Embarking on a new fitness program can be an exciting experience… initially. You have everything all planned out and you’re hoping to become fit and look great in about 90 days from now.
Here’s what you may not know – most people quit on their fitness programs within a month, and most do it within the first two weeks.
For all their enthusiasm, they throw in the towel within 14 days because they have no idea what’s in store for them. In this article, you’ll discover why the first two weeks are the toughest part of any fitness program.
* Old habits die hard
If you’ve led a sedentary lifestyle for years, suddenly starting on a fitness program will come as a rude shock to your body and you, whether you realize it or not. Most change is met with opposition.
You may find yourself in a position where by the 5th day, your mind keeps cooking up reasons to skip the workout. You dread the discomfort and exhaustion.
The best way to overcome this problem will be to complete your workout first thing in the morning. This is especially true for most fitness programs which are mostly cardio and conditioning in nature.
These are the tiring and draining workouts that people shudder when they think about. So, it’s best to get it over and done with in the morning. Do not overthink this.
DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. This affects almost everyone when they just start exercising after a long period of inactiveness.
The best way to prevent this will be to give only 25 to 35 percent of your maximum effort during your first workout. Then gradually increase the amount of effort every day.
You want to ease into your fitness regimen gradually. This is the better approach to take and you’ll not end up being in pain for days as your body recovers from inflamed muscles.
* New unfamiliar moves
Initially, you may find it difficult to execute some of the moves in the workouts. This is especially true for yoga workouts where the body is required to adopt poses that it’s not familiar with. It can be challenging.
Even with cardio workouts like Insanity Max which requires you to do pop push ups, you may find that you can’t even do one push up.
Facing difficulty when you’re starting out is perfectly normal. Rest assured that you will improve and will be able to execute these moves proficiently in time to come.
As long as you’re doing your best, you will get better. For exercises that you can’t do, look for ways to modify the movements to make them easier. E.g. resting your knees on the ground when doing push ups or doing squats instead of tuck jumps, etc.
Alas… exhaustion is probably the bane of most beginners. Depending on the intensity of the workout, you may be gasping for air and sweating buckets.
Fitness programs such as Insanity Max will have you drained and exhausted within the first 7 minutes as you struggle to make it to the end of the workout. Once again, this is all for your own good.
Being exhausted during and after a workout shows that you’re giving maximum effort. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’ll be setting the stage for you to improve by leaps and bounds in future.
You can only polish a gem with friction. So, strive to complete your workouts even if you’re drenched with perspiration.
One important point to note: There’s a difference between exhaustion and burn out. If you reach a stage where there are consecutive days where you’re too drained to complete your workout, that means your central nervous system needs a break.
Take a 3-day break to rest and recover. You’ll be fine after that.
* Lack of patience
Sometimes when your workouts are excruciatingly hard and the clean diet is making you gag, you will expect to see miraculous results within 2 weeks because of the amount of discomfort you’re facing.
However, losing weight and getting fit takes time. It takes about 90 days to see and feel a very noticeable difference. You need to pace yourself accordingly.
If you expect too much too soon, you’ll be disappointed and throw in the towel when you don’t see fast results. The juice will not seem to be worth the squeeze to you.
Do not struggle with too many drastic changes all at once. Make gradual changes to your diet so that you can adapt more easily. The goal is to make measurable progress in reasonable time.
There’s no need to overhaul your entire lifestyle in a day. As long as you aim for small improvements daily, in about 3 months, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.
Stick to your fitness program from start to end. We’ll end this article with 3 quotes. Write them on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you’ll see often.
These quotes will remind you to keep going even when every bone in your body is telling you to quit.
1. “Where you start is not as important as where you finish.” – Zig Ziglar
2. “Many will start fast, few will finish strong.” – Gary Ryan Blair
3. “Crossing the starting line may be an act of courage, but crossing the finishing line is an act of faith.” – John Bingham
You can do it.