In a world filled with Instagram fitness stars claiming 6am Pilates classes are an essential part of morning routines, starting out on your fitness journey can be a daunting process. So, we teamed up with fitness authority Niko Algieri – frontman of London’s hottest boutique studio Equilibrium – to find out how to ease yourself back into exercise...
Set Smart Goals
A goal can encourage commitment and create a determined mindset; you have a reason to stay focused, to maintain your plan and be loyal to your sessions. However, try not to make weight loss a goal – you can watch the scales each week after eating well and training but find no difference, leaving you frustrated, as they don’t take into account you’re starting to grow muscle and change your body shape. Be sure to make your goals long-term too – this will mean that fitness naturally becomes a habit.
Don’t Make it A Baptism Of Fire
If it’s been a while since you hit the gym, keep your workout short and sweet, ideally guided by an instructor or personal trainer. Make sure your session is full of mobility exercises at the start to reactivate the muscles and the joints and finish with lots of stretching. Don’t overdo it in the first week – take your time and adjust to the new increase in movement before starting to develop strength and endurance.
Feel like you should sign up to a Barry’s Bootcamp class because that’s what everyone on your Instagram does? Think again. If you pick something you hate or get a bad vibe about, you’ll quit in week one. Take the time to try everything – do what suits your abilities, your personality and ultimately what you’re able to sustain.
An ideal starting point for any fitness journey is a TRX class. With the right trainer, TRX is very simple; it can be instantly made easier or more challenging with a quick shift of the feet. It’s a total body workout that you can take at your own pace and one that’ll teach you how to move correctly and develop core strength.
Don’t be lured by expensive superfood powders and protein bars. Instead, take out all the white carbs, sweets, chocolates and crisps, reduce your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water; you’ll transform in four weeks.
Invest In A PT
For total beginners who want to train safely and learn how to move properly, a PT is worth every penny. They’ll help you build a decent level of strength, endurance and flexibility, then when you feel confident enough you can start classes that take your fancy. Take the time to find the right PT for you – they need to be able to spot your weaknesses, know how to develop them, give you confidence and make you feel empowered every session.
Think About Your Feet
Your feet are vital in exercise so it pays to buy a good-quality pair of trainers to get you going. Many PTs will tell you to invest in minimalist trainers (or flat shoes) that make you rely on the natural shape of your foot. Ignore them – these types of shoes will take months and months of getting used to. Instead, prioritise comfort and support. Asics have a high arch, strong heel and can take quite a battering in the long-run if budget is tight.
Don’t Expect Results Overnight
While you’ll get an immediate endorphin release of happy hormones after your very first workout, physical changes may take a little longer. By around the two-week mark, your cardiovascular capacity will improve and that, in turn, will improve your skin and the way you feel. If you’re looking after your diet then you’ll lose fat and improve your physical appearance in four to six weeks. Remember nutrition is key – you can’t out-train a bad diet.