Where to start???
Now this isn’t really a question I get asked a lot when people first come into my personal training
practice. But as the conversation builds and they get more and more information it becomes the most
important question of all. You may look at gym goers and think, “well they have always been fit, it’s
easy for them”, but in most cases that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every body shape – male and
female – has entered my gym at one time or another, and let me tell you, from the experienced trainer
who can beast through every class to a mother of four who hasn’t exercised since her teens, they all
have the same question…
Where should I start?
In reality, the foundations of a fitness and nutrition regime are the same for 90% of new clients: you
need to build up a good solid foundation of basic movements, walk, run, jump, squat, lunge, twist, pull
etc. From the athlete to the mother of four these basic movements need to be done correctly and
efficiently to build a solid base from which everything else can grow. Now of course some people will
be better than others, but everyone who crosses my path will be assessed.
If you’re unsure give me a call for a full movement assessment.
With regards to nutrition the same rule applies, build a solid foundation of eating nutritious wholesome
single ingredient foods that provide you with a healthy and balanced diet to suit your lifestyle. Forget
about immediately throwing in shakes, pills and lotions. These will all have very minimal effects on
your goals if paired with a diet of takeaways and booze. Until you have figured out an optimal diet for
you which is extremely nutrient dense, and that you can continue to do long term, then getting fancy is
As I said above the basics are key, so if you stay with me I would like to give you my thoughts and an
insight into the process that all clients go through at Paul Cooney Fitness.
1. JUST MOVE.
Nothing fancy, no new piece of exercise equipment, no amount of flashy sports gear and no amount
of fancy fitness DVD’s will help you get started. You just have to take control of your body and get out
and do it. Start walking, run, swim, take up a new dance class, play with your kids, run with your
dog… Move like your body is designed to and most of all have fun with it.
I’m telling you this will have a far greater impact on your health and fitness than the latest treadmill
you bought from Argos which is now a clothes rack in your spare room. You have to find something
that suits YOU – take up golf, play football with old friends, go walking and have a gossip with the girls
– the gym isn’t always for everyone and in some cases can do more harm than good, but moving how
the body was designed, burning excess fat as you go and having fun… you can’t argue with that!
2. EAT WELL.
The reality of the fad diet culture is it does not work. If it did would we all still be looking for that magic
pill or shake??
The only time I have ever seen real sustainable changes is when clients take control of what they
consume and turn healthy eating into habits and a way of life. Now does this mean you have to eat
rabbit food all day every day? Of course not. But that being said you have to become a lot more
aware of what you’re consuming, how it makes you feel and whether the food you’re eating is helping
or hindering your body composition goals.
Try implementing one change every week, take small simple steps and be patient…
- Drink more water
- Eat one portion of vegetables with every meal
- Reduce the amount of processed foods your consume
- Drink green tea
- Eat more fruit
- Eat good quality proteins, fish, lean meats etc.
- Try a new food group or recipe each week. Mix it up! Play with your food again!
3. One step at a time.
The single most frustrating thing as a coach is watching clients completely transform their whole
fitness and nutrition regime overnight, forcing themselves through torture for 2 weeks (or 2 days) and
then quitting and rebounding worse than ever before. This is wrong on so many levels but the biggest
problem is that nothing changes.
It’s like doing a walk in the park once and thinking you’re able to run a marathon. At best it crushes
your confidence and you blame your slow metabolism (yeah right), and at worst you end up injured
and unable to train.
Slow it down people, one change at a time, implement good habits and then make them stick. It’s the
little things that make a huge difference. For the newbie who doesn’t train simply walking three times
a week and adding more quality nutrients to their diet could be the perfect start.
So the next time you come across an advert with the extremely good looking guy and girl smiling and
laughing their way through the amazing fitness regime that got them ripped…. Stop!
Trust me when I say only lifelong changes will ever get you to true health and fitness!
Until next time Train. Eat. Live.