Getting Started on Your Fitness Journey

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Here at OnTrack, we want to see you be successful in achieving your fitness goals. Too many people join a gym with great intentions only to gradually lose motivation and never see the results they desire.

On our blog, you will find information about how to avoid common mistakes that lead to boredom, burnout, and generally falling off the fitness wagon. You will find tips and ideas on how to get the most out of your workouts and the most out of your gym membership or fitness program.

The first step is to set a goal. We believe that the best goal is a fitness-related goal that has a time frame or deadline and can be measured. We do not believe in weight loss goals. Losing weight is a secondary benefit to achieving a fitness goal, not a goal in and of itself. By setting a goal to finish your first 5K or to complete an obstacle course race and achieving that goal, you will notice that the weight will fall off as a result.

Remember that the further outside of your comfort zone your goal is the greater the transformation. So dream big and get ready to see results! 

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Phase One :: Muscle Conditioning

The most common mistake that people make is doing too much too soon. Remember that your body has not done this kind of exercise in a while, or maybe ever, so start by giving your body a taste of what it should expect over the next few weeks and months, rather than smash it on the first day. This is called muscle conditioning.

Phase 1 should last for 3 to 6 weeks to allow your body to adapt to this new stress before moving onward. During this phase you can increase the amount of resistance or weight you are using as you no longer feel soreness the following day and as you feel the exercises becoming “easier”. However, remember that good form and proper technique ALWAYS supersede how much weight you are using.

General Guidelines to Phase 1

  • Start with basic exercises and light resistance.

  • Use weight machines or exercises that isolate one muscle group, rather than exercises that require balance, coordination, or complex movement patterns.

  • Perform 10 to 15 repetitions per exercise with 30 to 45 seconds of rest between sets for 2 to 3 sets per exercise.

  • Do 2 to 3 sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise, or follow a circuit of exercises in succession and then repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times. Circuits require little to no rest between exercises.

  • Include cardiovascular exercise that lasts for 20 to 50 minutes at a low to moderate aerobic zone depending on your current fitness level.

  • Workout 4 to 6 times a week. Your soreness following each workout should be minimal. If you require more than 1 day for soreness to subside, it is a sign that you are doing too much too soon!

  • Vary your workouts, which can be done with weight/strength training and cardio on the same day or on different days. Remember you should always warm up to start any workout with 10 to 20 minutes of light movement/cardio exercise.

When you're ready, move on to phase two and three!