The Start is What Stops Most People

    Imagine walking into your local grocery store and realizing they have rearranged EVERYTHING! You have no idea where anything is, and you’re not even sure where to start. And to top it all off you left your grocery list at home. Okay, now picture driving down the road and realizing you’re lost. You continuously ask your significant other to just stop and ask for directions but they INSIST “they’ve got this!” You end up taking all of these extra turns, driving around in circles, and in the long run you end up convincing them to stop and ask. Had they just simply stopped and asked you would have ended up at your destination much quicker. At times, fitness can be a lot like driving with no directions, or walking into a grocery store and not knowing where anything is or what you need.

    I remember the first time I ever stepped inside of a gym. I was terrified. You see all of these movies, and commercials, and they all make it look so simple. And how hard can it be, right? Well, I turned into an avid treadmill user. Why? Well honestly, because that was all I knew how to do. And I thought in order to hit my “fitness goals”; that’s all I needed to do. But in the same breath I had no idea what these fitness goals were because I didn’t even know where I was starting. I made up these goals based off of what I thought I should be at. I didn’t understand that it is different for everyone and there are so many different aspects to fitness goals. What is a healthy weight? What is body fat percentage? How does cardio vs. strength training differ and what are the benefits? So I would spend hours on this treadmill pushing towards these unrealistic goals. Guess what happened? I didn’t hit my goals. Not only that but, I got bored and I plateaued. I stopped going to the gym. How many can relate?

    Fast forward some years and I started working in the fitness industry. I started talking to people asking questions. I started weight training with friends. I felt like I had conquered the world and knew EVERYTHING there was to know about fitness! HA!! Boy was a wrong. I would walk into the gym and do the same routines over and over and over again. Not only that but I didn’t understand the importance of FORM! I still didn’t know what my goals were. I didn’t feel like I was seeing any change and maybe I wasn’t. But I would have never known because I wasn’t tracking it. So again, guess what happened? Plateau. Boredom. Discouragement.

    It wasn’t until I had a Fitness Assessment that I truly understood what my goals were and where I needed to start. Many people hear the words “Fitness Assessment” and immediately their guards go up. Their minds automatically go to “They are going to tell me how fat I am. I am going to find out how weak I am.” They attach all of these negative thoughts with these words. A Fitness Assessment is simply your guide to fitness success. It is the customer service desk at the grocery store when you have no idea where they moved the produce section to. A fitness assessment is the person at the gas station that you stopped at to give you directions. And it’s exactly that! It’s your directions. Your manual. Your own personal guide to achieving YOUR goals. What works for one person is not going to work for the next. You can ask your friend how she lost the 20lbs and do exactly what she says; does not mean it will work for you. These assessments are detailed and based all off of your body and your specific goals. It shows you where you should begin. You wouldn’t go to your doctor and ask them to just look at you and tell you why your stomach hurts so much. They have to ask questions, get to know what’s going on, run tests, and analyze you. It’s the same for your fitness journey.

    The start is what scares people the most. Where do they begin? How many times in your life have you wanted to do something, or try something but haven’t simply because you just don’t know how to go about it? Anytime someone walks into the gym this is a HUGE step. One of the most important. The next most important step? Your fitness assessment. Since getting my fitness assessment done I have seen significant results. I made all of these strides because I knew where I was starting and where I needed to go. I also learned the importance of balance. Balance cardio with strength training. I learned what classes were right for me and what equipment was going to work best for my goals. I truly believe had it not been for my assessment, I would not be where I am right now in my fitness journey. Do I still have more to chase after? Of course. But I know how much more I need to chase because I continuously follow up. I have assessments regularly to get an idea of the progress. The assessments help me to switch my routines up so I don’t get bored and I don’t plateau. I’ve even worked with a trainer to help me with my form which I had no idea was so horrible!

    So what this all comes down to is this: Don’t be afraid to stop and ask for directions. This is your own personal guide to success and we offer it at Gold’s Gym. Take an hour in the beginning of this crazy fitness journey to get your personal map to your goals. It helped me and I’ve been doing this whole fitness thing for a very long time!

- Samantha Sprague