Fit To Lead – Assess Yourself

Fresh off of work and full of vigor, Darren cruised into the locker room, found an open day use locker, changed, and made a b-line for the nearest treadmill.  He started off with a slow walk, then built up speed as his legs would handle it.

5 minutes in and he was huffing.  7 minutes in and he was on the floor!  Embarrassed and shaken, Darren picked himself up and slowly made his way to the locker room, changed, and drove home.  “What in the world had happened?” he wondered.

Darren had exhausted himself in only 7 minutes.  How long would it take for you to completely exhaust yourself?  When was the last time you exercised?  Getting fit is a main priority for millions of people every year but most miss the most critical step.  How much can your body handle?  Here is what you need before you head out the door and off to the gym.

  1. See a Doctor – Have your vitals checked and make sure you’re healthy enough for physical activity
  2. Build into it – Start off with an afternoon walk.  Don’t rush into heavy exercise.  Because of diminishing returns, people who regularly work out, must increase the length of time and intensity to achieve the same results.  For someone who is just getting started, a little effort will take you a long way.
  3. MED – Minimum effective dose – how much working out do you really need to do to achieve your results?  Tim Ferriss uses the sunburn example.  If 15 minutes of sun per day is all it takes for you to achieve your desired tan in 1 month, then do 15 minutes.  But what if you do 30?  Well, you burn.  Then you can’t tan the rest of the week.  Your skin peels and on Monday morning, you’re back to square one.  Whereas, someone who had the discipline to follow the MED would now be 7 tans ahead of you and have a lower risk of skin cancer.  Have the discipline to follow the MED.  Do only what you need to and nothing more.  Don’t over do it!
  4. Realistic goals – I’m going to eat nothing but Chicken and rice and work out 3 hours a day…yeah right!  How’s this one, I’ll lose 5 pounds of fat this month?  You can do that, and maybe a little more.  Don’t go after chicken and rice, how about just cutting out soda?  Start small.  It will make huge differences, trust me.
  5. Invest in a good scale – They make scales now that can tell you your body fat percentage, muscle percentage, water weight, ect.  I recommend surfing amazon to find a good one.  What happens when you start working out and your body starts to retain water?  All of a sudden you’re up 5 pounds in a week and so discouraged you quit working out.  But if you only knew it was water weight and that you actually had lost 2 lbs of fat.  This is where traditional scales fail.  You don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose fat or gain muscle!  Get a scale that can tell you what you really need to know.

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