When you start a fitness program, you’re probably interested in reaching a specific fitness goal. That’s great! The problems come when those goals are out of sync with what’s realistic given your current level of fitness. In fact, measuring your fitness goals only in terms of losing weight or gaining muscle mass in certain numbers is a recipe for giving up on your workout program.
Especially with beginners, overdoing exercise can cause burnout. You start off going hard, expecting to drop off the pounds or build on the bulk, and when it doesn’t happen quickly enough you get overwhelmed and quit.
Consistency is the key to results in fitness. You’re much more likely to reach your fitness goals and maintain them in the long run if you start off with something manageable and then build on it. This is true if you’re new to working out or if you’re experienced in weight training or cardio. Instead of going for five classes a week, begin by committing to two classes a week for a month. After that, adding another class won’t feel overwhelming, and your body will have time to adjust and get in the rhythm of working out. This will also prevent plateauing, because you’re changing things up for your body.
Set yourself up for fitness success by measuring your progress not in inches on your waist, but in the time you’re putting in and the quality of your workout. You have to learn to trust the process. If you’re consistent in your fitness training, you will reach your goals. With every workout, you’re also building your overall health. You might not be able to see your cardiovascular health in the mirror as clearly as you see your muscle mass, but in ten years or twenty years your body will feel it through improved health.