The Three Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Working Out
I have zero regrets about my exercise process to date. After almost twenty years of experimenting and having a blast in gyms all around the world, I have learned so much about exercise, gained a gamut of amazing clients and friends in the fitness industry, and have had lists of life experiences that have helped to shape who I am as a person.
I’ll never forget my first workout. 15 minutes on an exercise bike at Level three and 20 minutes on a poorly designed step machine. I was 15 years old, 250 pounds, and completely exhausted by the end of that 35 minutes. That led to a lifetime of learning and experimenting with exercise, food and many varied approaches to making things “work” in the gym. I valued the experimentation and still value the mistakes I made, and still make on my way to becoming an exercise professional. Here are the top three things that I wish I had known on Day 1:
Muscle matters most. This does not have to mean a gargantuan amount of muscle! However, no matter what your exercise goals are, and almost especially if those goals relate to overall health or weight loss, nothing is more important physically than having an abundance of healthy, stable, optimally functioning muscle. Focus on an exercise that challenges your entire muscular system, like Isometric Training and intelligent weight training, and you will almost certainly see improvements in all aspects of your exercise process. Building muscle for the long term will allow for optimal health and performance in all aspects of your exercise life.
There is such thing as too much of a good thing. Protein. Cardio. Fat burners. Vegetables. Water. Yoga. Weight on a bar. Carbs. Coconut oil. What do all of these things have in common? They all present potential benefits to you and your exercise process. However, in excess any of these present significant health risks. Do your best to seek out the benefits different foods, types of exercise and supplements, and do so while proceeding with caution about blindly “believing” in certain things in excess and in turn to your detriment.
It’s all in the application. Exercise is not a paint-by-numbers set of automated results based on certain activities. All exercise has potential benefits to you, but must be undertaken with a thoughtful, considerate, process-based approach in order to help your progress safely and for the long-term. Ask questions, hire a trainer; hell, even take courses on exercise (Beware of gurus). Engage mindfully in your own exercise, and you will see huge dividends in your health, performance, overall fitness and longevity.