Get past the barriers and onto success

Fitness Answer Man

Fitness Answer Man

June 29, 2009|By CHAD SMITH / For The Herald-Mail

In the 13 years I've been a fitness professional, I've found that only a handful of barriers prevent most people from beginning an exercise program that can literally and massively change their lives.

What people discover is that when they learn to overcome these common barriers, the fitness results come quickly, and they wonder why they didn't start sooner.

Maybe you've encountered some of these:

I don't have time

There is always time. You just have to be willing to create it. Can you get up just a little earlier? A tactic I used to employ when I was working and going to school in Frederick, Md., and living in Gaithersburg, Md., was keeping a gym bag with clean workout clothes in my car so I would hit the gym immediately after class or after work. When I got home, I immediately put fresh clothes in the bag and put it back in the car.


If you are a full-time mom, try networking with fellow moms to share baby-sitting duties if your gym doesn't have child care. All you need is three days a week at the gym and some daily walking to get into great shape.

I don't have money

This is a very easily solved problem. First, you don't need money to get into your best shape.

Bodyweight training is free and you can do it at home. It can be just as good as any machine that a gym might have. Bodyweight training is the oldest form of exercise known to man. Variations of pushups, squats, pull-ups, and core-strengthening rotation are some of the best exercises you can do, and will produce great results in a short amount of time.

Fitness boot camps are a great option if you want a structured fitness program for not much money. There are several in the Hagerstown area. I lead one.

I'm too self-consciousness

If you aren't exactly looking your best, chances are you aren't at your most confident. Try finding a friend to start your new fitness program with you. Having a partner to train with at the club creates a kind of micro-gym around you, and takes your mind off what you think other people are thinking about you.

Also, consider joining a smaller, less intimidating club. Bigger clubs can sometimes seem more like "meat markets" than fitness centers. Smaller clubs tend to be less focused and a better environment for someone new to exercising.

I don't know what to do

Nothing saps motivation more than walking into a gym with no plan and having no idea where to start. Your first 90 days dictate what condition you'll be in for the next year.

Hiring a trainer, even if it's only once a week is crucial to your success. When looking for a trainer, make sure you ask about their qualifications and whether they have worked with people who have had similar goals. Ask for references. Look for proof of client success. And see if they offer a money-back guarantee. Asking these questions will ensure you have the best person for the job, and you get exactly what you're paying for.

Use these solutions and you will overcome barriers between you and success.

Chad Smith is co-owner of Home Team Fitness. For more information, go to .

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