How To Get Started With Your Fitness Routine!

October 30, 2017

Hey Rockaholics,

I’m STOKED that you’re interested in taking control of your fitness! That’s exactly what this blog is made for.

In addition to being the Overnight Sensation and the producer of the greatest podcast in all the land (ALL THE LAND!) here at KISW, I’m also a certified personal trainer. I’m here to show you how to do some bodyweight exercises so you can get stronger!

When I started this blog, I didn’t have a real game plan. I just knew that I have more fitness knowledge than the average person, and a lot of Rockaholics might be interested in learning some of that knowledge. So I set out to present it in a fun way that’s simple enough for anyone to follow.

This post will hopefully make things even simpler as it will be lay the groundwork for how to start exercising consistently. (Yep. I’m gonna bold it every time I type it to drill it into your cranium.)

Staying consistent is the biggest part of long-term success in anything, including fitness. If it’s simple and fun, you’ll have an easier time staying consistent.

That’s why all I’m encouraging you to do is simply exercise for 15 minutes... DAILY!

I’ll be laying out exercises you can do at home, and asking for just 15 minutes a day. No more “I don’t have time”, “I don’t like going to the gym”, or “I don’t know what to do/where to begin”.  

Excuses drive me batsh** crazy, so I’ve eliminated 3 of the most common ones I hear. All that’s left is for YOU to take action.

Committing 15 minutes a day to something may not seem like much, but it adds up quick! This blog is living proof. I work 15 minutes a day on it.

A lot of people who are successful at blogging would tell me I need to do more, and post on a consistent schedule.

Welllllll.... I work roughly 60 hours a week between the station and gym (not counting commute time), am studying for my Precision Nutrition certification, have my own workout schedule, and a ridiculously active social life. Needless to say:

Instead, I’ve set a reasonable goal that I can achieve every SINGLE day!

By doing this, I get a sense of accomplishment every day, which feels awesome. And at the end of the week all those daily accomplishments add up and are even more awesome... It’s going to be the same with your new exercise habit.

The fact that it doesn’t seem like much is actually kinda the point! Set the bar “low” enough so you can reach it consistently. Once you’ve got the consistency down, it’s just a matter of being patient and finding ways to enjoy the process.

This post will serve as a launching point that I will be able to easily link back to in all future posts, so first-time readers can get up to speed.

Welcome future readers! You’re fu**ing awesome. Awesome people deserve awesome bodies. I’m here to show you the way. Lesson one: You can do this.

Some Disclaimers:

  • Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have any prior major health concerns/injuries. I’ve never met a doctor who didn’t encourage physical activity, but they may have specific considerations to follow given your history.
  • If anything hurts, STOP! A little discomfort, fatigue, or a new sensation is one thing; pain is a sign to stop and reevaluate... Try the “To Make It Easier” version. If it still hurts, that exercise isn’t for you.
  • TAKE GREAT CARE! Get your form as close to “perfect” as you can, EVERY TIME. The point here is that we’re only using bodyweight, for 15 minutes a day. Every movement needs to count; take the time to master new exercises. So much of this comes down to focus, patience, and keeping your ego in check. It’s gonna get you the best, fastest results and keep you safe. (Added bonus: when you’re fully focused, you’re not thinking about life’s bullsh**. Exercise is very meditative for me.)
  • BE NICE TO YOURSELF! You’re adding a new, healthy habit into your life. There’s no need to be negative about that. Allow yourself the room to learn to master the movements and develop and maintain consistency. You will screw up along the way, that’s okay! The only way you can fail is if you give up.
  • This blog is geared towards beginners. Being a beginner in fitness is actually awesome because you will see improvements the fastest! If you’re further along in your fitness adventure, 15 minutes a day will not do as much. That said, I’m pretty fit and still use all of these exercises on a regular basis because they have tremendous value, especially when your form is perfect. They would likely make a solid addition to your workout program. Since they’re all bodyweight, you can easily superset them in at the gym.
  • Exercise alone will not help you lose a ton of weight. I know people in my industry make promises--and take money-- on this premise, but the reality is that you’re going to need to dial in your nutrition habits to see any significant weight loss. I plan on doing some blogs touching on this as I continue to learn more. If you want to dive in with some blogs from someone who specializes in it, I recommend my friend Alex McMahon of Evolve Nutritional Therapy in Portland. He’s also got a ton of videos on Facebook if that’s more your style.
  • Even if you don’t adjust your nutrition to lose significant weight right now, you will be better off for exercising. Your joints that ache from the extra stress of your extra weight will feel better with added support from muscles. Your mental well-being will improve, you’ll feel and act more confident, and will be much more likely to eventually get the ball rolling on that nutrition front to really lose weight.

 

So now that you’re ready to begin, you’re probably asking where to begin.

Well, start with finding the time in your day that you’re going to exercise. Plan it out in advance and if possible do it at the same time every day. This doesn’t need to be a set time on the clock; it can be right when you wake up, when you get home from work, or even during commercials when you’re watching TV/in between episodes of Netflix!

At this point, it’s just about finding whatever’s going to work best for you on a consistent basis.

