Firstly, let us say ‘congratulations’.

Congratulations for taking the first step in becoming a better version of yourself, for taking the first step in regaining some of the confidence you may have lost in recent years. Be it confidence in your physical abilities or in your physical appearance, time seems to have a way of eroding your belief system. Training, has the potential to re-set how you go about your life – improving both your quality of life and life expectancy. It is true, people around you including your kids, may see a little less of you over time, however undoubtedly, they’ll see a more energized, more pleasant, fresher version of you.

The next few steps are absolutely crucial.

Your transition to fitness is a process. Your immediate goal for now is to simply make it to the gym. Over time building fitness (in a broad sense) into your every day life. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve to go to the gym every day but every day you are to think about improving your physical fitness. Something as simple as improving your daily step count (if you work in a sedentary job), or the quality of food you consume which will determine how well you recover from the gym sessions.

There are three pillars to your physical training that include

  1. energy system conditioning
  2. strength training
  3. mobility/flexibility training

For now, we would suggest your goal in the gym is to improve your joint mobility and improve your energy levels. Put simply, we want you leaving the gym fresher than when you walked in.

Brian and I have both trained hundreds of clients, and would argue many people who walk into a gym without any previous training experience should follow a little ‘pre-training phase’ whereby they are simply loosening out their joints and getting their heart and blood pumping. If you are struggling to put on your socks in the morning, or feel awkward simply trying to out of your car then loading up your spine with extra weight is not going to end well. Regardless of how determined you are; back, knee or hip pain will chip away at your motivation and if not resolved is going to cause your training to come to a grinding halt, before you’ve even started. We will send out weekly emails on mobility training and how to incorporate them into your programs. Consequentially, this is what inspired us to design a fitness class (i-start) aimed at helping people new to fitness go through basic mobility and flexibility exercises, aswell as basic gym movements that will give you the foundation for learning to lift weights.

For now, we would suggest your goal in the gym is to improve your joint mobility and improve your energy levels as a first step in your fitness journey

Luke & Brian

Tempting as it is, you don’t need to flip tyres, swing ropes or even sledgehammers. While there’s nothing wrong with the above, its just not what you need right now. Pick a cardio machine and ask one of our trainers for a quick run through on how to use it. If you haven’t been in the gym the past 10-12 months then your level of fitness is likely ‘not great’. Your capacity for work is in turn going to be limited. For now we suggest 6-8 minutes of cardio training a day min 3-4 times per week aswell as some stretching and mobility after as cooldown (total session time 30-40 mins).  The 3-4 days a week is key here as the total amount you can do in any one session is limited, so we build up the training volume over the course of the week. This also sets the tone for how you approach your training in the future; little and often over the long haul.

Training at a steady state at a low to moderate intensity. A simple talk test is good enough to dictate your level of intensity: as you exercise you should be able to speak a full sentence unbroken. This training technique is called the ‘Cardiac output method’ and while its low in intensity; it has many benefits, in-fact many people I train are skeptical that something so easy and simple can be so potent in driving change.

Some benefits include:

  • Left ventricle chamber size (chamber blood is pumped out of in your heart)
  • Improved Ventricle compliance (less ‘stiffness’ in wall of heart allowing your heart stretch and relax more efficiently)
  • Increase in red blood cell mass and volume
  • Increased left ventricle wall thickness (stronger contraction every time your heart beats)
  • Increased capillary density and size (more/bigger pathways for your blood to travel down to the muscle site and deliver oxygen after every beat)
  • Increased mitochondria density and improved function (more efficient use of oxygen in the combustion of fuel for energy; poor mitochondria function is an indicator of the onset of many chronic diseases.)

These benefits lay the groundwork for training at higher intensities, when you are ready. The most important point here is that you should immediately feel like you have more energy as all the above systems start operating more efficiently.

Keep an eye out for weekly emails on training techniques as we guide all our clients through the training process.