Dear Gym Newbies,
It’s now February and if you’re still managing to visit the gym a few days each week, then you’re in the minority. In fact, you’re among the 20% of folks who actually follow through beyond January! If you’ve already fallen victim, let’s try a little reset. Bioathletic lives to build strong, mobile and bulletproof humans, so we’ve got a few pointers to help you on your journey.
First of all, why did you decide to take this plunge?
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your kids are running rings around you, or maybe it dawned on you that the only regular workout you had all year was heaving your bins to the kerb for the weekly collection. Maybe a health scare for yourself or a family member has brought a proactive approach to wellness into your mindset. Whatever your reason, keep it front of mind because there will be days when you’ll need to zone in on your ‘why’ to punt the snooze button and get yourself out of bed.
Next, choose your poison. And exactly how many doses you intend to take.
Don’t make the mistake of forcing yourself into a form of exercise which you despise because your best friend’s neighbour got phenomenal results. You’ll hate every minute and that makes it so much harder to stick with it. If you’re making this change for the right reason you need to be in it for the long haul, so you might as well enjoy it. And if you try [insert first exercise choice here] and decide it’s not for you, don’t quit. Just switch your focus and determination to another activity.
Another common January mistake is going too hard too soon. There is no point in going gung-ho with daily sessions for all of January if that’s where it ends. Start with 2 or 3 days per week. Then add another day or two as you find your groove (and the muscle soreness that comes with a new training program disappears).
Lastly, learn to listen to your body and your better judgement. Injuries in the early days are commonly related to two culprits – inexperience and overuse.
Inexperience becomes an injury when technique and program design are not considered with your unique body in mind. While it’s tempting to take a program from a fitness magazine and slug it out – that program was not built for you. And chances are, it will lead to injury or less than optimal results.
Overuse turns to injury when joints are put through repeated trauma without adequate recovery time or support. Even something as simple as running can cause overuse injuries where a stride pattern (gait) promotes overuse of a particular muscle group or a joint has too much/too little range of motion.
Attempting to assess your own injury risk prior to starting a program is near impossible, so invest in some professional help early to avoid much bigger investments (and potentially the need to stop training and lose your progress) when an injury strikes.
Our Physiotherapy team are experts at analysing your biomechanics, adjusting your fitness magazine strength program or even setting you up with a bespoke program to address your individual needs.
Good luck with your sweat journey, you champion!
Trav is a Physiotherapist with an Exercise Science background who specialises in shoulder injuries and gym-based rehab. He believes that injury rehab is an opportunity to work on performance and to emerge better than before you were injured.