I still remember what it feels like: You just started working out and it seems everyone on Instagram* is running an eight minute mile marathon and deadlifting double their body weight. It can feel hard to be a beginner when everyone else seems to be so far ahead of you, but don't be discouraged, there are benefits to being a beginner.
* OK I lied, Instagram didn't exist when I started working out. I should have said AOL chat rooms or MySpace.
As a beginner you will see improvements more rapidly and drastically than during any other time in your journey. You see a lot of initial improvement when you go from nothing to something, then after your 'newbie gains' the improvements will slow down. You will still improve over time but by much smaller percentages than in the beginning. It gets harder to continue to make drastic improvements year after year. Enjoy it while it lasts.
A beginner's body is less efficient than a more experienced athlete's body, so you are likely burning more calories in less time. Your body adapts and becomes efficient over time. In the beginning when your body is less efficient, you are working harder and burning more calories than your more experienced friend.
ROOM TO GROW
Being a beginner leaves plenty of room for growth and improvement. You don't need a lot of training volume. You can start small and still see improvements. You can build up your fitness slowly over time. Once your body adapts you can change a variable in your workout and see noticeable progress. There is a lot of work to do before you hit your peak fitness, enjoy the ride getting there.
Beginners are more willing to reach out for help and expertise. Sometimes the more experienced athletes think they are already know everything and stop seeking out new information. Science evolves, common practices and industry trends change over time. A beginner can benefit from the latest information because they are more willing to hear it. As you get more experienced you're more likely to get stuck in your old ways. Try to keep a beginner's mindset throughout your journey.
Your enthusiasm will likely be highest in the beginning. You may never look your own potential with such fresh eyes again. You don't know yet your personal limits. It is a fun time to experiment and grow. Set your sights high and work hard, you never know how far you can go.
If you are a beginner, dream big, set goals and get to work. Enjoy the benefits of being a beginner while they last before you can move on to enjoying the benefits of being more experienced. Like they always say, in life and on the course "run the mile you're in."
Everyone was a beginner once. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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