It’s important to be objective when getting started with a new fitness regimen. If you plan on going it alone (i.e. without a personal trainer), then your own objectivity is twice as crucial. But carried out with a fair amount of caution and a strong dose of discipline, you could easily revolutionise your own physical fitness level.
So to that end, consider the following pointers before taking up a new workout programme:
Take an inventory of your personal fitness level.
When setting up a new fitness programme for clients, fitness instructors and personal trainers begin by taking inventory. Assuming you are honest with yourself, you probably already have a good idea of your personal fitness level, but it never hurts to quantify your personal state of fitness with some numbers to corroborate it, such as the following:
- How long it takes you to walk or jog a mile
- How many reps of a standard workout (such as sit-ups or push-ups) you can complete without resting
- Your body mass index (BMI)
- Your resting pulse rate as well as your elevated pulse (after completing a workout)
This data can be used to set benchmarks, chart progress and determine the efficacy of one set of workouts over another.
Set clear-cut goals for yourself.
Why are setting out to design a new fitness programme? Are you training for an event, looking to lose weight, trying to build muscle or body mass? Each of these fitness goals are achieved by very different workout programmes. For example, if it’s a six-pack you’re after, you’re going to need to mix good old-fashioned aerobic exercise on an elliptical trainer or similar apparatus with a regimen of strength training. Clear goals lead to more effective workouts and ARE especially important given the limited time most people have to dedicate to exercise.
Gather all the equipment you need ahead of time.
As mentioned in the above pointer, the right equipment can make a great deal of difference in the success of your new workout programme. After determining benchmarks and setting goals, you will want to go online in search of the right equipment to achieve these goals. The Internet is your friend when it comes to comparing prices, reading reviews and doing your own research.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that many of us are constantly (albeit, subconsciously) looking for reasons to skip or shorten our workouts. If you don’t have the right equipment ahead of time, it is going to be that much easier to cheat yourself out of exercising.
Keep track of your progress and physical state of health.
No one knows your own body better than you do. While those benchmarks developed in the first pointer can help you be objective about your progress, you also need to listen to your body. Pain and other forms of discomfort could be a sign that you are overdoing it, or that you are doing a particular exercise incorrectly.
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