Now you’re all set to start working out. You’ve been yearning to improve your movement for daily practical purposes, shed some pounds, and even tighten up so you can look decent in a t-shirt. The gym membership is paid for and you even checked out a few workout clips on Youtube for exercise ideas.
But then somewhere as you are researching fitness (kudos to you if you actually take the time to!) you come across a bunch of related topics like:
-Deadlifting (Conventional vs. Sumo)
-How to squat (high bar, low bar, what’s the proper stance?)
-Reps to failure
-Full body workout vs. a split routine
-How many rest days to take
-High carb, low carb, paleo, no processed food, some processed food, no beef, yes beef, fruits bad/fruits good, all the fats out there
-Foam rolling and stretching
So, now you’re confused as to what you should actually be doing!
The availability of resources is one of the best and worst things about fitness in the modern age. There is a plethora of information out there on the internet, but how do you know what’s applicable when:
-Many fitness pros have differing opinions (and rightly so); which is necessary because it helps you to understand different perspectives of the same situation, but can still leave you unsure of how to move forward.
-There are countless fitness “personalities” – enthusiasts that are not certified, licensed or adequately trained and informed to deal with clients but still perpetuate their views and preferences on fitness all because they look great semi-nude.
-We live in a culture that glorifies instantaneous results and aesthetics when maybe many of us might need to consider fitness and health as a (without trying to sound New Age-y) balanced wholeness, as well as cutting yourself slack to achieve your bottom line a reasonable amount of time. Really……..if it took you years to get where you are now it’s going to take at least a few months of consistency to undo it.
You just might want to hire a trainer to make sense of it all for you, but you just can’t make that investment yet. So the following are a few tips from your pal JP on how to make sense of the information overload.
Decide what your primary focus is – don’t look for multiple topics
The important thing is to keep the important thing, the important thing! There was a main reason and burning desire why you started this in the first place, so keep focused on it and keep plowing forward until you are doing something about it.
If you do a Google search, for example, on “build muscle,” “weight loss” or “booty toning” then limit your reading to the first 4-5 pages of the search. You should find everything you need by the fifth page. Everything else after that will either be repeated information, or pure crap
Check The Source
Your preliminary links should be from credible, well established websites like Self, Bodybuilding.com, Fitness Magazine, T-Nation or Men’s Fitness to name a few. You will most likely find everything you need to know from those sources. But you still may need to dig a little deeper for your topic. When you do find a link that looks somewhat fascinating and helpful, just use your judgment as to whether it looks and sounds legit.
Hopefully you will find three to five links containing all the information you need. At that point, at least two of those links should contain nuggets of wisdom that coincide with each other. Those are the keepers. Hang on to the rest if they help you gain perspective or deal with any special issues you may have, such as dealing with injury or a medical condition.
Use The “Grocery Store Method”
When you go shopping for your groceries, do you pick up every single item off each shelf? Of course not! (Well, when you have kids, it feels like you do). You go to the store to get what you need for a short time, and then you come back for more. Apply the same strategy here. You are looking up just a small amount of information to keep you motivated and adequately informed so you can move forward. You don’t want to suffer from paralysis from analysis. So get the tidbits you need, and when you master it and your fitness evolves, then you can update your knowledge. However, do bookmark anything that looks like it may be handy later on down the line.
Apply It Immediately
No more than 2 days should pass that you put that new information into motion. Someday becomes never. So get it done quick. The sudden action will make you efficient.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Your findings may “mostly-make sense” but still leave you with a few questions. Gather up the courage to ask someone with more experience for their opinion on what you found. You just might get another fresh perspective to help you along your way.
Over time, sometimes through trial and error, you will develop a broad base of principles that work for you. As you do, be sure to leave room to adapt as you get older and your body changes or as your goals evolve. Knowledge is power, but applied knowledge is wisdom.