As we are one of many Broken Arrow gyms, members ask us on a regular basis, how should I start, because I have no idea what I am doing. There are a few basic principles we all must follow to start making progress on our health and fitness goals. As a matter of fact, these guidelines must remain in place regardless of what you attempt to achieve in the gym. First, one must agree to work consistently at their workout routine and commit to a minimum of six to ten months. Second, one must adhere to a nutrition plan of your choosing that is both enjoyable and beneficial to one’s body. Third, one needs to learn proper technique for compound lifts. Fourth, train with intensity, and finally, get in the proper mindset of how to live an active lifestyle. It does not matter if you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle, gain weight overall, or just stay healthy, it is imperative that you follow these parameters to achieve your goals at Broken Arrow gyms.

Starting with working out consistently, there is a reason why people who are healthy are still working out in the gym today, and that is because whether its muscle mass, keeping off fat, or training for something specific, you will not get there overnight. You must make a decision to commit to the process and put in the work in order to achieve those goals. There has never been, nor will there ever be a person who was naturally fit forever. Even some of the top performing athletes will tell you they work their tails off regardless of the skill or talent they may inherently have. The most talented people in the world still choose to commit to the process of working hard day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year. Choosing that you only want to do this for a short time is immediately setting you up for failure, so the very best thing you can do for yourself is decide that you are going to put the work into your life. Your fitness is no different. Again, if you only ever commit for a short time, you will only ever achieve results for a short time. While your fitness commitment is important, your commitment to your nutrition is essential for health.

Choosing to adhere to a nutrition plan of some kind will be another important part of starting your workout at Broken Arrow gyms. It does not matter what plan you follow, choose and stick to it! When it comes to losing weight, your nutrition is absolutely essential. It is an unspoken rule that nutrition is ninety percent of the battle and ten percent what you do in the gym when it comes to losing weight. I do want to challenge that notion, however. I do not believe this to be the case all the time. With losing weight, I agree, however; when it comes to gaining muscle, the roles are reversed. It becomes ninety percent about what you do in the gym and ten percent about nutrition. Regardless of what your goals are or which of the Broken Arrow gyms you go to, you still need to choose the plan you follow, whether it be standard bodybuilding, meat based, plant based, pescatarian, or anything else, your body needs consistency. If you do not like doing it, you will not follow it. If it is not possible to eat the calories you have set, you will not follow it. If you choose to never eat the amount of protein needed, again, you will not follow the “plan”. Create your nutrition plan that is sustainable to you and follow it. Once you commit to the process, you now must learn an essential part of any fitness, nutrition, or health goal: the compound lifts.

Learning proper form and technique on specific compound lifts will give you an edge in your training routine over someone who does isolated movements. In my recommendation there should be six primary compound lifts you need to know. The first is the bench press. Not learning this properly can lead to shoulder or elbow injuries. Next is squats. If you do not learn proper squat form you can develop injured knees, hips, or an injured back. Next is deadlifts. Improper form on deadlifts will lead to back injuries, overall weakness, and potentially knee problems. Next is the Romanian deadlift. This is a slightly different lift, but can cause the same injuries as a standard deadlift. Next up is the overhead press. The overhead press can cause lower back and shoulder and elbow issues if not performed correctly. The bent over row is the next. Here the bent over row can cause low back pain, or if done wrong can be totally useless. The common issue between most of these exercises is damaged lower back, damaged elbows, damaged shoulders, and unhealthy knees. When performed correctly, these exercises at Broken Arrow gyms will actually strengthen all of the areas they could potentially hurt. This is the importance of learning to do these exercises correctly. They will also recruit the most muscle to accomplish what is needed. This means you will gain more muscle faster or lose more fat faster.

Before we reach our final point, it is important to train with intensity. We have covered this before, but simply limit your rest times. It is that simple. The final part is to learn to have a more active lifestyle even outside of Broken Arrow gyms. Take up hunting, hiking, go for walks, take the stairs over the elevator, take your pet for a walk or out to the park, or choose any number of things. The key here is to make health a lifestyle, not a word or an action. Choosing to be active and live a life similar to what our ancestors would have will mean the difference between living to be eighty while still being active and living to ninety on bedrest. My hope for you is that you can take what you learn here and be empowered to achieve what was once unachievable. Take each thing one step at a time, commit to the process, and never give up.