We tend to find that there are two types of people when it comes to exercise.  There are the people that jump straight in, no questions asked, with a sort of reckless enthusiasm.  And then there are the people that dip their toe in the water, ask lots of questions, trying to optimize their experience and run the risk of overthinking what should be a simpler process.

This article is written for the second type of person, so if that sounds like you – Read on.

We’ll be covering why some of the common questions or options that delay working out aren’t that important, why getting started imperfectly is usually the best option, plus providing some actionable tips to help you cut through overthinking and start achieving results.

Why Common Fitness Questions Aren’t Always That Important

Three of the biggest questions we hear people ask, and typically slow them down, are as follows…

  • “When should I train?”
  • “How long should I train for?”
  • “What exercises should I use?”

And the truth is, the answer to all of these questions really isn’t all that important, especially not if you are just getting started because there’s a HUGE range of successful approaches that you can take.  For example…

When should I train?

Morning, afternoon or evening all work fine, and plenty of people have had success with each. (Deschenes 1998) Plus you can train anywhere from 1 to 6 times per week and still achieve good results.


How long should I train for?

People have achieved great results with everything from 4-minute high intensity Tabata workouts (Tabata 2019) through to 3 hour workouts like long runs, swims and cycles.  It really depends on your goals, training preferences and time availability.

 

What exercises should I use?

There are hundreds of safe and effective exercises, so as long as you pick a handful of different ones with a mixture of upper and lower body focus, you’ll be able to achieve great fitness results.

And here’s the best thing; the lower your starting fitness level, the less these things matter, other than simply starting easy.  If you’re a complete beginner looking to get started then doing basically anything is going to be a 100% improvement on what you were doing before, right?!  If you’ve never exercised, then you can literally do a single bodyweight squat or press-up on your knees and you’ll have achieved a lifetime best!  That’s amazing.

 

Why Taking Imperfect Action Can Be Your Best Option

There’s a prevalent myth in the 21st century that to start something you miraculously need to already be perfect at it.  You see so many people on Instagram and Facebook with picture-perfect bodies and fantastic exercise technique, that it’s easy to start thinking that you need to look like that in order to take part.

We promise you that’s absolutely NOT the case.

There’s no barrier to entry for exercise.  Even if you’ve never exercised in your entire life you can still get started and reap all the same benefits that more experienced gym-goers are getting. So there’s no need to spend your time asking loads of questions and doing a bunch of unnecessary research.

Remember back in the introduction we mentioned the type of person who just jumps into new activities no questions asked?  Well guess what, whilst you’re sat at home overthinking your would-be exercise routine, that lunatic is out there achieving all the things that you could be achieving.  They’re probably using questionable form and completely random exercises, but in six months’ time they’re going to have achieved more, and there’s a good chance they’ll even have learnt more than you because they’ll have been learning by doing.

So stop overthinking and start taking imperfect action.  It’s better to run the race 80% as well as you could have, than it is to completely miss the race because you were waiting to feel 100%.

 

Actionable Tips to Avoid Overthinking and Get Results

 

1) Learn Only What Your Workouts Reveal You Need to Know

It’s way too easy to find yourself reading up on and watching videos about fitness topics that aren’t even remotely relevant to the level you’re at. You don’t need to know how to design a super complex 12-week periodization-based training programme if you’re a beginner to the gym!

So let your workouts guide your learning.  Do your first workout, do the best job you can, and then afterwards you can sit down and make a couple of notes about things you might want to know for next time…

For example, if your squats felt a bit awkward, you might make a note to watch a short video on squat technique. Or, if you have been using Kemtai, it will provide real-time corrective guidance while you workout

Or if you weren’t quite sure how to grip a barbell, you might make a note to watch a quick video on barbell grip.

By using this approach, you solve the problems most relevant to you, and practical fitness training becomes part of your learning process.

2) Follow ‘Done-For-You’ Workout Guides and Demonstrations

Fun fact, you don’t need to know loads about fitness because it’s not your job to know loads about fitness.  You know whose job it is?  Personal trainers, fitness instructors and coaches!  Let them do the hard work of putting workouts together for you, and just follow along with what they tell you to do.  Simple.

And with systems like Kemtai this has literally never been easier.  You’ve got access to a database of dozens of safe, enjoyable and effective workouts designed by qualified trainers to suit a range of goals and ability levels.   Literally all you need to do is log in, select the workout for you and follow along, there really couldn’t be a simpler way to start taking action and achieving your fitness results.

Finding the Right Workout for You Using the Kemtai Wizard

This seems like the perfect time to jump into a bit more detail about how to use the Kemtai workout wizard so that it crafts the perfect workout for you.

First, you’ll be greeted by 7 different categories of training focus, all of which are on a sliding scale…

  • Cardio
  • Lower body
  • Upper body
  • Core
  • Back
  • Balance
  • And Flexibility

The higher you set each scale, the more of that type of exercise will be in your workout.  Pretty cool right?

You’ll then be prompted to select a workout time ranging from 5 minutes to 50 minutes, as well as a difficulty level ranging from easy to superman!

So in less than 2 minutes you’ll have given Kemtai all it needs to create a personalized workout that exactly suits your goals, time availability and ability level.

Summary – ‘Just Did It’

Fitness results aren’t something that you can achieve by sitting on the sidelines, you have to get involved and learn by doing.  If you’re someone who finds themselves overthinking, remember that imperfect action beats perfect inaction every single time.  Moreover, if you’re unsure about how to get started, following ‘done-for-you’ workout guides can be a fantastic option, and the Kemtai workout wizard makes this process as personalized as possible.

 

References / Further Reading

Deschenes, M., Sharma, J., Brittingham, K. et al. Chronobiological effects on exercise performance and selected physiological responses. Eur J Appl Physiol 77, 249–256 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004210050329

Tabata, I. Tabata training: one of the most energetically effective high-intensity intermittent training methods. J Physiol Sci 69, 559–572 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12576-019-00676-7