Diving Into Some New Fitness? Top 3 Burning Questions, Answered!

You made the leap. You bought a membership. You got some gym clothes. Your head is in the game. But what if you don’t like your gym? Or what if you get there and it’s so overwhelming that you don’t know what to do? And by the way— what do you need to do to get results anyway??

Guurrrllll, don’t panic—we got you! Today we’re revisiting three of our most frequently asked questions about starting something new in your fitness and making your workouts work for you.

What Should I Do If I Hate The Gym?

For many people (including yours truly), traditional gym culture isn’t exactly a natural fit.

I’d wager to say a large percentage of Mark Fisher Fitness’ success is because we’ve created a gym for people who hate gyms. In fact, that’s why you’ll rarely hear us call our home “a gym.” The word “Clubhouse” feels like a much better term for the atmosphere at MFF.

Now let’s say training at MFF isn’t an option. Or perhaps you prefer your fitness adventures to be less unicorn-y.

When looking at fitness options, it’s absolutely crucial to keep in mind what you actually like doing. (Incidentally, the same can be said for building your diet around foods you like, instead of foods you think you “should” eat.)

This may require spending some time really shopping around options and trying out a few different gyms or fitness studios.

Don’t settle for the first one you stop into. Most gyms and studios will allow you either a free or discounted trial to try out their services and see if it feels like the right match for your personal preferences. (At MFF, we offer a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee for any first-time Ninja.)

Convenience matters for most people, so you’ll also need to balance this against logistics; a gym you can barely afford or that is way off your normal beaten track could allow you to easily make this an excuse to stop going.

Additionally, you can certainly consider at home options like membership sites the stream online workouts. For some people this is a great solution because it’s affordable and convenient.

But even here, you have to know yourself. Some people actually do better when they have a space to go to, and a more expensive investment can actually be a powerful incentive to stay on the path.

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding what works for you. The fitness industry is exploding, and most of us now have lots of options to consider when looking for help with our fitness goals.

Feel free to date around before you put a ring on it, and prioritize what you actually like instead of what you think “should” do!

What is the appropriate length of time to workout? Can I actually get results in 30 minutes?

While the appropriate length of a workout depends on a number of factors (the goals, your training experience, free time, etc.), the great news is you really can get a lot done with limited time.

One of the biggest barriers for people looking to make fitness a part of their life is time. And let’s face it, we can all relate to wishing we had just a few more hours each day!

That said, if you use your time well, you can get a fantastic workout with just 30 minutes. To make it as effective as possible, your best bet is to take your first 5 minutes with a general full body warm-up, then dive right into 20 minutes of training, and allow a few minutes to cool down at the end.

For the “workout proper,” you’ll want to focus on alternating strength training moves. Specifically, while some of your body is resting, you want to use other parts of your body to do stuff. So for instance, you could do push-ups, take a very brief break, then do jump squats, another brief break, then repeat.

By alternating between non-competing exercises, you can keep your heart rate pumping while the muscles themselves get a break. You’ll notice our class at MFF and our bodyweight only workouts on MyBroadwayBody.com are built around a similar pattern. And with good reason! It’s a very time effective approach.

This style of training is sometimes called “circuit training,” or when I’m wearing my fanciest pants, I could also call this “metabolic resistance training.” I’m using resistance training (or strength training) to create a “metabolic,” or calorie burning, effect.

So the next time you’re short on time, challenge yourself to be as economical as possible. If you go hard enough, you can most certainly get a fantastic workout in as little as 30 minutes.

Why Is It So Hard To Do What I Know I Should Do For My Fitness Goals?

And this, my friends, is the magic question.

At MFF, we often talk about the difference between the “knowledge gap” and the “behavior gap.”

The knowledge gap is certainly part of the equation for many people. When someone is starting a fitness journey, they’re not always sure just what to do. After all, the media sends a lot of mixed messages. Should you do cardio for fat loss? Will lifting weights make me bulky? Is it ok to eat carbs? I heard meat was bad for you? Are supplements good or bad for me? It’s enough to make even professionals confused!

Happily, in the grand scheme of things, there’s a lot of stuff that most serious fitness professionals agree on. And if you work with a good coach, you’ll easily get the knowledge you need to achieve success with your fitness goals.

However, sometimes the issue isn’t that we don’t know what to do. Sometimes the issue is we can’t get ourselves to consistently take the actions we need. And this is what we call the “behavior gap.”

It can be frustrating and disheartening when it seems like you just can’t get yourself to do what you know need to do to achieve your fitness goals. This is TOTALLY normal. To some extent, all human beings struggle with this in at least some part of our lives.

While each of us is different, there are three strategies that will usually be helpful.

First of all, choosing exercises and food choices you actually enjoy is a big part of the equation. With so many options, there’s no reason to settle for what you think you “should” eat or the type of training you “should” do. Your best bet is to find something you actually enjoy!

Secondly, we all benefit from social support. Whether it’s to keep you accountable to take action, or to be there to celebrate your wins, community is a crucial part of most long term fitness successes. We’ve seen over and over that people get the best results as part of a community.

Lastly, being realistic about the journey and avoiding trying to be “perfect.” In reality, none of us will ever be perfect. But it’s very common to fall into what’s called “all or nothing” thinking. Once we make a poor food choice, we decide to just eat poorly the rest of the day. We don’t get in our three workouts for the week, and we feel like we’re falling off the wagon and skip the next few weeks.

While this is normal, we can certainly see it isn’t helpful. Being on top of our fitness 90% of the time will still lead to some amazing results. So be easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up. The journey to your health and hotness dreams isn’t something that happens overnight, nor can it be lost in a single meal or missed workout!

Do stuff you like, embrace community, and don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good!

Wanna see if MFF is the right place for you to start a new practice of health and hotness in your life? Sign up for a one-hour Health and Hotness Strategy Session with one of the lovable weirdos on our staff!


Mark Fisher is the co-owner and Ninja Master of Mark Fisher Fitness, one of the most successful gyms in the history of the fitness industry. Within its first five years, MFF grew from a single personal trainer to a staff of over 35, more than 800 members, and two studios in Manhattan, earning it a spot in on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. Mark also likes cursing, musical theater, and writing in third person. For more awkward self-talk, see markfisherhumanbeing.com


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