You’re Out of Shape and Sick of It. Where do you Start?
Posted on August 15, 2012
If you’re like me, you have seen these people at the gym that work out all the time. Sometimes for hours a day. I know I have thought to myself, if that is what it takes to get into shape, then no thanks. So, is it possible to get into really excellent shape without spending all day in the gym? Of course, the answer is yes.
I realize that most people have the problem of not getting enough exercise as opposed to too much. However, you should be careful to not over-do it when you are starting a new exercise program. Even veterans with years of workout experience can fall into the trap of overtraining. So, we know the extremes, not enough exercise contributes to depression, obesity, and lack of energy. Overtraining can lead to excess fatigue, depression, hitting a major plateau, and a decline in physical performance.
So, what is the right level of exercise? Of course that depends a lot on your current fitness level and your goals. But consider, even if you have a goal of major change, like losing 50 pounds and getting ripped, it is best to break the major goals down into more manageable goals and gradually build up your fitness level. An injury from trying to do too much will set you way back and take your momentum. So, don’t be hard on yourself. Keep making progress toward your goals and don’t expect perfection. Just keep getting up again.
So, what are some good starting workouts for someone out of shape to start with? Consider programs like Tacfit Warrior by Scott Sonnon. This is one of my favorites because it emphasizes joint mobility and flexibility as well as relatively brief, but effective fat shredding workouts. There are follow-along video workouts for four different levels of fitness. There is pre-recruit, which even a pretty out of shape person can work through, to warrior level – which will kick your butt even if you are fit right now.
Tacfit workouts follow a 4×7 training schedule. This means you have a 4 day exercise cycle of no intensity, low intensity, medium intensity, and high intensity days. This cycle repeats for 7 times. With all of the emphasis on flexibility and mobility on the lower intensity days and the warm-ups and cool downs on the higher intensity days, you are working out the excess tension in your muscles and recovering from the workouts much quicker. Also, with the high intensity days 4 days apart, you are giving your muscles time to fully recover in between.
The other great thing about Tacfit Warrior is that it is a home workout that can be done with just your own body weight and in a very small space. I have also taken this workout on the road and even done it in my hotel room.
Another alternative if you are not doing any exercise program currently and want to start something right now…consider taking a brisk walk after work each day while holding light weights (experiment with 2 lb – 8 lb dumbbells.) Let your arms swing naturally with the weights. I also find that taking brisk walks without weights is an excellent complement to a workout like Tacfit.
Whether you choose tacfit or another workout routine to start with, make sure you check with your doctor to determine the level of activity that is right for you.
On a closing note, I am going to say something that you probably don’t want to hear on the subject of nutrition and diet. Nutrition is at least a important to your fitness goals as exercise. I know, I know. A lot of people want to work out so they can eat whatever they want. And, truth be told, some people can get away with that for a while. But if you’re anything like me, you won’t truly look and feel the way you want until you address the diet and nutrition part of the equation in addition to regular exercise.
I used to be able to get away with not focusing on my diet. The workouts would just burn off the calories. But, when I got into my forties, that changed. I got to the point where I was carrying 15 pounds of extra fat even while working out consistently. When I changed my diet with the help of Eating for Energy, I lost 13 pounds of fat within a month without altering my workouts. I did this without dieting or going hungry. So, I am not suggesting that you go on a diet. I am suggesting that you make a permanent change to your eating lifestyle.