Warm up.

Have a workout game plan.

Cool down.


I didn’t think so.

My main tips for working out are going to be broken down into different sections.  A ‘warm up’ can look like a lot of things. From a gentle walk for a longer run, to a very specific warm up for weight lifting.

I actually think my real passion is ‘teaching’ people how to do things so they don’t have to rely on someone else (a personal trainer) for a long time.

These are similar principles to working as a mental health nurse.  Teaching skills, tools and techniques to support a person learn how best to manage their own mental health.  Finding what works for an individual is the most important part of my job.

The workout plan.

If you have no idea what a workout plan is. This is a great starting point. If you don’t know why you would go anywhere near a piece of equipment in the gym other than your cardio friend.  This aims to help you understand what a workout plan actually is.

What’s your goal?

’Weight loss’ (such a broad statement and annoying term)

Get stronger.

Get abs.

Increase running speed.

Do you get the picture?  There’s no one workout for anyone.  You may in fact just be at a very basic…’I want to go to the gym regularly for my mental health’.  So how do you workout what it is you want to do?

Simplify your goal

What can you do well now? Walk on a treadmill? Do a bicep curl? Spin in a bike?  All brilliant! Hit a tennis ball?

This is where you should start.

When you list the things you can do. You can then work out what the next ‘goal’ of that thing you have achieved is.

Real life progression

My own story is very much one of learning the above.

I was very sporty at school, but dropped it all for booze and food during uni (2003-2006). Having never run, I was embarrassed to run for fear of looking stupid.  Swimming was something I was good at however, and knew that if I swam, I was actually hidden too. So. I picked swimming to start getting back into fitness.

My first swim was just to see how far I could go until I felt pretty pooped.  I counted the lengths.  The next time I went swimming (I aimed for a few times a week), I tried to match or increase my lengths or add a new stroke.

Initially I was only swimming breaststroke maybe for 20 lengths.  Once I was comfortable, I then added a front crawl every 3 lengths.  Then I added 2 lengths of front crawl.  And so on.

Why does slow progress work?

After I clocked that I was improving, I was enjoying swimming and had lost weight that I wanted to shift at the time.  I transferred the same principle to running.

I had never run before apart from in sport. Cross country I hated.

So how did I start running? Before the days of couch to 5k.

I got on the treadmill and worked out how long I could walk at with a bit of pace. 20 minutes. I felt out of breath and like I’d done enough.

I had my bench mark. 20 minutes to play with.

To start actually running, this was huge trial and error.  I thought I could just run for 1 minute and had no idea what speed on a treadmill.  That was a quick lesson as I tried running to quickly for too long.  So I adjusted to the right speed for me over 10-30 seconds.

Once I had worked out what my comfortable speed and time for running was, I could then push.

My next goal was to run to the chorus of one song and walk to the verse. (before playlists on Spotify).  The radio made this a challenge.  But regardless.  It was my benchmark.

It took time to master this.

When I became comfortable with running for the chorus and walking for the verse, I extended the running time until I was running for one song and walking for one.

What next?

Ive given 2 examples of how I got myself into a place where I could comfortably exercise.  I had to do the same post partum.  It is possible.  If you have never been in to sport, coming back to sport, or trying a new sport.

3 minutes of boxing is actually brutal. Without an opponent.  For anyone. It’s meant to be hard.  3 minutes is not long!

If you feel like you need to work out your starting block DM me @melissa_powex, email me, let me help you pick it apart and find your starting block.

If you find something you actually want to do and feel able to achieve, you are much more likely to stick to your goals.

  1. Your goals don’t have to be huge.