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Four Steps to Get You Started on a Successful Fitness Journey

Jumping into the world of fitness can be challenging, especially as a beginner. The industry reaches beyond the gym, as there are now online personal trainers, pre-written meal plans, and contradicting research findings about training.

Although intimidating at first, a successful start can lead to major, long-term achievements. Here’s how to begin:

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Make a Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish. So, in order to see success, map out your goals and determine how you will logistically reach them.

Your plan should include:

  1. A start date. Since you’re planning in advance, determine when you want to officially begin this journey. It can be the first of the month, any given Monday, or the day after your birthday – so you can wholeheartedly enjoy cake. Mark your calendars, and look forward to it.

  2. Where you will workout. You may need to purchase a gym membership, sign up for studio classes, or head to a sports store to pick up equipment. Account for what you think will work best with your lifestyle, including where you feel most comfortable.

  3. A workout schedule. Determine how many, and which, days a week you want to workout. Include the time you’ll spend training – along with the time it may take to get to your workout facility.

  4. Fitness goals. What exactly do you want to achieve? Whether it’s fat loss or muscle gain, be specific and realistic – write down how many pounds you want to shed or how many plates you want to push. Remember your goals will change in time, so begin with realistic, achievable ones.

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Do Research

Although taxing more time onto the computer sounds daunting to a college student, this is a critical part of your fitness journey.

What you should look into:

  1. Training styles. Figure out what type of training you enjoy best. Nowadays, there are a ton of options. From crossfit to SoulCycle, barre to interval training, and yoga to Pilates – research is necessary. Know that finding your optimal training style may take time, and that’s okay.

  2. Training techniques. Going hand-and-hand with training styles, you’ll need to research techniques. Look to professionals in your area of training, and make sure the websites/blogs/articles you take advice from are credible. Oxygen Magazine and IDEA Health and Fitness are a good place to start.

  3. Workout plans. If you won’t be following a plan created by a trainer or fitness instructor,  write your own. This can include what day you train what muscle group, what exercises you’ll use, how much weight you should begin with, etc. Be detail-oriented and organized.

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Get Motivated

Now that you have gathered your research and made a plan, it’s time to get pumped for what’s ahead.

Here’s how:

  1. Find a workout buddy. Ask your friends, roommates, boyfriend, etc. to join you in this process. They don’t have to follow the same plan as you, but having someone to go to classes or the gym with will guarantee you get there.

  2. Get a mentor. If you have a trainer, online fitness coach or group fitness instructor, consider this person your mentor. Ask them to pay close attention to you, and look to them for motivation. It may help you to hear their fitness journey and how they got to be where they are now.

  3. Keep a fitness journal. Prepare a notebook as your journal. Write down what you please – but keep track of how you’re feeling daily. It’s less about tracking how far you ran or how heavy you deadlifted, and more about assessing your thoughts and tracking your goals.

  4. Tell your friends and family. Verbally sharing your goals puts them into the universe, helping them manifest. Not only that, but these people are your support system and are bound to motivate you. Make them proud.

Get Out There!

Your start date is here, and it’s time to take action. Remember why you’re heading on this journey and acknowledge the hard work you’ve already put in. It’s time to get after it! Good luck.


Kyra Mackesy graduated The College of New Jersey with a BA in Journalism and Professional Writing and a minor in Criminology in 2019. While at TCNJ, she was an active member of their Her Campus chapter, holding a wide array of positions: President and Campus Correspondent, Editor-in-Chief, Senior Editor, Marketing and Publicity Director, and Social Media Manager. She loved seeing her chapter grow throughout her four years in college, and will remain an active Her Campus Alumni.
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