“Everything works for 6 weeks” -Kris
There is this common fitness narrative that goes something like this: person is struck by a bolt of inspiration that has them upright, off the couch, into a pair of trainers (or barefoot, depending on the trend) and hitting the road to train for a 10k despite the fact that they haven’t run more than 50 meters in years. Great, right? The inspirations last and for six weeks they are kicking butt, running day after day, working up to 10 k. Sounds amazing.
They then show up to us about four months later with an injury because “everything works for six weeks.” Then after that, you’re ready to get on a plan that you can mentally and physically sustain.
No matter what new fitness goal you have, starting a new fitness activity, one that your body isn’t used to, requires working into it and up to it. It seems counter intuitive, but even if you are making a big fitness related life change, “Go Big or Go Home” doesn’t work out for most people. “Go Slow”… perhaps. Thinking long-game is a better strategy. Yes, you might have to delay your 10 k for another six months, but it also means that you won’t spend your time following that 10k rehabbing due to an injury and thus, being set back even further then the couch!
When that bolt of inspiration hits and you’re about to start a new fitness activity, follow our recommendations.
- Get fit first: you need to be fit first before taking on a major challenge – but you do not need to be fit before you come to the gym. Set yourself up with a fitness plan that includes: regular stretching, balanced exercising (if you push, you must pull for example), weight training and movements that help build your structural integrity ie: core.
- Slow it down: anyone can run, right? Well, not anyone can run right. Many people have bad habits so slow down your movements and have a professional assess and then adjust, and repeat. This way, before you start practicing the wrong moment patterns, you develop the correct methods first and then speed things up.
- Long game plan: set up a work-back plan of sorts. Set a goal down the road, and then work back from there in a realistic way that includes your get-fit-first mentality.
- Road-blocks: what are the things that get in the way of your training or sticking to your schedule? What detour can you set-up for yourself? For example, your child is home sick from school, you have to miss your scheduled workout at the gym. Get creative – a few block runs or a bodyweight workout can still tick a lot of boxes. Something is better than nothing.
When you reach your goal, whether it’s a 10k, a triathlon, a 12-A climb or a bike race, keep it up after the fact. We have helped many of our clients move from off the couch to meet their goal. Many of them have used that goal as a beginning of their journey to a consistent and health lifestyle.