Welcome to The Samson Option's “Getting Started” program. We pray that your Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Fitness journey is a prosperous one.
Before beginning the physical portion of your exercise regimen, we need to resolve a few mindset issues. In any worthwhile endeavor you must have a grip on three very important points. The first, where to begin; the second, where you wish to end up, and third, a map of the uncharted territory you will navigate between the two.
The fitness expedition you have undertaken will be a prosperous one with minimal negativity when directions and insight come from those who have been there before. The Bible tells us "By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war; and in multitude of counselors there is safety" (Pr 24:6) Traveling from unfit to fit is truly uncharted territory for many and wise counsel is indispensable. In our modern world a GPS satellite device plays an important role in navigating for us. One need only enter a current location and the address of the destination, push “Configure Route”, and a pleasant voice directs each turn. A monitor shows the road, warns of hazardous conditions, proposes detours, records mileage, estimates arrival times based on progress, displays speed, marks rest stops, suggests alternate routes, recalculates (when you make a mistake), and pins refueling stations along the route. Your responsibility is to follow the directions and you will arrive at your destination.
A well designed fitness program is similar to that GPS system; it works in order, first things first. The first thing in determining YOUR fitness journey is YOUR starting point; the place where YOU begin. A critical aspect of fitness success is to check your ego at the door; remember, everyone begins at a different place, in diverse vehicles, and with a variety of destinations in mind. Getting it Right-First Things First
Once WE determine where YOUR journey begins, we must define where it is that you wish to go. When these two elements are clearly established then we can determine your safest, fastest, and most productive route. Too many people mistakenly begin however by choosing the route before they know the condition of the vehicle. The fastest way for me is not necessarily the fastest and most productive way for you and vice versa.
Case in point: our family RV trip to Kansas from the Central Valley of California. As you may know, there are several ways to get from Central California to Kansas, each with advantages and disadvantages. I had borrowed my dad’s RV (his pride and joy-a big, slow, cumbersome, aging vehicle) so our family could all ride together, bring back a plethora of wedding gifts,and, as my wife chirped, “Make memories”.
Dad didn’t want me to overtax the RV so he found a route through Wyoming which took an extra 7 hours but bypassed the heavy grades of the Rockies. When I discovered this terrible news (7 extra hours), I was quick to accept a much shorter route through the Rockies for our return. The new route required my children to swear, upon penalty of torture and exile, not to tell grandpa that we had not taken his advise but had sprinted through the Rockies. It wasn’t until we began the climb from Colorado (straight up in an RV) that I understood why dad had warned me about the mountains. My eldest daughters' comment, albeit at the time not funny, sums up our plight. “Dad”, she said; “We could walk up this hill faster than we are going now!”
I had chosen, what I believed to be a shorter, faster route, and in the right vehicle, would have been the right choice but. . . . The condition of the vehicle we were in, its weight, size, age, the ascent, and weather factors were against us. Our golden aged, snail's pace exacerbated the engine overheating. The needle on the gas gage sprinted toward empty, the oil pressure-I’m sure we had some in spite of the gauge-was headed the opposite direction of my blood pressure, and the absolute certainty that we would not make it to the top-and if we did never home, weighed heavily on my brilliant choice of routes.
We did make it, slow but sure with many stops, adding oil, refueling and a lot of water in the pressure cooker we called the radiator. I stressed the vehicle to its limits, broke my father’s trust, and probably caused the early demise of Dad’s RV.
The wrong fitness course, the one that looks the fastest, has a famous name attached, or is the one everyone is doing, can stress you to the limit in a similar fashion. The trail to fitness is littered with broken, discouraged, and very capable travelers who chose too much, too fast, to end in too bad! Be careful choosing the route for your vehicle (your body).
S.O. Fitness is fun, entertaining, enjoyable, and challenging when you start right after determining the best route for YOU. These tips will help you ascertain what's best for you:
- Your mode of transportation (your physical body) plays a dynamic role in your travel (fitness) plans. You must know its condition before you chose the route.
- Resolve yourself to realistic goals that can be attained over time. If it takes an extra 7 weeks, 7 months, or 7 years, it really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy the journey and end up where you intended to go. Fitness takes time, enjoy the trip; it’s a life journey-have some fun!
- Training Journal: Begin a Training Journal to keep track of your Sets, Repetitions, Volume, Intensity, Speed, and Duration of Exercise. These are important pieces of information that will help prevent you from veering off course. They will show your progress, encourage you when the journey seems long, provide alternate routes, and point out refueling and needed rest stops.
