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Coaches and trainers can teach a lot about preparation and expectations, and certainly training, for a big fitness milestone. But newbies have a fresh perspective that’s also incredibly helpful. Here are some personal stories from Anytime Fitness members who tackled—or are tackling—big goals. They’re sharing what they wish they knew before getting started, and are here to prove you can do it too!
“I wish I would have known the amount of time it took to train. I would run 5 days a week with a long run somewhere in there. The long run could be anywhere from 6-20 miles.”
“I also discovered that I didn’t hurt as bad as I thought I would the day after the race. I thought I would be in bed with ice packs for 2 days and I wasn’t. I even did a light workout the next day because I felt pretty good. Yes, I trained a ton for this race but the training was well worth it. I also discovered that ANYONE can do a marathon if they are dedicated enough to do it. I swore up and down I would never run a marathon. One day I changed my mind and made that my goal. If I can do it, anyone can.”
- Member Lindsay Thomas, Anytime Fitness Little Rock
“When training for my first fitness competition, I wish I would have known more about the hormonal and science aspect of preparing a contest-ready physique. The leaner you get, the more tiny details begin to matter. Things like carbohydrates and water intake, along with manipulating sodium and other micronutrients can truly make a difference the deeper into a diet you get.”
“I also wish I knew then how long it truly takes to get super lean like the people we look up to. People look at girls in magazines and give themselves a timeline to get there. I did it. I would say things like ‘I’ll be there in a year’ or ‘that’s certainly achievable in 4 weeks,’ when it isn’t. Most times it takes years and years of constant dieting to get that lean. To get deep-down in the fat storage. After competing for the first time I realized that once you can take over your mind to control your eating, push through that cardio session or last rep on negative amount of blood glucose in your system, you can do anything. It’s a mental game.”
- Member Toni Naramore, Anytime Fitness Little Rock
“Training can be tough–both physically and mentally–and I discovered having multiple whys ultimately kept me motivated to push through and succeed. Biking isn’t just a hobby. I’m riding [a 100-mile charity bike ride from Washington, DC to Dewey Beach] with a large group of coworkers to raise awareness and money for Autism. That camaraderie and cause keep me going.”
“I also learned to start training earlier than you think is necessary. I have always been able to make time for a 45 to 60-minute spin class, but making it out to the trails to practice multi-hour-long rides has been more challenging than expected. Giving myself only 7 weeks of dedicated prep time doesn’t allow for missed rides due to unexpected events or social celebrations. But that’s life.”
- Member Kristen Codner, Anytime Fitness Kensington
“I decided to compete to learn first-hand about the body building subculture of the fitness industry so I could better serve my club’s members, but even as a fitness coach with 13 years of professional experience, I discovered I needed more expertise! I hired a Body Building Coach to assist me in preparing for a specific event, as there are so many details I quickly realized I didn’t even know enough to ask about.”
“I also learned to speak up more, with those I see regularly. I asked my friends and family to stop offering me food and beverages. ‘Laura, would you like some steak? How about just one bite of cake?’ My thought is always, ‘Yes! I want all the steak and all the cake!’ But, I have a meal plan set to help me achieve this goal, and I will stick to it, so I learned to explain that up-front to avoid the question altogether.”
“I also learned it takes more time that I thought. I thought I was already in ‘pretty good shape’ when I registered for my first body building show only 10 weeks out, so I completely ignored a coach’s suggestion to be patient and prep 22 weeks for a different show. I wanted the competition experience ASAP! Even though I looked more sculpted than I had in my past 32 years of life, it’s now embarrassing to look back at those stage pictures, because I would never dream of getting on stage in that condition again! But I learned enough during those 10 weeks to know I wanted to learn more and keep the ball rolling.”
- Owner/Personal Trainer Laura Burstein, Anytime Fitness Poolesville
This post was previously published on the Anytime Fitness blog. PumpOne and Anytime Fitness are both owned by Self Esteem Brands.
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