the results that I need and that I want in my life?”
You might also be thinking, “You know what? I don’t want to be sore all the time. I just want to feel good and energized. And I’m tired enough as it is.” Right?
So, I wanted to share this with you because maybe you have a friend that has been telling you forever, “There’s nothing out there for me. It’s too late for me. I’m just too unfit to get fit.” Or maybe that’s you.
Maybe you’re the one with the fears, or maybe it’s a friend of yours, but I’m going to equip you with some ideas and some ways of thinking about fitness when getting started so that you feel more confident, less afraid of going into this direction of getting your body into the best health of your life.
That’s what I really want for you.
I want you to feel like, “Okay, I can get started and I can actually feel my best one day.”
Hell, yeah, you can.
But it’s not easy, and I’m not going to lie to you. It is always going to be challenging to get started. I can’t sugarcoat that, but I can help armor you with courage and confidence to do it. With knowledge and with confidence in yourself. Belief in yourself.
So, I want to give you a little background, because when I talk about fitness and health, it comes from a long, long background of being in fitness and founding my education in exercise physiology.
I thought that one day I would be a cardiologist, or I would be an exercise physiologist. I worked in exercise physiology and at children’s hospital doing stress testing for kids with congenital heart and lung disease. I worked in cardiac rehabs. I did that during my internships in college and in grad school.
I remember really feeling good about really understanding the body so that I could truly help people that were sick, people that had a degenerative disease like MS or Parkinson’s.
I knew how to help move their body and understand their musculature so that I could not hurt them in the process. I was a physical therapy aide for a while. And when I graduated from school, I had all of this amazing knowledge about the body, and I wanted to use that to really help people.
But the hospital wasn’t where I wanted to spend my life, and I think we all have that choice.
We go to school, we get an education, and then we say, “How do I want to use my education?” And I looked at it as, “What is the life I want to live?” and combined that with the education that I had.
At the time, I wanted to help people avoid sickness in health. You might have heard me say this before, but I was so beyond qualified to work with people that were not sick. I was qualified to work with people that were sick, but I was passionate about being outside the hospital – being with people that wanted to just change their health early, so that they weren’t in cardiac rehab… So that they weren’t getting stress tests because they had a heart attack.
Because they didn’t have a degenerative disease already.
A lot of that can’t be preventable, but I realized there’s still about 70% of America that’s overweight and obese.
And that, my friends, is preventable.
Obesity is preventable, and it’s also treatable.
It’s treatable beyond just pills and medication and fad diets and tummy tucks and all of that.
It helps people with their symptoms, and it helps them with the condition they’re dealing with. There’s no hate. There’s no judgment there.
But for the people that want to take it to the level of, “I’m going to change my behaviors, I’m going to change my lifestyle. I’m going to get healthy. I’m going to actually choose to do what’s good for my body so that I can live longer. I can live better. I can live with more energy and stamina. I can travel. I can hike. I can play with my kids. My kids won’t be taking care of me, because I’m in a wheelchair, because my legs are no longer functioning because my diabetes have taken over my body.”
Stuff like that is happening every day.
You might not have that condition, but you might know someone that does. You might see them on TV. You might see the pharmaceutical ads on television, marketing to this audience.
I want you to stop and think right now. Is the way you’re living leading to a disease? A condition that you could prevent?
I don’t know all the different reasons that people are getting cancer, or people are dying of heart attacks, or people are getting degenerative diseases. I don’t know why. And many researchers are out there discovering these things every day.
There’s one thing I do know — If you try to live a healthier lifestyle, you’re going to have a better chance at avoiding being a statistic. You will. Just, bottom line. People that are living a healthier life are living a better life, and they’re actually contributing to healthcare in a positive way.
I go to the hospital or see my doctor, once a year. And I don’t get medications prescribed to me. I don’t have sleep medication. I don’t have medications for anything. No judgment on people that have medications. All I’m saying is ask yourself, in your life, am I living my healthiest life? Am I fueling myself right? Am I exercising regularly? Am I moving my body? Am I getting sleep? Am I drinking water?
If not, it’s time to start.
And this is about fitness. This is about getting your body moving again. I’m not going to go into all the other things. It’s about getting started on your fitness journey, my friend, because it’s time.
To live your healthiest life you got to move your body. You got to be strong. It is a myth when people say that exercising makes them tired. It’s not true.
If you’re choosing the right ways to get started, and sustain your fitness and your health, it’s going to energize you. It’s going to make you feel better. It’s going to increase your stamina on a daily basis. As an exercise physiologist with 19 years of experience as a personal trainer — I feel really old saying that — I’m like, “Wait a minute. Have I really been a fitness expert for 19 years?”
Yes. That’s after six years of studying exercise physiology and then practicing and working with people, giving them programs, designing custom programs, and really learning even more about training, and conditioning, the body.
When it comes time for someone to start their fitness journey, this is a very delicate time. Not only mentally and emotionally, but physically.
