Updated: Oct 13, 2020
When it comes to motivation, your brain is a mysterious creature. One minute you’re pumped, full of enthusiasm. A few weeks later the excuses start to creep in, and before you know it you haven’t been to the gym all week. SMART START is a beginners plan for fitness that is based on scientific research. Follow this simple approach to guarantee that your first steps to fitness are not your last.
THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS
+ START SLOW Don't push your body too soon. It’s okay to stop working out when you’ve had enough.
+ BUILD GRADUALLY Aim towards completing full workouts as your fitness builds.
+ MIX IT UP Mix strength, cardio and flexibility training options and learn what workouts consistently motivate you to get moving.
SIX-WEEK GUIDE TO STARTING OUT
Follow this scientifically-proven set of recommended activity levels for your first six weeks of exercise.
Cardio: You can start with the RPM cycling class Strength: Free weights area Core/Flexibility: Cross-training area / abs area
WEEK ONE 1x 20 min cardio workout, 1x 20 min strength workout and 1x 10 min core/flexibility workout
WEEK TWO 2x 20 min cardio workouts, 1x 30 min strength workout and 1x 20 min core/flexibility workout
WEEK THREE 2x 30 min cardio workouts, 1x 30 min and 1x 20 min strength workout and 1x 30 min core/flexibility workout
WEEK FOUR 2x 30 min and 1x 20 min cardio workouts, 1x 60 min strength workout and 1x 30 min core/flexibility workout
WEEK FIVE 2x 50 min and 1x 20 min cardio workouts, 1x 60 min and 1x 20 min strength workout and 1x 60 min core/flexibility workout
WEEK SIX 2x 60 min and 1x 30 min cardio workouts, 1x 60 min and 1x 30 min strength workout and 1x 60 min core/flexibility workout
AFTER SIX WEEKS
Well done for making through your first weeks. To really lock in your healthy new habit, the next 12 weeks is just as critical to success. Each week from now should include 3 x 60 minute cardio workouts, 2 x 60 minute strength workouts and 1 x 60 minute session of core/flexibility work.
Example: You can attend to RPM class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and get your cardio workout done. Come in Tuesday and Thursdays x 60 min each day and get your strength workout in the free weight area. Come in Saturday and get your core/flexibility workout in the cross-training area or abs area. And rest on Sunday or play around with the days of your week, Just make sure you are always keeping the hard work and a mind set!.
People who work out in a group are far more likely to stick at exercise than those who go it alone.
Get Fit Together, a study conducted by Dr. Jinger Gottschall from the Pennsylvania State University, followed 25 sedentary adults through a 30-week program of group fitness classes.
The 30 weeks started with an initial six week period encouraging the exercisers to “dip their toes” into fitness before building up to a six-day-a-week exercise schedule. The gradual introduction meant that instead of feeling sore from overworking unfit muscles and giving up, the group actually enjoyed their path into exercise.
The results were awesome – so good that participants delayed the onset of cardio vascular disease by an average of 3.6 years. Over the 30 week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 per cent – almost unheard of in exercise studies. This commitment is proof that, when it comes to exercise, you shouldn’t go it alone – combining a steady start with the support of others works wonders.