I have always been intimidated by the gym. Any time I’ve gone in the past, I’d get on the treadmill or elliptical for a little bit, and then just kind of wander through the weight room trying out machines here and there. But I’ve always been self-conscious about it, I felt like I stuck out and that it was obvious to everyone around me that I had no idea what I was doing. I never approached fitness with a plan. But this time around I came up with a plan. My brother has been working as a personal trainer while he is going to school, and has decided to get his certification. He had a break coming up from school where he would be home for about seven weeks. So I asked him to come up with a schedule for me and to come to the gym with me and show me the ropes.

So, my number one piece of advice is this; get a trainer or find a friend who knows what they are doing, and have them help you. This is important for two reasons. If you are not using the equipment right, you could end up injuring yourself, and you may not be getting the full benefit from your workouts. A trainer will always push you harder than you’d push yourself. Whenever I feel like I’ve given all I can give, my brother will make me do just a few more reps. I’ve also learned that it’s not wise to tell your trainer you’re not sore, unless you want to be 😉

This has been a learning experience for both my brother and I. He experimented with different workouts for me, to see which work the best and he has written up a workout plan for me for while he is back at school. It’s was pretty easy to get to the gym, knowing that he is there to show me what to do. I’ve been going by myself for about a week now. He has given me enough tools and knowledge in the time that we’ve been working together, that I think I’m doing okay on my own.

I’ve also learned that it’s important to mix it up. Do different weight routines, alternate between weights and cardio, try out some group classes. You don’t want your workouts to get boring.

NEVER workout on an empty stomach. Your body needs fuel. Have a power snack 30 mins to an hour before working out. Try some fruit and nuts, a yogurt, or a power bar. If you try to work out on an empty stomach, you’ll be to weak to do any good, and may end up making yourself sick or dizzy. It’s important to remember to eat, just eat the right way

My feelings toward exercising are starting to change. I’m enjoying pushing myself and seeing the places that I can take my body and realizing what I’m actually capable of. I enjoy when my muscles are sore now, and I’m getting pretty good at pushing myself past the point when I don’t think I can do anymore. My brother told me to trust my body and what it’s capable of, and that really helps.

I think I may make my half way goal by next weeks weigh in. Making it to this point a bit earlier then I expected to has given me an extra boost of motivation. I still have a lot of work to do and a ways to go, but seeing how far i’ve come gives me the encouragement that I need to keep going.