You are vulnerable to a lot of things when you’re just getting started. So, you’ve got to really consider that when you’re getting started, and not just say, “Okay, I’m just going to choose something out of a whim, and I’m just going to go with it. I’m going all-in, and it’s cold turkey. Going from no-exercise to all-exercise, and I’m just ready to crush it, and gotta change my life.” Isn’t that what you hear? People go from zero to 100 in a week when they’re getting started, and that is scary. It is.
The three fitness programs to avoid when you get started:
I’m not going to go into what to do, how to do it, when to do it, just yet. But I want you to think about these three types of fitness programs to avoid if you are ready to change your life.
If you are ready to get started, and get moving, then it’s your time.
But I want you to avoid high impact type programs when getting started. That’s the jumping, the plyos, the high impact, high intensity. That’s even running, right? High impact are the jumping, the plyos, the burpees, high intensity, HIIT training type workouts.
I want you to avoid those because your muscles are going to be in shock. As soon as you start exercising, your muscles are waking up, but they’re not already a tense, strong, toned muscle, ready to absorb shock. The muscles aren’t ready to absorb the shock of high impact, so high impact is just going to be on your joints. It’s going to be something you really want to take care of early on in this phase of getting started on your fitness journey.
You want to take care of your joints. You want to think about low impact, and good cardio, good strength training, with low impact exercises. You don’t have to go jumping all over the place or running all over the place to start losing weight.
As a beginner, you actually have an advantage, because when you just start fitness, that’s where you have the largest room for growth. It’s where you’re going to see the results fastest on your fitness journey. But if you go right into high impact type of programming, you are going to destroy your joints. They’re going to scream at you. You’re going to start feeling achy, and you’re going to feel cranky. All that stuff is going to happen, and you’re going to be in pain.
Your muscles are going to be so sore. I’m talking so sore, that you’re the Tin Man walking around your house. That’s because you just jacked your muscles into a way that they’re just in shock. Extra lactic acid has been produced. It is immovable and you’re not going to want to work out for a week. That’s why I want you to avoid high impact plyo type programming when you start a fitness program.
The second type of program I want you to avoid when you just get started is heavy lifting style programs. Do not go to CrossFit. I’m sorry, CrossFitters, but you know that somebody who’s brand new to fitness shouldn’t start their first week in CrossFit doing the workout of the day. Right?
Think about other ways of easing into it. Go lighter on the weights. Do the move without weight.
That’s not a good way to start. Going heavy, going hard, is going to make you go home. You know they say, “Go hard or go home”? Well, you go hard, you will go home. And you probably won’t come back out for a while.
The reason that I want you to avoid that is because when you start going heavy really quick, you haven’t yet developed your integrity to support heavy lifting moves yet. Around your joints you have smaller muscle groups that support around that joint. Then, you’ve got bigger muscle groups the further you go away from the joint. But, you know, they’re all kind of attached. I don’t want to go into detail.
You got to have strong joint integrity, which means strong musculature, and a strong tendon and muscle connection there, that feels ready for heavy. But if you don’t start with some joint integrity moves, or you don’t start with some lighter weight or 0 core moves, or just certain style exercises that get your joints ready and get you strong and stable from the core out, your abs are weak and you’re starting to do a deadlift, you’re going to throw out your back. If you’re doing heavy lifting, chest press, and you can’t even do a push up, you’re going to strain your shoulder.
The third one that I want to talk about is single modality. Single modality style programs are best to avoid in the beginning. The reason I say this is because in the beginning of your fitness journey, your body needs variety. It needs variety not only in modality, which means don’t just run. Don’t just walk. Don’t just bike. Don’t just hike. Those are single modalities.
It’s something you do every day and you don’t change it up. Your body, when it gets started, it needs variety, and if you’re doing one modality … I think the only exception is swimming. I would say that swimming is probably totally fine as a single modality program if you’re just getting started, because you’re light. Right? You’re in water, so you’re in buoyancy, and so you’re not straining and putting a lot of pressure on your joints and your limbs, and there’s also a lot of mobility happening. Great cardiovascular strength.
But the other ones are going to need a variety of things. You’re going to need to stretch. If you eliminate stretching or stretching type workouts, mobility type workouts, then you’re going to start to get over-use injuries. You’re going to start to get chronic tightness in your body. And you’re not going to challenge yourself at different intensities so that you’re going to hit a plateau, and you’re going to be like, “Hmm, why am I stuck? Why am I here? I started biking and I really love it. I go out every day, and I’m biking, biking, biking.” And I’m like, “Are you stretching?” Because that’s important. Otherwise, you’re going to start to feel it in your lower back. You’re not going to have been strengthening your core, your abs. You’re not going to be able to open up your hip flexors.
