Initial Burnout, It's A Thing..
We all know the new year is swiftly coming. This is the time when most of America decides it’s time to take charge of their health and get a gym membership. The gym is crowded, there’s no parking, none of the equipment is available, classes are booked days in advance, the grocery store is out of protein powder, the sporting good store sold their last shaker bottle on December 30th, and now you don’t even know if you want to try and make your workout happen.
(Typically what we hear during this time:
“If I go to the gym every day for the next month I’ll lose (x) amount of pounds”
“No days off”
“I’m just starting out again so I have to be consistent, which means I can’t take any time off” )
Well, 80% of those new members will either cancel their membership after February or keep it but never show up (DellaVigna & Malmendier, 2006).
The common trend for these folks is a complete burnout after about 2 weeks. They didn’t give themselves enough time in between workouts to adjust to this change in stimulus to their body. This includes the workouts and new diet they’ve implemented.
When introducing a new lifestyle, change in environment, new job, new relationship, different commute, etc. there is an adjustment period. This is also the case when it comes to working out!
At Body One Fitness, we tell all of our new members (that haven’t been working out before this) to only come 3 times/week for the first 2 weeks, then start gradually increasing to 4 and then 5 times/week. This allows for them to recover properly and show up to class refreshed and ready to get after it! If you’re considering making a change and introducing exercise to your routine, remember to take it slow. Losing weight, gaining strength, becoming more agile and mobile, and changing your diet all takes time. Also, that amount is different for everyone.
Be patient and kind with yourself and you’ll achieve maximal gains! Don’t be part of that 80% that gives up because they did too much all at once. Be part of that 20% that sticks with it each day and achieves their goals!
DellaVigna, Stefano, and Ulrike Malmendier. “Paying Not to Go to the Gym.” The American Economic Reeview, 96 , no. 3, 2006, pp. 695–719., eml.berkeley.edu/~sdellavi/wp/gymempAER.pdf.