Updated: Jan 27
As a personal trainer, I wish I could convince everyone to avoid rushing into their fitness goals all at once. In the wellness world we know 80% of the new enthusiast will disappear never to be seen again by February..
My suggestion...If fitness isn't your expertise chances are you could benefit from reviewing the basics before you set out to start exercising 7 days a week. Step in slowly. Learn the basics. TRY OUR FORM AND SAFTY GUIDE. Our guide helps guide you through phase one of the brain body connection. We often don't recognize the role our brain plays during exercises. We instead think it is the prime time to shut our brains down. This is why rushing in can be foolish. Even the seasoned gym rat often fails to pay attention to the imbalances within their own bodies. Our bodies naturally overcompensate so if we are not paying attention to our movements a weaker muscle will allow a stronger muscle to do it's job.
Imbalance within the body looks like poor form. Poor form leads to injury, frustration, lack of results and often is the obstacle between you and your goal. So before you make your list of goals let's go over the phases of the brain during your fitness journey.
COGNITIVE: During this phase, we will typically make more "mistakes". This is normal for newbies but should not be a phase you remain in forever. It takes roughly 5,000 reps to train your brain and your muscle to move autonomously, which is where you should strive to go. While entering this phase avoid setting unrealistic goals. You will give up thinking the journey is too hard. Stick with basic functional exercises until you are ready to progress. (If it takes 5.000 squats to perfect your form it would take 100 squats for almost 8 weeks.)
ASSOCIATIVE: The second stage is the transition of no longer thinking about how your body should be positioned. You would be feeling more comfortable with basic movements and would feel an inclination to challenge yourself even more. You are more efficient at making adjustments when hearing cues. If you have stuck with your routine long enough to enter into phase 2 chances are you have crossed the 90 day period that is needed to make a new habit stick. You want to give yourself enough time to make fitness a daily habit not a failed new Year's resolution.
AUTONOMY: After much repetition, you're due to reach autonomy. You will feel more comfortable in your own skin. You will autocorrect if something feels off. During this phase, your brain has more freedom. Your body is trained to move safely without having to focus on what you are doing or how you are supposed to be doing it. Most people don't make it this far in their fitness goals. This is when fitness becomes more than a dreadful task on your to-do list. I always say do not quit until your workout feels as necessary as your daily shower. It should feel so natural that you miss it when you're forced to skip a day.
The only way to make fitness fun is to START SLOW, SET REALISTIC GOALS, & FOCUS ON FORM. If you need some help, we're here for you. TRY OUR FORM AND SAFETY GUIDE.
Later this week during our mental health hot topic interview we will talk about INTENTIONS VS. GOALS. Don't miss!