Lots of things can start happening to someone who is only biking and they’re not doing all these other things to open up their body, to stretch, to increase core strength, to increase the strength in their upper back, and muscles that are going to also need the work versus just the pedaling. So your body starts to get all these imbalances, and it can get some overuse injuries. Same thing when you’re just hiking, or same thing when you’re just walking or running. You’ve got to incorporate the variety of different things to keep your body feeling healthy, and not overusing the same muscles without working on the balance, without working on the mobility and the flexibility and the strength to counteract the primary muscle groups that are used during that primary modality.
I want you to think about those things, because it’s really, really important that if you decide, “Okay, I’m going to get started. I’m ready to go. It’s go time, baby. Let’s do this.” I want you to say, “Okay. Am I doing only one thing? Is this a single modality program?”
Most exercise programs out there are adding variety. You’re doing different exercises. You’re working the whole body. You’re stretching and you’re getting that recovery in. That’s great. Is it high impact? Are you jumping around the whole time? Are you doing too much high impact where your muscles are going to get shocked and your joints are going to get destroyed? Or is it heavy lifting? Are you lifting really heavy in the beginning, where you haven’t done enough of the other joint integrity and strengthening and balancing moves, and mobility moves, that get your body prepped and ready?
Those are the three types of programs I really highly recommend that you avoid in the beginning.
Now, as you get going and as you get working your way through your program, your first program, you’re going to be like, “Yes. I’m ready for this other stuff. I’m ready for more intense. I’m ready for single modality.” But I guarantee you’re going to be so glad you started by building a strong foundation of your body.
This is why I created my 21 Days to Kickstart Your Fitness program, because it’s a program that I designed that is going to build that joint integrity, to build that core, that mobility, that flexibility, that strength and that conditioning of your body so that you can be ready for anything.
When you get started, you’ve got to build a foundation of strength and conditioning of your entire body in a safe, effective manner. It’s so important.
That’s why, for I don’t know, the past seven years, since I talked to Beachbody about this program, I’ve been wanting to create this beginner program. So often I see so many people get started in the wrong way that they give up, and then they feel like everything is too hard. Everything makes them too sore. Everything is painful. Everything takes too long. They’re not seeing progress.
A lot of times I hear, “Well, I’ve been walking every day.” I’m like, “Well, have you been doing anything but that?” It’s a great start, but you’ve got to also incorporate other elements to keep progressing.
The variety of intensities is invaluable, because our body is just incredible. It adapt so quickly. But it also needs recovery. If you think about your body as this highly adaptable machine, where you put it to work and it does the work, but then afterwards it needs help to recover, to restore itself, so that it can be ready for the next thing. And as it’s recovering and restoring, it’s getting stronger.
But if the next workout is just as hard, is just as intense, the body’s like, “Boom. I’m back into this shock, survival mode. I got to work hard. I got to work hard.” And then it’s got to recover.
The important thing is that you give your body the right recovery, and you change the intensities of your workouts so that every workout is not as hard as the one before it. You go in a wave. When you do that, your body gets enough time to recover and then it’s ready to crush it the next time.
The last thing is you want to make sure that you pick a program you can do consistently.
That’s why I built this program the way it is, because I want you to have something you can do consistently, because that creates momentum.
That’s what creates the results.
That’s what creates the reward that you’ve been looking for. Because when you start a fitness program, you want that reward. You want to feel like you’re building momentum, and that you’re gaining strength, and you’re gaining that ability to stay consistent.
It’s hard when you’re feeling beat up every day. It’s hard when you feel like you haven’t really gotten any recovery. It’s hard when your body is as stiff as ever. It’s hard when you feel like, “I’m going to never be able to sit on the toilet without screaming first.”
I want you to be successful in gaining that momentum and consistency, and that’s why this program is designed to have a variety of different workouts with different intensities and allowing your body to have recovery techniques that make you feel incredible for the next workout.
I want to share with you education on what to avoid, and then what is necessary when you’re getting started. If you’ve got those two, and you’re feeling good, you’re absolutely going to crush it.
You’re actually going to feel good during your program. You’re going to feel proud of yourself. You’re going to feel like maybe this is too easy. “Is getting fit this easy?” I want you to feel like that. I want you to feel like, “Wow, changing my lifestyle and starting a fitness program this is going to make me feel healthy and help me avoid disease, and not be a statistic, and be a positive impact on the healthcare system, wow, I never knew it could be this easy.“
You’re only going to continue getting stronger and advancing the amount of weight that you can hold, the types of exercises that you can do, the confidence is going to grow, and you might find you’re going to become a new person.
That’s what I want for you.
That’s why I created 21 Days To Kickstart Your Fitness.
That is why I’m shooting a podcast on why so many people are failing in the beginning, because they’re attempting it in the wrong way.
Now, you’ve got the advice from an expert, fitness expert, exercise physiologist, and I want you to then choose a path that is right for you. Maybe it’s not my program, but make sure it’s not a high impact program, a heavy lifting program, or a single modality program, and I guarantee you you’re going to be successful.
Make sure you guys check out all the details down below on the 21 Days To Kickstart Your Fitness if you are ready for that lifestyle change.