The 3 Steps You NEED to Complete Before Starting a New Workout Routine
Achieving Results at the Gym: Part One
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In this series, we will be sharing plans, routines, and tips to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts and keep you motivated and in the gym.
Did you know that 92 percent of people who set resolutions give up before a year has passed? 25 percent don’t make it through the first week! Here at Biohacking Entrepreneur, we work to provide and test the most effective habits, biohacks, and practices for maximizing your potential and growth hacking your life and your business. In that vein, we have put together the 3 simplest, yet most important ways you can prepare yourself to start working out.
Exercise is an important aspect of the biohacking entrepreneur’s life. Not only does the related weight loss/control reduce the risk of certain obesity related diseases, but a consistent workout plan has been shown to slow cognitive decline, increase brain power, and boost energy (among many other health benefits). On top of this, even a simple workout routine demonstrates and practices an important quality of a successful entrepreneur: being outcome driven and taking care of “business” effectively. According to behavioral therapist Robinson Welch, PhD, bosses and colleagues will notice and begin seeing you as a leader.
In this post, you will find:
- The 3 steps that you should complete BEFORE starting an exercise routine
- Bonus 4th step: our FREE Goal Setting Worksheet, adapted for those wondering how to start working out again. This should be filled out by EVERYONE before starting a new workout plan to increase your chance of success by 10 times!!!
Start At The End
If you have read our post about Capitalizing On Your Incoming Traffic or Building a Personal Development Plan That Actually Works, you are going to notice a pattern. We are firm believers in breaking a prevalent mode of thinking found in many marketing and business models.
Instead of starting with what we want to do, then determining how, and ignoring or providing minimal attention to why, we believe getting to a deep understanding of why we are setting out in any endeavor first is crucial to achieving exceptional results. This is laid out in Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” theory, which we discuss in greater detail in the articles listed above. We have seen the proof in case studies and in our own lives that this greatly increases other peoples’ willingness to invest in the project, improves the effectiveness of our call to action, and boosts our personal motivation and drive attached to the project.
In a TED Talk article, Stanford psychology professor Kelly McGonigal discussed research-backed ways to increase the success of your goals. She states that focusing on what you want to accomplish, rather than what you want to avoid, will reduce chemical inhibitors in the brain associated with the goal. She also offers a technique to make the goal more meaningful and motivating, which we incorporate in our goal setting worksheet.
✓ Set Up The Direction Of Your Training
✓ Easily Measure Your Performance In The Gym
✓ Come Up With Strategies That Will Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
You can download the worksheet by clicking here
If you search for “workout plan”, Google returns over 130 MILLION results. Unfortunately, many of these pages advertise that they are the “Best Workout Plan” or “The Only Workout Plan Worth Your Time”, when there is no such thing.
Why is it that we embrace our physical and mental uniqueness when it comes to an individual’s life, choices, and impact on society, yet when it comes to the gym, we believe there is a one size fits all formula?
BJ Fogg, from Stanford University, says a common mistake is that “People aren’t picking specific behaviors, they’re picking abstractions.” A crucial aspect of a successful goal is that it becomes instinctual and recycling someone else’s exercise plan does not contribute to that. It doesn’t require much self-evaluation to replicate another person’s goals and actions. Instead of trying to conform your body to an exercise plan, tailor the plan around your goals and your body. This makes the behaviors required much less abstract for you and the extra thought/education spent on building your plan helps make it an instinctual action.
On more than one occasion, we have recommended that those looking to increase the effectiveness of their workouts read “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss, even though there are certain diet and exercise techniques he recommends that we don’t agree with. Why do we still like his book? Because Ferriss is upfront about his fitness journey, shares it in an inspiring, easy to read format filled with anecdotes, and demonstrates a concept that we believe any biohacking entrepreneur should adhere to. Ferriss used himself as a guinea pig as he explored different diet and workout routines, recognizing that some that worked for others, didn’t work for him and vice versa.
Recognize that no one else has the exact same body or biology as you. Start with the techniques that are backed up by scientific data, but measure your results religiously. Educate yourself on how different workout plans and diets affect your body. This better understanding will go a long way in helping you build the proper workout routine.
Bodybuilding.com does a great job of recognizing the differences in individual’s body types. They have a great intro to the three main body types that we recommend perusing. Need help building a customized exercise routine? Comment below or send us an email.
Subscribe at the bottom of the page for the latest body hacks, that work to optimize your workout no matter what body type you have.
Start Out Slow
In most situations, the biohacking entrepreneur is all about investing 100% of their energy in to whatever project they are currently focused on. However, research shows two incredibly important reasons to start working out again on a sliding scale of intensity.
In an experiment conducted by Stanford Professor Baba Shiv, he found that a person’s willpower was lowered if they tried to take on too much at the same time. In his experiment “a group of undergraduate students were divided into 2 groups. One group was given a two-digit number to remember. The other was given a seven-digit number to remember. Then, after a short walk through the hall, they were offered the choice between two snacks: a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit. What’s most surprising: The students with 7-digit numbers to remember were twice as likely to pick the slice of chocolate compared to the students with the 2-digits.”
Professor Shiv states that this is because “those extra numbers took up valuable space in the brain—they were a ‘cognitive load’—making it that much harder to resist a decadent dessert.”
The practical application for the gym? Don’t try to take on too many physical commitments at the same time. Instead of deciding to lose 10 pounds, tone your calves, and build upper body muscle, organize your goals by priority and start with one.
This doesn’t mean you have to stay at this pace indefinitely. Another study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology showed evidence that willpower is less of an inherent character trait, but is developed more similarly to a muscle. Participants who were trained to show discipline and exercise willpower in one activity, showed an increased ability to exercise willpower in other areas of their life within two months.
As you consistently develop commitment in the gym, your ability to take on additional goals without taxing your willpower will increase.
The second reason we recommend starting an exercise routine slowly is because of the dangerous potential for injury. Associate Professor Brian Parr, PhD and Head Athletic Trainer Brandon Aiken at the University of South Carolina suggest that most injuries are caused by trying to do too much, too quickly.
Start slowly and make sure you understand proper technique and posture. Consult resources such as bodybuilding.com’s injury prevention page to avoid common pitfalls.
- Set personally motivating goals (use our free goal setting worksheet!)
- Do not “recycle” other workout plans. Educate yourself and build a regimen around your goals and body type.
- Start out slowly in order to avoid injury and increase your chance of success.
In the next part of our Achieving Results at the Gym series, we will be sharing 3 of the most effective tips to form effective habits around your fitness goals. Subscribe below to receive the latest self-improvement tips and tools for entrepreneurs.
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