Day 1

There’s always so much hype about ‘Day 1’.

You start a diet or a gym regime and people praise the ‘Day 1’ posts. Of course Day 1 is tough, starting anything can be daunting and finding the motivation to start is a positive which should be cheered.

Day 1 is also shiny, new and novel enough to actually be easy though. Those first few meals, gym sessions, days of change have a novelty to them that can help you stick to it.

It gets tougher as the days go by. As people perhaps stop asking how it’s going, as you have long days or challenging days and want to revert back to comfortable habits to make yourself feel better, it becomes harder to stick to your new habits and actions.

It’s not just that. In the early days and weeks results will likely come quick and fast. Depending on how much weight you have to lose you might find the pounds drop off quickly at first. If you are just starting lifting or running you might find the PBs come thick and fast for a while.

As the weeks and months go on and you establish your new habits, those results will slow. This is natural, but it’s also challenging for your motivation, as it gets harder to see progress it also becomes harder to stick to things when times get tough.

Day 1 is tough, starting is tough, but I think staying with it and never having another ‘Day 1’ again is far more challenging and yet also the ultimate goal. Fitness will always be a rollercoaster of ups and downs, peaks and being less at your peak, we don’t need to have a ‘day 1’ every time we have a down though, we just need to keep going with a healthy habits.

Your First Group Cycle Class

Group Cycle, often known as spin. There are other variations such as Les Millls RPM too. One of the most inclusive classes in a gym. Also the one that in my experience people are most scared to try. I can see why- it looks tough (for good reason – it is) and everyone looks like they know what they’re doing (they don’t, honest) and it looks technical (you have to set up a bike – this was my biggest fear at first).

So if you’ve ever wondered about trying a class but aren’t sure if it’s for you here’s the low down (from my perspective) for first timers on how to get the most out of the class.

  • Everyone is welcome- all fitness levels. Yes it will be hard but you really can go at your own pace
  • Every instructor’s class is different. So if you don’t like mine try someone elses – there will be a style you like / format you enjoy / class with music you love out there- shop around! I sometimes teach rides where we work along to the music other times I teach HIIT style tabatta, some people do races and competitions. I won’t be offended if you try my class then I see you at someone elses next week!
  • One thing to note, trade marked classes such as Les Mills RPM will be similar in every gym / with every instructor. They are pre- choreographed and so you will always get the same format – even if you go to a class in a different country. This really suits some people, especially if you like routine.
  • Get there 10 minutes early and say hi to the instructor. Tell them you are new, tell them you are nervous. They will be nice, they will look out for you and they will show you how to set up your bike.
  • There will normally be modifications or different levels you can work at and the instructor will always offer these different options throughout the class- take the ones that suit you. Never tell yourself you are doing the easy option. They are just different and people take different options for all sorts of different reasons.
  • Put some resistance on the bike – going too light sounds like a good idea (especially when you feel like you are going to die half way through!) but it will mean you bounce – this will hurt your bottom, believe me. After my first class I walked like a cowboy for a week.
  • Always make sure your feet are strapped in – loose straps are dangerous. Dangerous is bad.
  • There is normally a brake on the resistance button. Normally by pressing down on it you can stop the feet dead. It’s useful to remember just in case! The instructor will tell you about the bike if you introduce yourself at the start.
  • Don’t be afraid to add resistance when asked to. If you add too much you can always take it off. You’re there to get fitter – challenging yourself is the way to do this. Noone will laugh if you get stuck!
  • Take water – you will sweat, you will get thirsty.
  • Maybe take a towel- I refer you back to the sweat!
  • Taking recoveries is fine. You are meant to work hard- if you push so hard you need to take a moment then well done. The instructor won’t shout at you – just sit on the bike, keep the legs spinning and come back in when you are ready.
  • When you are new it can seem like everyone else is faster and fitter than you. Remember they may have been doing this a long time and have conditioned themselves to last the full class. They will not have been like that in their first class so don’t beat yourself up. Try your best, try and enjoy it and just focus on giving your best effort. Nobody is there to compete with anyone else so just work at a level right for you. Nobody is going to judge you.
  • Cycle classes are meant to be hard- the great thing is as you get fitter you can go faster and at a heavier resistance so it stays effective and never gets to the point it feels ‘easy’
  • Above all Group exercise is meant to be fun so relax and smile – the music and other people make it more interesting than just sitting on a bike in the gym!

Just Get Going

At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I travelled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the first blog of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Cody Wanner, a YouTube content creator for Pennsylvania, USA.

Cody talked about how he got started with Vlogging and creating a YouTube channel and providing lots of tips for budding Vloggers, but for me they were not only relevant for Vlogging, they are key mindset tips for whatever project your are currently working on or about to start.

Lesson 1 – If you have an idea – Just Get Started

This goes for everything.  You have a business idea, a hobby you want to try, a fitness goal to work towards.  You could wait forever, for the perfect time, perfect conditions, this to happen, that to happen, to have spare cash, to get Christmas out the way, the list goes on.  But the sooner you start the nearer to that goal you.  It doesn’t have to be the perfect plan, things could go wrong or change along the way, but ideas themselves do nothing.  Successful people are the ones with the most creative ideas, they are the ones who act upon their ideas.  Which leads me to lesson two.

Lesson 2 – Let go of perfect

You don’t need to have the perfect conditions or be super polished.  You can get started and let things evolve.   See what works and build on that, see what doesn’t and learn from it.  This blog wasn’t like this at the start, I wrote about different things and as I learnt, I changed my content, but had I kept my writing unpublished at the start it would never have evolved, I needed the feedback, the ideas, to know what people liked to read about.  Same with my podcast.  I’m much newer to Podcasting than blogging.  My podcast is still very rough around the edges, but only by publishing it can I learn to make it better each time and find my style.  Waiting for the right time or when you think you’ll do something well reduces the chance that you will ever do it well, because it’s the practice that helps make perfect right?  By the way this includes your fitness goals.  Are you planning on doing that class once you’ve lost a few pounds?  Waiting to be a certain size or shape to do something that would actively help you get to that size or shape is utterly bonkers when you think about it logically.  Stop waiting for the right conditions and just get started whatever that looks like right now/.

Lesson 3- Consistency is better than perfection, in all walks of life.

So from lesson two, if we aren’t looking for perfect what are you looking for?  Consistency.  One amazing blog, post, podcast, Vlog will not establish you in your field or as an expert or the go to person. Consistently useful content can. One excellent result at work won’t establish you as a vital part of the team.  Consistent good work will.  People like people they can rely on and trust, in all walks of life.  So be the person who produces consistent results or content with a consistent message.  Do that and it won’t matter if sometimes you have a technical hitch.  Content really is more important than what it’s wrapped up in.  Beyond social media, think about your fitness goals or diet.  Maintaining your routine most of the time will always produce better results than being perfect for a few days then going spectacularly off the rails.

Lesson 4 – Focus on connection and engagement

An amazing piece of content is all well and good but people will lose interest if you never engage with them.  We naturally interact more with people we feel connected to, who share our ideas and views or engage in debate.  So whatever job you have, whether you want to grow a brand online or just be more effective in the office, focus on the quality of your engagement with people, how you make people feel and what you can offer them instead of take and you should see an improvement in the outcome of your interactions.

Lesson 5 – Authenticity is important

Finally, be you.  You can shift and shape how you convey your message depending on who you are talking to to help it sit better with that audience, but your overall message should always sit within your values and be comfortable for you, it will come across more effectively.

So in summary my take out from this talk was, to improve your success in whatever field you are thinking about:  Take action however messy it may be to start with, be consistent and be you.