Step 1. Set goals
Preferably several small ones, so as to set achievable and sustainable goals. Ask yourself these questions:
Step 2. Make a plan
Have your plan include:
When it comes to your workout...
Step 3. Strength training is your best friend.
Unless you have long distance endurance goals (i.e. to run a marathon, to start training for a rowing competition), your main purpose at the gym should be strength training.
Strength training is the most effective for weight loss goals because it allows you to build lean muscle mass to burn fat. Strong muscles also support tendons and build strong joints and proper posture. We recommend strength training minimum 3x/week. Read more about the benefits of strength training to your weight loss goals here.
Step 4. Figure out a workout plan
It doesn't have to be a super laid out, high-tech, expensive workout plan. But before going into the gym, you should know the answers to the following questions:
Step 5. Stick to full body workouts
Aim for full body workouts if: a) you're new to the gym, b) your goals pertain to weight loss of more than 10 lbs, and c) you aim to workout 3x/week or less. Here are a few tricks:
Step 6. Know your different cardios.
We recommend cardio 2x/week for optimal heart health and suggest adding it to the end of your workout for approximately 15 minutes to start. A few notes on cardio:
When it comes to your diet
If you're focusing on workouts AND nutrition, it can seem like a lot to take on. If you're focusing more on workouts, don't dive into your nutrition too fast. And obviously, vice versa.
Step 7. Elimination.
Start off simple with elimination rather than re-creating your entire meal plan. That means find the worse thing to your diet (or the thing you're most likely to be able to give up) and focus on eliminating that from your diet.
Maintain this for 1 - 2 weeks and then eliminate something else (while keeping your first one eliminated as well).
Step 8. Choose a diet that reflects your lifestyle.
The worst part about diets is that they're not sustainable and they don't reflect balance. So do some research and choose one that suits your lifestyle. We recently reviewed the 4 major diets in our Breaking Down Diets blog series. Feel free to do your research on the following diets to see if they're right for you:
Step 9. Find support.
We know a lot of people struggle with motivation. So whether its a workout buddy or an online community, surround yourself with like-minded people and you're more likely to stick to your goals. We have a free Facebook community if you have workout/nutrition questions, need motivation, or are able to support other fitness-enthusiasts.
Seek extra accountability if you need it. Accountability is the number one thing that gets people to their health and fitness goals. If you realize you need that and would like some help, contact us about monthly coaching.
Step 10. Have fun!
If you're going to be in this for the long haul, you should be doing something that you enjoy! If your gym offers classes, try all of them until you find one you like. Try different styles of workouts such as high intensity interval training, bootcamps, bodybuilding, cross training, etc! The more you enjoy it the more likely you are to stick with it, work harder, do it more often and inspire others.
If you're looking extra help, we also have a brand new program for 2018. Click the image below to learn more about our 12 weeks to lean in 2018 weight loss program