Beginning Training

startBeginning training has been the most recent common conversation I’ve been having. So it seems a fitting subject for a blog post.

Now I know the majority of people that read my work and indeed train with me are beyond the beginner stages, many are coaches in their own right. So for you guys, this may not seem relevant.

Right up to the point where your Mum asks you for fitness advice.
Or your sister.
Or your mate.

And you say…..


Then you gather yourself and you go, “Ok, this is how you Squat………Oh dear!”
So you switch and try the Push Up and witness some sort of car crash.

It’s normal.

But how we deal with it has to be normalised.

If you are the rare person who reads my stuff who hasn’t started training yet, welcome and I sincerely hope that something in the following paragraphs serves to help you over the hump from “reading about training” to “doing some training”

By the way, if that sounds like you, you really ought to be visiting the Get1Active website and Facebook page.

So the most common thing I hear from people is that they’re not fit enough, or not strong enough.
In fact following THIS article I wrote for the Muay Eireann site on wrist strength the following comment was put in the comments:

“I’d love to strengthen my wrists but there isn’t a hope in all hell I could do a single push up to save my life. Well maybe one…if my life was severely threatened but then only for a second or two. lol!
I can push myself away from a wall standing almost vertically about five times in a row before collapsing. I’ll try them against a wall. Ahem.”

The commenter, in three sentences goes from sounding embarrassed about their current lack of strength to accepting that they can either find a way to build strength or they will remain as they are, or even, go backwards.

And there’s nothing wrong with this. We ALL start somewhere.

None of us start in the same place, we all have different strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, training histories, goals, mindsets, jobs etc….

But we all have to start.

So what if you can’t do a push up?

Start with a plank.
Do Push Ups on your knees, against a wall, hands on a bench or chair.



It doesn’t matter, all that matters is you’ve started and you’re on the road to progress.

Want to run but can’t?
So what, go out and walk.
Jog a few steps. The next week jog a few more, then a few more. Within a few weeks you’ll be jogging.

Here’s a simple gym free, fool proof method for making progress in just about anything that is skill based. And yes, movement is a skill and strength is also a skill.

The method?

Daily targets.

Set your self a realistic, no scratch that, an underwhelming target and achieve that much work in the course of a 24 hour period.

Example 1:
Monica trained with me for a number of years. One day Monica’s Pull Up performance just seemed to shoot up. Out of no where she was doing these picture perfect, text book pull ups, for reps.
When I asked her what she’d been doing different, her answer was,
“Well, I remembered what you said about daily targets, so I bought a pull up bar and fitted it in the kitchen door way. I make sure I get 20 done a day.”
A woman, in her 40’s by the way, who was struggling with maybe 5 reps of a pull up suddenly jumped to 7 perfect reps.

All by breaking it into manageable chunks.

Example 2:
I gave a lad the same advice when he started running. He’d be gassed by the end of his road and would walk home disillusioned and unmotivated.
So I gave him the task of simply covering a mile. How he covered it was irrelevant, so long as he did the mile.

Initially he went out hell for leather, got to the end of the road and had to rest there while his heart rate came down and then walked the rest of the mile. But he did the mile, which was a huge increase in what he’d previously achieved.

In time he learned to run slowly so made it past the end of the road before walking. He also managed to run in fits and starts during the mile. Eventually he ran the whole thing.
Since then he’s completed a half marathon.

Manageable chunks.

And that’s the key right there.

Perfection is for the gods, there’s no need to try and be perfect. In fact expecting perfection is the best excuse not to do something, it’s the ultimate excuse, “I’m crap so why bother”

It’s a bullshit excuse but so very common. And perfectionist, overbearing, over teaching fitness instructors often fuel this very excuse.

So what should we do?

Accept the start point, accept where the person is, or if it;s you, accept where you are.
Yes, it takes being honest and patient. Then from wherever you are try to get 1% better each day.

1% better every day isn’t much to ask is it?
But in 100 days, you could be 100% better!

I know it’s not quite that simple, but it’s the mindset that we’re looking at here

Check out the Get1Active page, here’s the links again WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, Linda does a great job in promoting exercises and sending out tips on starting as well as motivational hints to keep you going.
Dave Hedges


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