- Google “Fitness Logs” and check out the many available programs for keeping track of your workouts. I use a dry erase marker on a mirror to record new PR's (Personal Records) and then copy them onto my computer log; a spiral notebook works just as well. Plug into Samson Option's GPS (Getting Personally Started) Outline and your ready to put the pedal to the metal. SO's GPS-Step-by-Step Step One: Determine your current location; where are you physically today? Follow “Fitness Tales” below. Step Two: Establish and write down your fitness goals . Don't set unrealistic goals, they will delay your trip or end it all together. . Set realistic goals with realistic time frames. Be wise in your estimations. . If you hated high school PE and the last time you exercised was when the coach made you run a mile, it is not realistic to imagine that you can begin your new journey by attacking all 5 of the WOD components at once. Pick one or two and work on them until you have achieved the level to comfortably add more. A note on comfort: When I say comfortably, I do not mean that it’s easy to do. The WOD should be hard, taxing the system to improve while challenging you mentally. A good rule of thumb is when you break form (doing the exercise correctly) for ego, it's time to stop. It should, however, not be so hard that you need to take off work to recover. Remember; all things in moderation. .
- View your goals from time to time and see where you are. There are three basic skeletal muscle types; Type I, Type IIb, and Type IIa. Each muscle type has a particular fiber base and purpose. Samson
- Option's WOD (Workout of the Day) is designed with 5 components of between 2 and 30 minutes duration. Each component is created to stimulate one or all of the muscle fiber types. Your goal is to eventually complete all 5 phases, but at the beginning your fitness prescription may require that you will work on specific groups. Your skill level and experience will often dictate the component or load (weight / resistance) for each. There will be days when time restrictions prevent you from completing more than one or two; enjoy them and have fun.
- Make goals real by giving them an 'estimated time of arrival'; a time frame. Something like: "I will complete the WOD according to the prescription by the end of the month." "I will complete at least 3 of the 5 components in 2 months. Remember, life fitness is not always a sprint and the finish line is the next life; it's an on-going endeavor; more of a marathon than a race. 2 Cor 4:16-18.
- Real, attainable goals take into account where you begin, your time availability, your knowledge of exercise, your athletic learning curve (not everyone is gifted with athletic talent), your physiological limits (age-medical issues-habits), and your WHY?
- Determine "YOUR WHY". This is the most critical of all the aspects of your fitness challenge. If your WHY is big enough, none of the circumstances you face will distract you from attaining your goals. You must determine why you want to achieve what you are working for in Fitness and in Life. Take some time and pray about it then write it down.
- "Fitness Tales" Level I Fitness Tests: All Level I Fitness Tests are 2 Minutes in duration. Do the prescribed exercise for 2 minutes and record your score. This will give you a starting point and show how much you have improved at your next test in 6-8 weeks.
- "Level I Tests" Push Ups, Sit Ups, Pull Ups, Air Squats, Burpees, Run (Ride a bike, Jump Rope (Reps) or Row) for Distance
- In your exercise log: Mark a page with "Level I Fitness Tests" and the date. Record each of the test results and how you did them. Save the results because you will be referring back to them in 6-8 weeks. Example: "Level I Fitness Tests" . Date- . Push Ups-from knees-23 . Sit Ups-bent knees-22 . Air Squats-1/2 extension-38 (Could not do full squats poor flexibility) . Burpees-19 . Jump Rope-40
- Tale of the Tape: Determine your Weight, Height, BMI Body Mass, Body Fat Percentage, and Resting Heart Rate. Keep track of the these measurements as they will be changing as your exercise regimen becomes more productive. They are a great way to follow the changes in your physiology.
- Use the Mirror Test and stay away from the scale except on testing dates. The Mirror Test is simply looking in the mirror, the truth always bleeds through. If you are working, in time, you will see the difference.
- "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles." Matt 6:34
- Place to exercise . Living Room, Garage, Patio, Back Yard, Driveway, Local Park, anyplace where you can move around, jump, and enjoy exercising
- Equipment Needs: . Jump Rope Almost any rope will do, but the manufactured units with ball bearing handle sets are fast and make jumping easier and more fun.
- Matt or Towels for cushion.
- Assorted Dumbbells, Bands (elastic tubing), or Sandbags Don't buy expensive equipment. Most garage sales have some form of weights or equipment that are inexpensive and likely not too used. Check your neighbors garages as you drive by for dusty and rusting weights. A can of black spray paint and they are good as new. Most are in good condition collecting dust and taking up space.
- Pull Up Bar: a place to do Pull Ups; Swing Set, Rings, patio rafter, tree branch, anything you can use to pull yourself up on. Your local park will likely have something to hang on for pull ups.
- Medicine Ball or Sand Bags You can make your own Med-Balls. Google: "Make Your Own Medicine Ball" for a plethora of sites and easy, inexpensive ideas. Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Training Bags, etc. Expensive to purchase new but. . . Garage sales, newspaper adds etc. will help you garner what you need at 1/3 the cost. Adjustable Dumbbell units are a favorite because they offer a variety of weights, are usually easy to operate, and are convenient to store.
- Try a Google Search for 'Home Made Gym Equipment'. You will be surprised how much you can save and how easy it is to make much of the equipment.
- Backpack with sand. Backpacks loaded with sand bags are a very inexpensive way to add weight and resistance to your training regimen. They act like a weighted vest and can be adjusted with bags of various size for easy weight adjustments. Heavy-duty 'ziplock' bags with sand work well and give you the added convenience of adding weight in small increments.