How to Start or Change your Exercise Routine

How to Start or Change your Exercise Routine

So. Now that we’ve talked about nutrition and how we do it here at RUF... (if you didn’t read the last post.. you should go back and read it) let's talk about exercise. 


What do you do for exercise? What is it that scares you about it? WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE SHOULD YOU BE DOING.  In order to accurately assess this question, you must be honest about where you are physically and what your end goal is.


If you are new to the fitness world, let's start at the beginning. Exercise can be intimidating if you don't know what it looks like. 

 

Like I said in the first part of this post, the first thing you need to do when starting your fitness journey is to be realistic about WHERE YOU ARE PHYSICALLY. 


Let me tell you a little story about myself to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. 


When I decided to get back into shape, and went back into the gym it was primarily because I didn't like what I was seeing in the mirror. What I was looking at didn't reflect what I felt like I should look like. As a former gymnast, I had lived my early life in superior physical condition. Fast forward 10+ years, and 2 kids later, my external shell was showing how little I had done to keep up that level of fitness.  Truth be told, I may never be back at that level.

 

Be real about where you are physically.

 

Even though I could see that I wasn't in the same shape physically, my brain said I would still be able to achieve results like I did back when I was a strong gymnast. The expectations I had for myself were very high. I used to be able to whip out however many pull-ups my coach told me to do without breaking a sweat. My brain was telling me that I could still do it...... I'm here to tell you now even after months of training pull-ups, doing more than 2 strict pull-ups is challenging for me. I would walk into the gym and I would do all of the exercises I used to be able to do… mind you I had poor form and the reps were low.. but even at that rate, I would barely be able to move the next day! I would be so sore that it hurt to wash my hair or get dressed. I would work my legs so hard I would need to brace myself to sit down on the toilet... or I looked like I needed a cane to walk down a set of stairs. My soreness would be so extreme that I didn't want anyone to touch me. My kids, or my significant other would poke me, or grab me because they could see how sore I was, thinking it was funny to see me wince in pain...   It was pure AGONY!


It makes me giggle just a little bit to think of myself in that state.. And if I'm being REALLY honest with you.. It makes me giggle even harder to think of YOU in that state. 


But... here’s the unfortunate part. That kind of soreness always made me stop going. So I would go to the gym for ONE DAY, it would remind me how out of shape I was, I wouldn’t be able to move my body in a functional way the next day. And I would take a week off... that week would turn into two. I might go a few more times but at the end of the day... I never got into a routine of it. 


I made a CRUCIAL mistake. I overestimated myself. I pushed myself too hard initially. I wasn't honest about where I was PHYSICALLY.


So, if you are getting back into shape, or starting from scratch, don't make the same mistake I made.

That kind of intensity in exercise should never be your starting point. You need to gauge where you are. 


Next up on our list of “to-dos” when it comes to your fitness routine: You need to figure out what TYPE of exercise is going to work for you,  then be CONSISTENT with it.


Maybe you’ve just been sedentary for a long time and the biggest improvement you can make in your fitness routine is just being consistent in going on walks. 


Maybe you need to START incorporating weights. 


Maybe we need to convince you to come to a workout with me at RUF Headquarters. You could get thrown into an entirely world of fitness... You know, like I did when I first became a part of RUF! The whole cross-training world is pretty intense. But I have to say,  it's really a lot of fun once you start seeing progress. Having that group atmosphere is needed for some to push themselves to a level they normally wouldn’t. It has tremendously helped me with my goals! 


Maybe you have a good base but you’re looking to improve physically. Whether that be endurance... or fat loss... or you want to become the next Mr. or Mrs. Olympia and grow ALL THE MUSCLES. Or... you know... anywhere in between. 


My point is this… we need to figure out where to start… what your goals are and THEN we can start making a difference in your current activity level. 


We need to find something that even if it’s painful.. or hard.. you will CONTINUE doing.


Third: We need to talk about determination. 


You will not always feel like working out. You will be tired. You will have no motivation. You will tell yourself you're “too busy”. You will come up with excuses and you will use them.


I'm not here to tell you that your excuses are not valid. I'm here to tell you that your excuses will not get you results.


Your determination is the ONLY thing that’s going to change the life or body you currently have.


I don’t know what your goals are or what you’re trying to achieve in this life but I do know that whatever you’re trying to do you have to put EFFORT into it. It won’t always be fun but it will ALWAYS be worth it. 


And when it comes to fitness. If it's not challenging you, chances are it's not getting you to where you want to be physically. 


I can say that when it comes to just about anything in your life. So I will say it again like a blanket statement…  If it's not challenging you.. it's not changing you...you’re not growing.