4cMany people have the goal of “getting” or “staying” fit. The number of obstacles however, can be many. Finding time, figuring out which class to attend, self-consciousness, or fear of failure…all can get in the way. Whether you are choosing a gym, looking into attending a class, or wishing to work one on one with a personal trainer, I recommend using these 4 C’s as a guideline.

Connection
Communication
Confidence
Commitment

Connection.
Whether you are choosing a class to attend or a gym to join, make sure you feel a connection to the other members and to the instructors. Visit different places before you decide. Sometimes you can walk into a place and get a great “vibe” or a good feeling. Other times, you may find you have a pit in your stomach because something simply doesn’t feel right. While you want to be sure you are not simply giving into a desire to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of trying something new, you also want to trust your instincts. Talk with different trainers to get a sense of how it feels working out with them. Don’t be afraid to interview them a little. Many gyms will offer a few guest passes so that you can try the place out and see if a good fit. In other words, try before you buy.

Communication
Communicate with the people you are working with. Don’t be afraid to tell the instructor or trainer what you are looking for in your workout experience. Let them know about any restrictions you have. A high degree of communication can be essential to your success. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your teacher or trainer, that you have an injury or that something is really uncomfortable (or not enjoyable!), then you may want to try someone or something new. A trainer is only as good as the client who communicates their needs.

Confidence
Classes and trainers should help fill you with a sense of confidence by the time you leave, not make you feel ashamed or bad about yourself. A big part of the confidence building comes however from you! Picking classes that are appropriate for your level will help you grow and succeed and is a large part of the confidence recipe. I often see students pick classes well above their level, only to fail and get discouraged…or be in so much pain they don’t want to go again.. You might be surprised that your confidence will grow more quickly if you let yourself start at the beginning. Even if you are already in great shape. We wouldn’t send a first grader to a Calculus class no matter how bright they are, they still need math 101 to succeed. The same is true in fitness. Foundation classes are designed to share information and to build confidence. Don’t be afraid to try a few before you leap to a harder level.

Commitment
Finally,Commit! Committing to a workout schedule even just once a week to start can reap amazing results. If you have taken the steps outlined in the other 3 C’s, you will have a much better chance of making a real commitment to getting or staying in shape.

And when you are done, perhaps you can try a bonus C… Chocolate! With all that hard work, it’s always good to reward yourself (and rewarding yourself actually helps make new habits stick!). Try a little bit of dark chocolate (it’s the best!) and remember – everything in moderation!