How to make the most of your January workouts?

So it’s that time of year again - the very start of it. Which means a lot of people want to start it off right and finally take care of themselves. Coming from a fitness profession myself, what I find inspiring about this is that among the masses of people that start off in their fitness journey, there’s always a select few who make it a permanent change. A permanent lifestyle. Without doubt there will be someone who is ending off 2020 with an incredible transformation that started in January.

Another sense of positivity is that a lot of people this January will be doing something they haven’t done for a long time. They’ll be exercising. But its way more than just that. They may not see it this way, but they’ll be taking care of themselves, they’ll be making the first step in not only losing weight, but improving their overall health physically, and emotionally.

Now as a trainer here’s what I want everyone starting in January to know and remember when it gets tough. It’s okay to take a lot of breaks. Being in the gym in the beginning isn’t easy, and there’s nothing wrongwith taking long and numerous breaks if you haven’t exercised in a long time. No one in the gym is making fun of you for being in the gym. It doesn’t matter if you weigh 600lbs. If you arein the gym, you are actively taking the necessary steps to improve. That’s all people see. Sooner or later you’re going to have a badday of nutrition, and you’re going to end up missing a day at the gym. Do not let that bring you down and stop your progress. It happens toeveryone, even professional athletes. Make sure you get right back on track the next day and don’t let it become a habit.

So, let’s talk about how we can make this start a strong one, and avoid a lot of growing pains, and make sure you get results to keep you motivated.

So here you are. First day in the gym in way longer than you’d like to admit. What to do? That treadmill looks easy. All you have to do is press start and boom, your exercising. Although it may be good for a warm up, don’t get sucked in to the false security of doing an entire workout on a cardio machine. Your entirebody needs to exercise, so the best way to start is by doing a full body workout.

Now if all these machines look intimidating,or you’re just not sure exactly how they work, don’t shy away from them. All your major muscle groups need exercising, shoulders, chest, back, core, and lower body. These machines are a great way to build some foundational strength. Ask a staff member or a trainer to show you how to use them if you have any difficulties. Personally, some of the most successful people I’ve met in the gym have been completely honest in their knowledge. They come in and tell me “I don’t know what to do, I don’t have a big budget, can we please do one or two sessions and you just show me what I need to do when I’m here”. These people take the guess work out ofeverything and learn how to utilize any gyms equipment right from the start. They know what machines work what body parts, how much weight to use on a machine, and have a solid workout lined up for them for the next month until they need to get more advanced exercises. Not to mention, they get a feel for how the intensity of a workout should feel like. How much effort they need to exert in order to see results within a reasonable amount of time.

But what if you’re not the type of person who wants to do your own workouts? Would a class environment be better suited for you? In my opinion classes are an excellent way for someone who hasn’t exercised to begin for a couple reasons. All the guess work is taken out of the workout. The certified instructor knows exactly what exercises need to be done and forhow long. The intensity is exactly what’s needed for someone to progress. If your form isincorrect, the instructor can help you go over the proper way of doing exercises, which means less chance of injury and greater efficiency of increasing metabolism.There are many ways to start of the seasonin the gym and although I really don’t think anytype of exercise is bad.

However, if I had to give some advice what people should avoid during the new year it’s this. Please do not get into the habit of going to the gym, and only doing a moderate intensity effort workout on a cardio machine day after day. In my opinion this is what deters most people after January. They’ve showed up about 8-10 times all month.Walked/jogged/stepped/cycled at a moderate 5out of 10 intensity for 30 minutes, and have seen 0 results. I have nothing against cardio equipment. But I do see this as a constant new year trend. In order to get some results, try your absolute best to avoid finding yourself in this habit.

Starting back up in January whether it’s been a couple months off or a couple years canbe the much-needed reset that a lot of people need. Just know that fitness is not a one month commitment and can take people down many different routes. Stay consistent, vary your exercises, and do not get discouraged by eventual setbacks. Like I said, every January starts with a lot of people, but every year, there’s a few people who change their lives for the better, and it all started last January.

-Adam Camara

December 17, 2019
  • Adam Camara
  • Personal Trainer