I personally suggest prying yourself away from the depressing sh**storm known as social media for 15 minutes a day. Seriously, almost everyone (including me) spends 15+ minutes a day mindlessly scrolling through a barrage of way too many political beliefs and apocalyptic news stories.

There’s NO way that can be good for the human brain or psyche! I don’t need a bunch of research to confirm it. You know what there is a bunch of research on though? Exercise being good for the human brain and psyche

Wherever you carve it out, just find the time and plan for it. All the examples I listed are ways to piggy-back this new habit onto existing ones. This is a powerful strategy.

It doesn’t need to be Netflix, scrolling through Facebook, waking up, getting home from work, etc; but try to find something you already do daily that can act as a trigger to remind you to exercise.

Once you’ve got the 15 minutes of exercise scheduled, (obviously) you’re going to want to fill that up with exercise. This is where a lot of people get lost, as the amount of possibilities can be straight-up overwhelming... 

I’m not going to tell you you HAVE to do anything any certain way. Honestly, there’s no one right way.

The “right” way is whatever way allows you to do it consistently, and that’s gonna be different for everyone. Find your way!!

(Note: All the suggestions below are assuming you’ve taken the time to MASTER any exercise you’re going to incorporate into your routine. Otherwise you’re wasting energy and efficiency. Again, I’m only encouraging you to exercise 15 minutes a day. Sh** form just will not cut it. Spend as much time as you need to really get it down. This step alone may take a while and that’s fine.)

Below I’ve laid out 3 ways you COULD do it. Then you can experiment and find your favorite. These are not set in stone. They’re merely a starting point. You’re in control here.

For the purposes of this blog right now (this page will be updated), exercises will either target your upper body, lower body, or core. You’re gonna wanna hit all three. 

To keep things simple I recommend 5 minutes of each region of the body, every day, making up 15 total minutes. It’d be best if you do them all at once but if you wanna split it up between Netflix episodes, be my guest. It’s better than watching Netflix and not exercising!

I recommend starting with the squat. It's a great movement to begin mastering, and the exercise I started the blog with. I've daisy-chained all the blogs so at the bottom of each post it will link to the next exercise and you can just go in chronological order that way. Once again, take the time to master the movements. There are going to be more intense variations and combos of these down the road and you need to have the basics down.

You can also pick exercises by body region with the links above, and plug them into any of the below templates.

Here are some possibilities.

OPTION A: 5 minutes of core, 5 minutes of upper, 5 minutes of lower. Go at your own pace, listening to your body and resting when you feel like you need it. As you gradually progress, count how many times can do the exercise in a row with perfect form. Rest and repeat til the 5 minutes are up. Work your way up to 15-20. If you have perfect form and go at the pace I outline in the blogs, 20 repetitions (or “reps”) should take you around of 2 minutes. Do that twice with a one minute rest and you’re at 5 minutes.(This framework could literally be a 6+ month exercise program for someone starting out!)

OPTION B: 5 minutes of core, 5 minutes of upper, 5 minutes of lower. Set up an Interval Timer (also available as a free app, just search “Interval Timer”) with a :30/:30 ratio of exercising with perfect form/resting. See how that ratio feels, adjust based on what you think you can honestly handle over the course of 15 minutes. I like this because when people go by time, they can just focus on the quality of reps as opposed to quantity.

OPTION C (more advanced): Make a “circuit” and do one lower body, one core, and one upper body (in any order) in a row without resting. You can rest after one circuit or do up to 5 in a row. This can be done with a set number of reps per round, or timed. Listen to your body to determine the right pace for you. Just make sure you’ve spent time perfecting each exercise before putting it into a circuit.

Even with just 3 succinctly-put options and 6 possible exercises at the time of this blog (obviously that’ll be continuously updated), that’s a LOT of possibilities!! That’s the point.

I don’t have the luxury of training you in person and helping you figure it out, so I wanted to give as much information as possible to help you chart your own path.

I hope these suggestions are concrete enough for people looking for a clear starting point, while also being flexible enough for the ADD/non-conformist types like me :)

If you’re overwhelmed and/or just starting out, Use Option A. Start with the squat and go in the order they're linked. Nice and simple. Do it consistently and you'll be much better off 3 months from now.

You can also totally do more than 15 minutes if you’re really feelin’ it, just don’t burn yourself out for the next day. The idea here isn’t to be sore (that may still happen at first), it’s to be consistent.

Furthermore, if you miss a day that’s not a problem, provided you start back up the next day. Don’t beat yourself up. Get right back on track!

I’ve started a Down with the Fitness Facebook group  which you can request to join. I currently use it to post occasionally and answer people’s questions. My vision is that it’ll eventually be a place where Rockaholics can share their fitness success and struggles with one another to provide inspiration and accountability to one another.

Man, this blog has been weeks in the making... 15 minutes a day have really added up to something pretty cool. Funny how that works, huh? Your turn!

I’ve got a lot more to say (2200+ words in), and a lot of exercises for you to experiment with on the way. Right now is time for you to get started though, so I’ll wish you well and re-stress three themes you may have already picked up on:

Have FUN, be CONSISTENT, and practice GREAT FORM every rep!

Cheers,

Matt

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