There are so many benefits of regular exercise, but knowing how to start can be tricky.
The best time to start exercising is now, but starting an exercise routine after years (or even decades) of neglecting your fitness can feel incredibly intimidating. No one wants to feel like the last kid picked in gym class, and many experience feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and a real fear of looking foolish when they consider exercising.
People who decide to start training again after a prolonged break often have to navigate through a wave of emotions and insecurities, often reaching back to their childhood. At BodyRock, we’ve been helping people to take their very first steps on their way to getting into the best shape of their lives since 2008, and we’ve had thousands of conversations with beginners over that time. We recognize that most people have feelings of trauma when it comes to their bodies - maybe it was an experience of rejection, an embarrassing moment, a feeling of being publicly shamed or being bullied. Whatever it was that you went through, or are currently experiencing - whatever it is that has brought you here to read these words, we get it.
You have to move through a lot of self-negotiation and discovery to get to the point of having the courage to want to get started. We applaud you for getting this far, because many people don’t. If you want to start exercising, we have the way. The on-ramp to your fitness journey starts here.
Check your health. It’s important that you check in with your healthcare provider to let them know that you are going to start exercising. They will clear you, or let you know if they have any concerns. Any issues that might cause (or worsen) an injury need to be addressed so that you can focus on your progress. Disclaimers out of the way, let's break this down.
Keep your ‘why’ close to your heart. Everyone has their own personal motivations for wanting to change - because that is ultimately what we are talking about here - the desire to make a change in your life. Exercise is just the means of making that change. Your reasons why are yours, they form the foundation of your initial motivations to get started. Hold them close. Revisit them in your mind. Visualize them, even if they are painful. Exercise has the power to filter your thoughts and emotions, and when you feed the energy of your ‘why’ into your workouts, you will find power and drive to push forward.
Follow a program that will meet you at your current fitness level. One of the biggest mistakes that people fall into as a beginner is signing up for exercise programs that are too advanced for them. This happens for a number of reasons. People get excited about the high tempo energy of an online workout, the graphics and music get them pumped, and they want to be part of something that feels dynamic and exhilarating. In short, people buy into the marketing and packaging, but when it comes to starting the actual workouts, they discover that they are in, way, way over their heads. Unfortunately most people blame themselves for not being able to keep up with the workouts, and the experience gets chalked up as yet another fitness failure, when it was actually just a bad fit for their needs.
We all have to learn to crawl before we walk, step before we run, run before we leap. It’s exactly the same for your fitness journey, and there is nothing wrong with being a beginner. We wear it as a badge of honour in our BodyRock community. Being a beginner is a sign of incredible courage. We don’t take a one size fits all approach to our workout programming here at BodyRock, shoe horning people into workouts that set them up for failure. Instead we show up everyday with a fresh episode of the BodyRock Beginner Workout, on our streaming platform BodyRockPlus (think NetFlix but for workouts), a program specifically designed to meet our beginners exactly at the point where they are starting from. Our commitment to show up every single day with a smile of encouragement and new exercises forms a bond that keeps our community going, but the truth is, we show up for each other - even when life gets tough. You can’t find this type of reciprocal commitment just anywhere - it comes from the heart. This routine is habit forming, and knowing that you have this level of daily support keeps beginners just starting out going and accountable.
Build your confidence. Our beginner workout series is designed to be achievable - which means that you will actually be able to complete your workouts each day, even as they push and challenge you. Many beginners have never experienced the feelings of positive accomplishment that come from actually being able to complete a workout. Think about that for a second. Most people have never felt ‘successful’ when it comes to their fitness - not once in their lives. When you give them the opportunity to participate in a beginner level workout program, they often feel a totally new, and intensely profound sense of physical accomplishment. This starts to compound their overall confidence level in themselves and what they are capable of. Achievability is what is so often missing from workout programs, but it’s something that we consider foundational on BodyRockPlus.
As you start to feel more empowered, your motivation - that sacred ‘why’ that got you to start to want to exercise in the first place, becomes infused with a newly discovered confidence and the emerging knowing that you can do this, that you were always in fact capable, and that you are much stronger than you ever realized.
You start to realise that fitness is not related to your insecurities or experiences of trauma. Fitness, it begins to dawn on you, is an antidote and healing balm for old wounds and feelings of self-doubt that you have been holding. Fitness reframes your perspective, clears your mind and begins to help you heal.
