With four decades of experience at the highest level of fitness and strength Neil Brophy knows everything there is to know about training programs; he knows what to expect, what works and the mistakes to look out for. The first 12 weeks are essential to your fitness journey. If you can make it through three months you will be on your way to a lifetime of fitness and health.
Right at the beginning, take it easy on yourself. You are not going to wake up one day and suddenly be an athlete. Even though you have made the decision that you want a fit and healthy life and have joined the gym to make that happen you will still have your body, your level of fitness and your habits. That’s okay, we have 12 weeks to change that.
In the first four weeks concentrate on the basics. Get to the gym three times a week, don’t worry too much about what you do when you get here, just get here. Form the habit of walking through the gym doors.
Start to bring routine to your eating and sleeping. Make regular meal times and a regular bedtime. Settle into your new practices. Unlike most personal trainers who promise quick fix fast results Neil Brophy does not recommend that you radically change your eating, drinking and social habits in the first month as it can often isolate you from your friends and community just when you need their support.
In the second four weeks most people grow impatient for results. Neil Brophy thinks of it as a gardener planting a seed. Horticulturalists plant their seeds and wait patiently for the plants to grow but when us non professionals garden we check the seed every day.
As your curiosity rises you’ll feel the desire to increase the quality of your food and start to look at is as fuel not pleasure. You’ll start to notice improvements in your habits, food and sleeping as well as your strength, fitness and flexibility.
In the third four weeks the fun really starts. As you approach week 12 you’ll know what it feels like to feel good! You’ll feel better, with increased energy and you will have a greater clarity about your physical wellbeing, being more present and aware of your body, food and all aspects of life. Wellbeing will have become a real interest and you will be eager to improve your technique in the gym, you’ll refine your food willingly and you’ll be constantly seeking out wellness information.
Over the months your community will have changed. Some of your friends will have come along for your fitness ride and joined you at the gym and you will have made new friends at your fitness classes and working out.
Far from feeling like a challenge, the feel good factor will have become an addiction and you won’t be able to imagine a life without the gym. Welcome to the world of fitness.