As a beginner fitness enthusiast, what should be my aim?

I clearly remember,  it was June 2009, summer vacations.

I was ecstatic, about to meet a girl, I had crush on. We studied in different colleges, (How did I knew her ? We were form same school.)

We were at her home. I don’t know how, but the topic of discussion turned around and she asked me to flex my biceps. I was perplexed. Flabbergasted. I knew my physique was pathetic, biceps were around 10.5 inches then. With a meek ashamed smile, I flexed them. She was definitely disappointed.  My crush, crushed all the hopes.

I desperately wanted to improve my fitness. I wanted to show her that, yes I can be a better version. But I had no idea how. Post vacations, I went back to college and joined a gym. Only to end up even more hurt, sore and fatigued. Reason or rather reasons ? Pathetic diet ,  incorrect form, zero knowledge etc. I was clueless. At that time, i didn’t even knew that proteins are the building blocks. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all study about proteins, fats and carbohydrates in school, question is how many of us implement it in our diet?

Started reading about health and fitness. There’s a lot of misinformation and misguidance out in the Internet. Why? Because the companies want money from you. Simple.

This post is dedicated to all the people, who can relate to the situation I described above.  What should you do when you know nothing ?

Read ! Yes, in this information era, where a host of knowledge is floating around us in the form of internet, all we need to do is read, from as many sources as possible. Try to correlate and find a pattern. I saw that, everyone talked about the same basic ideas. For example, to gain weight, you need to be in calorie surplus, and vice versa for losing weight.  Make your own notes , if required. We become what we eat. And I am damn serious, when I say this. You eat healthy, you become healthy, you eat junk, you know what you become. I started implementing this very seriously in my day to day life. I started moving. Playing games, running etc. Slowly, I started feeling better. Soon I realized, that my workout should also be in accordance with my goals.  If I am visualizing myself with bigger arms, running ain’t gonna help me. I have to use my arms in some form. Here comes lifting weights. So, I started lifting weights.

I was feeling better day by day, but I was not seeing results. That becomes very de-motivating for beginners. So what should we aim for? How much patience should we have before assuming this is not working out for me? Tricky, isn’t it?

Let me put it very straight forward, month by month expectation from yourself. [ it’s not sacrosanct, but yeah would work as baseline for beginners.]

Month 1 : Yeah ! Congratulate yourself. One should aim to learn the exercises correctly. Be it lifting weights, playing any sport, running, swimming, jogging, walking, skipping ropes etc. Without correct techniques, any form of physical exercise would become unsustainable. You should be able to control your cravings at the end of month 1.

Month 2: Wow ! Amazing ! You are really serious. This month , you start seeing subtle changes. Your stamina and strength are increasing. You aren’t gasping for breath every now and then. You have almost settled in your routine. If we talk about lifting weights, you can probably lift more as compared to the first month.

Month 3: Ahha ! Euphoria ! I will say you are strong willed. You  are seeing progress. Lifting more weights, stamina has increased considerably. Eating healthy for 3 months now , it’s visible in the form of clear skin, slimmer waist line, less fatigue etc.

Now what ? What should I aim for ?

If you are playing any sport, then by the end of third month, your capacity to play increases by almost 100%, i.e if you stopped playing after 30 mins at the start, now you can easily play for 1 hour. If you were lifting weights, the you would have almost increased the weights by 100%, i.e if you used to bench press 20 kilograms, you are benching 40 kilograms. That’s amazing right! Your confidence is increasing day by day. Same goes for any physical activity.

The real game starts now. Statistics say that, almost 70% people stop their healthy routine after three months. Only, to bounce back to their unhealthy self.  So, what to do know? I would strongly recommend sticking to healthy lifestyle, for your entire life. Please don’t misunderstand the word healthy with restrictions. For example, I am not saying you to not have ice-creams. I am saying you to  not abuse ice-cream.  Eat it responsibly. That’s it.

As far as lifting weights is concerned, one should aim to squat and bench their own weights.  That’s a good position to be in. For running, you should aim to run 2.5 kms under 12 minutes. A realistic time frame for this would be say 6  months or so.

To end, I will say,  if you decide, Nothing is impossible !

  ultimate transformation

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