Be consistent, not perfect. Our vibe here at BodyRockPlus is about consistency, not pretending to be perfect. Our coaches are all real people, with kids, jobs, family. When they are having a rough day they own it. They understand that life does not look or feel like instagram. Consistency is what human beings can realistically strive for, and it’s what we believe in here at BodyRock. We don’t beat ourselves up if we miss a day here or there, we show up for each other, and we cut ourselves slack when life gets in the way or we need to take a personal time out. When you train with us you are not walking a tightrope, where the slightest breeze will knock you off your progress and force you to confront a completely unrealistic version of perfection that no one can live up to. We aim for consistency not perfection. Consistency delivers long term results, it’s what makes this enjoyable, its what allows this to be a human lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Our coaches are available to help. They are always available via DM, email or on our private facebook group. Not only are our trainers available, our community members are too.
When you feel like you have the option of reaching out for help, advice or simply just some encouragement, that feeling of support helps to anchor you into your new practice of exercising. A lot of people starting out, feel resistance around ‘joining the community’ - but the truth is, studies have shown that when you reach out and lay down roots in a fitness community, you are significantly more likely to establish consistent exercise as a habit and lifestyle. If you feel resistance around reaching out, I encourage you to challenge yourself to step beyond your comfort zone and make the commitment to laying down your support anchor. You might be surprised to consider that your presence and openness will motivate someone else to find their courage and step up to get the support that they need. Part of the secret sauce of what makes BodyRock work as a movement is how we show up for ourselves and each other. Embrace the support that comes from being part of something bigger than just yourself. The collective ‘why’ that we all hold for being here, and the collective desire to achieve a better life through self-improvement is a powerful energy that you can draw from when things feel difficult.
Make it work for you. No program is perfect. Not every workout will feel like it’s your best. That’s where consistency kicks in. If you can’t do a specific exercise, or you need to take a break mid-workout, that’s perfectly fine. We have a woman in our community that started our Beginner Bootcamp, on BodyRockPlus, 80+ pounds overweight, and for the first month, she challenged herself just to walk on the spot while the workout played. Her challenge was not to collapse back onto the coach until the workout was over. That was the challenge that she set for herself when she first started. She didn’t have to do the exercises, she just had to walk on the spot, and if she couldn’t keep walking, she just stood, watching the workout until the end. The second time through the 30 day series, she began to move more, and by the end of the third time through, she was doing the exercises. This woman is a force to be reckoned with, and even though she wasn’t capable of anything other than walking on the spot when she started with us, she made that work. She didn’t quit, she didn’t falter, even when it felt frustrating and all she wanted to do was lay back down. This brave “BodyRocker’ achieved consistency, and was able to progress to more advanced workouts, (eventually losing over 66+ pounds and counting) by making it work for her.
Optimize your nutrition. Most of us aren’t dieticians or nutritionists, and we don’t realistically have the time or expertise to read all of the food labels, calculate nutritional requirements or balance our diets so that our meals, snacks and deserts support our fitness and fat loss goals. Following a common sense meal plan that includes easy to prep recipes, grocery lists and steers you clear of added sugars, and other common ‘fat traps’ will help you establish a healthy relationship with food that supports your weight loss and fitness goals.
Here at BodyRock, we have developed 3 complete meal plans. The BodyRock Meal Plan is for people that include meat in their diets, the Plant Based Meal Plan, which is for vegetarians and vegans, and our Intermittent Fasting Plan, with specific fasting plans for both women and men. Our plans can be used on their own, or they can be used in combination with each other. Our plans are designed to be easy to follow, and take a common sense approach to food that won't leave you feeling restricted. Having a plan is a lot like having a map to a destination that you are trying to reach - you are far more likely to arrive at your goals when you have a step by step guide for getting there. Starting your fitness journey with a solid meal plan to support your exercise efforts will deliver your results that much faster, and ensure that your diet isn’t sabotauging your efforts.
Getting started with fitness takes courage and determination, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. If you like our vibe here at BodyRock, I encourage you to give our Beginner Bootcamp or daily BodyRock Beginner Workout a chance - we would love to have you. To make getting started even more accessible, we are offering a full year of access to all of our workout programs on our fitness streaming service BodyRockPlus.com for just $69 with code: NY22. We hope that you will join our community, and let us help you take your first steps towards a new life.