So you want to join a gym? Start here:
Gyms that merely rent you space on equipment are not worth the money, even if the money is less than a pizza would cost you. Yeah, it is only $10 per month and not even worth that to join.
If you don’t mess with your food, no number of workouts will cover a bad diet. Do not ever diet; simply start slowly replacing bad food with higher quality foods. Eating healthy is not dieting.
Be realistic as to your age and current condition. Work to be the best version of who you are now and let that old, in-shape you from back in the day stay in the past.
Get a coach. You have a doctor, an attorney, an accountant and a score of other professionals supporting your life so why would you ever believe that you know enough about fitness to be your own coach? Get help, even if all you can afford is a once a month sit down with program design to carry you through on your own, but get help.
Accept the current you, but then change. When a coach mentions your extra baggage, that is not body shaming; that talk is the first step in accessing where you are and where you need to go. The current trend is to just go for healthy no matter your weight, but that extra weight is always the cause of so many other health issues. You do not have to be perfect, but you can always be better. Your weight is your weight and lighter is usually healthier for so many people.
Just show up. Even one day a week at a good gym with a coach is far better than doing nothing. Fitness isn’t trying for perfect attendance like first grade in school; fitness is trying to get in shape wrapped around a full and busy life. Just try, just show up and if you get there about three times per week you are as perfect as you need to be.
Understand you will fail. There will be crazy weekends that cancel your fitness for a few days. There will be new jobs, new babies, divorces and everything else crazy that sets you back. So what? Get over it and get back to the gym. We all slip, but that doesn’t mean we have to slide away.
Lift weights. There are a lot of ways to work out, but most of the world needs a couple days a week of picking up some heavy things and putting them over your head a few times. Muscle is the structure you like so much when you see a picture of a fit person and that doesn’t come from mindless cardio staring at a small TV walking slowly. Cardio-only fitness just does not get it done. You need muscle and muscle needs a little weight training a few times per week.
Anyone can get in better shape. Anyone, no matter what kind of shape you are in now, ranging from, “I still sort of have it, but I just can’t find it,” to, “my dog even thinks I am pathetic,” can benefit from a good coach and nice gym.
Join the gym. Get in shape. Enjoy the feeling of better health. Just move people, your life depends on it.
Blog post, courtesy of FirePower mentor and friend Thomas Plummer.