Monday, January 18, 2010

What to do first?

What should I do first? What program should I be doing? It should be the first question anyone asks when they begin a training program. Sure you can listen to the grunters and screamers that tell you to "JUST DO IT!" However, often "just lifting" gets you only so far.

Having a plan and goals goes a lot further in long-term success than just trying to beat yourself up. Sure you see some initial results, but then you hurt, you plateau, and eventually become very frustrated.

Where to start then? First is to be realistic how often you can train. I tell people don't try to get every day, just try to see how many days you can commit to and stick with. Decide the best place for you to train. Some people love the gym, it is an escape from everything, others love being at home for the convenience.

Why does this matter? It will depend on what equipment you have available and how you might structure a routine. Some people may have cables, bands, squat racks, bumper plates available, while others may have a few kettlebells, sandbags, and a TRX. Neither is right, it is whatever keeps you motivated and focused.

What is your goal? Do you want to achieve certain lifts, body weight, body fat, heal some aches/pains? I usually recommend people choose two non-competitive goals. For example, it is hard to squat 1000 pounds if you only want to weigh 200 pounds. However, you may want to shoulder a 175 pound sandbag, but lose 10% body fat. That is definitely possible.

Identify what obstacles you may foresee. The truth is we are all going to face challenges to our goals. See how many of these you have control over and what might be things you have to work around.

Tell others of your goals, it often makes people more accountable if they tell important people in their lives about what they are trying to accomplish.

Tomorrow, I will talk about how to structure a week of training that anyone can adapt to have variety and focus!

Get the week off right, identify your goals, know where you are going to train, what obstacles will you face?

In Strength,
Josh Henkin, CSCS