Step By Step - Oooh, Baby
Step One - We Can Have So Much Fun!
No, this blog post is not about New Kids on the Block (although now I'm wondering how I can implement them somehow). I vividly recall being new to the world of fitness. I desperately wanted to change my physique and didn't have the money to hire a trainer or nutritionist. I had no idea what I was doing. You may be in that same spot, so this blog series is designed to get you on the right track and minimize the trial and error when you have to go it alone. Sounds like fun, right? (NKOTB says so!)
Any guesses where I'll start?
At the beginning.
I recently returned from a two-week trip to Japan. I brought back a variety of Japanese snacks and candies for my nephew, including his one specific request, Green Tea Kit Kats. He was like a kid in a Japanese candy store. He picked up one package and I heard him say, "I'm going to stare at this really hard to see if I can read Japanese." I chuckled to myself, and then immediately thought to myself how similar that statement is to people who say they're going to get in shape. They may know how to cut calories, and they may even know the basics of exercise. But taking on something like reading Japanese or getting in shape takes more study and preparation than just deciding to do it.
(Image Source: CandyWarehouse.com)
If you're new to fitness, I know it can be overwhelming.
"Should I eat low fat and high carbs?"
"Should I eat high fat and no carbs?"
"Should I lift weights or just do cardio until I lose some fat?"
"If I do both, should I lift weights first or do cardio first?"
There are a lot of factors that leave fitness newbies feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged that they quit before they ever really get started.
(P.S. The answer to most of those questions is, "It depends.")
Each of us has unique goals, not to mention unique body types, eating habits, and time constraints. A coach can help you get on the right track quickly, if you hire one with a stellar reputation. Qualified dieticians are worth their weight in gold. If you have to embark upon this journey alone, as many do, you must set realistic expectations! The likelihood of stumbling upon the exact right exercise and nutrition combination on your first attempt is pretty much nil. It will take trial and error, and PATIENCE! But there are plenty of reliable resources out there that can help you get on the right track. FREE resources. And that is where I come in. I'm going to remove some of those stumbling blocks and help you get started and KEEP your momentum.
The first step is to figure out your body type. There are three main types:
- endomorphs - like me, naturally fluffy and bottom heavy, and a tad on the lazy side by nature...hard to gain muscle, hard to lose fat.
- mesomorphs - the ones who gain muscle easily (jealous!) and also lose fat easily.
- ectomorphs - naturally thin guys and gals who are "hard gainers". It's difficult for them to gain muscle, and their body fat is naturally low. My husband is an ectomorph and it's really hard for me to not wanna punch him when we both decide to cut and he loses six pounds the first week! Ugh. I love him, anyway.
There is a quiz on Bodybuilding.com where you can answer a few questions to see which one suits you best. You may even be a blend of two types (Endo-Meso or Ecto-Meso). Knowing your body type will almost be a shortcut to help you eliminate training methods and eating patterns that likely won't work for you. It will give you an upper hand in the trial and error game, and help you get on the right track faster.
(Image source: Bodybuilding.com)
Example: As an endomorph, my body does better with higher fats and lower carbs without suffering from low energy or mental fog. I also train differently, implementing HIIT training for fat loss and plyometrics to help whittle my lower body. I continue to lift heavy up top to strive for symmetry and must always ensure my supplementation and nutrition is on point. (My husband, the ectomorph, is exactly opposite of pretty much everything I just mentioned).
When we see someone who has had an amazing transformation, it's natural to ask, "How'd you do that!?" But please, please, please remember that just because something worked for them, that doesn't mean it will work for you! They are a completely different person!
The next post in this series will explain what to do with this information once you have it. So once you complete Step One, please comment below and tell me your quiz results! Are you an endo, a meso, an ecto, or a blend?