Beginner’s Fitness Journey | Part 2

by Marianne  - January 1, 2013


Happy New Year, everyone!!!

The beginning of the year brings people to realise all the things they would like to achieve/change in their lives. These reflections and resolutions are good, but often they come on a cloud of excitement and unrealistic expectations, only to fizzle out as reality hits and we fail to success as quickly as we hoped. You all know the story!

The Beginner’s Fitness Journey (check out part 1 by clicking HERE) series is here to help root you in reality! My task is to help you understand that when you begin to exercise and have a good program to follow, that your long-term results will depend mostly on YOUR consistency throughout the times when the initial results slow down.  As I say at the end of the video: 

“It’s as much about each piece of the jigsaw being shaped to fit the next as it is about the completed picture.”

This takes time!

People say the hardest part is getting started. This is not so true of the new year; the hardest part is actually motoring on.   Sometimes we don’t need to be completely rigid with ourselves, but do things in small steps … which, as it happens, is the idea behind my first ever online product *SMALL PLUG ALERT* —> Yes, I am currently putting together a 12 week program that takes you from wanting to train regularly to ACTUALLY training regularly and with a great structure! All you need to do is commit to the goal and follow through.  I’m working hard to get this completed very soon to help those new year resolutioners to stay on the wagon long enough for exercise to become a part of life and not just something we are detached from.  I’ll keep you all posted on this 🙂

Since this beginner’s journey is about a real person (my mother dear), then I will also include the things that don’t go as planned. For example: initially, mum pledged to train 2-3 times per week over 6-8 weeks.  After her first training session, she has actually trained once every 1-2 weeks.  However, she still managed to make some improvements in her form, and strength!  This is good, but not enough to reap the body composition goals that she needs to see.  I am a stickler for consistency and I want strength training to take a higher priority in mum’s life, so that she will enjoy all the benefits and not just the initial ones. Mum agrees!

The workout mum did was more or less the same as the first one, except she did Single Arm Rows instead of Inverted Rows.  The day we did the hotel workout, she also did Single Arm Rows (it wasn’t filmed, because she was just practicing), and she managed 5 reps with 12kg each arm. She has improved in this also!  I also had mum try Hip Thrusts for the first time because her glute bridges had improved so much. 

Check out the video below to see her in action 🙂


Below, is the written breakdown along with the reps and weights used. The pink entries are from the first workout and the black entries are the new workout.

  1. Body Weight Squat: x 12 reps (6-8 reps)
  2. Glute Bridge: x 18 reps (12 reps)
  3. Hip Thrust (first time!): x 8 reps (none)
  4. Two-Handed KB Swing (12kg): 2×30 seconds (20 then 30 seconds)
  5. Single-Arm Row (12kg) (right then left): x 10 reps (5 reps!)
  6. Two-Handed Press (12kg): x 8 reps (5 reps)
  7. Front Plank: x 20 seconds (10 seconds)
  8. Seated Band Abduction: x 18 reps (12 reps)
I think, considering this was my mum’s 3rd proper training session, and the pressure was on, she deserves some extra praise!  
Please take a moment to read the end script in the video.  As a trainer, my longer term goal (sometimes 6 months or so) is for my clients to achieve perfect form, but my short term goal (over the first weeks and even months) is to help them become confident in moving differently than they have before.  Often 2 or more commands become too much information for someone who is only learning to have awareness of the difference between a knee dominant and hip dominant movement.  For this reason, I advance my teaching as my client shows that previous lessons have been recalled well 🙂 This takes a heap of pressure off the trainee and builds their trust in you as a trainer, but also a confidence in themselves —> often, people will want to show their loved ones what they have mastered, which is great for motivation and may even get friends and family interested in exercise. 
I really am very grateful for my work.  To see people excel in self-confidence and physical fitness is pretty awesome 🙂
PS – Please check back over the coming days for a special announcement … I hinted at something else I was involved in a while ago and this project is finally about to launch 🙂


Get the free guide just for you!


Swing Here, Swing There | Kettlebell HIIT Routine

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  1. Marianne you have such an amazing soothing voice I can see how it would be great to train with you if one didn’t know where to start or how far to go.

    Happy new year

  2. Good on your mum, at least she’s made a start and stuck with it. Great to see how your focusing on good form.

  3. Great stuff!!! This is actually perfect timing. For the holidays I actually taught my mom to swing and she loves it! Its too awesome. Shes been texting me about her swing ladders shes been doing in the morning. Gotta love it.

    I cannot wait for the launch of the new product! You know I will be hitting that up.

    Its true about beginning not being the hardest. Sometimes that is the easiest, its the consistency sometimes that can be the challenge. So i think your 12 week program will be really informative.

    Chat soon!

  4. Well done! Your mum has good form. She shows that any beginner can start somewhere and be good at their own level, which is great. I hope she manages to do it 2/3 times per week. Go for it, mum!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Your mom is a great rolemodel for the beginner, or anyone in general who has lost the importance of the basics and moving one step at a time.
    I appreciate the words of wisdom at the end regarding not overwhelming the trainee with too much info/cues etc and to accept small improvements rather than perfection. This is where I fall short sometimes and do overwhelm (my kids, husband, friends) with too much info too soon, which does lead to frustration for both of us 🙁 One thing I need to improve on. So thank you for the reminder.

    Quick note: I think your mom has pretty good squat form. I’m still dealing with the ‘butt wink’ and can’t quite figure out what the problem is…hips, ankles, back…?? I’m trying foam rolling, stretching/mobility work for the hips, ankles, back, shoulders. Frustrating. Have you heard about the ‘paleo chair’? If I try to squat that deep and ‘sit’ there, i tend to fall backwards. What are your thoughts on that?

    Thanks Marianne!

    1. Penny,

      Thank you for your question. It’s hard to say for sure, but I would hazard an educated guess that your issues are related to ankle mobility (even the sole of your foot can be tight btw), hip mobility and core stability/strength. When you’re doing your paleo chair, hold on to something to stop you falling over. As you work on the issues I mentioned, keep trying to progress the paleo chair. I had a similar issue (I felt like I would fall, but didn’t). I have been addressing my ankles and hips mostly for this. For the “butt wink”, I would suggest more core work also.

      Hope that helps 🙂

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