- Actor Will Smith announced on Instagram he’s starting a new fitness routine to lose weight he gained during the pandemic.
- For getting back in shape, personal trainer Irving “Zeus” Hyppolite recommends starting with small changes.
- Introducing a few workouts per week and increasing vegetable intake is better than intense, quick-fix programs, he said.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Actor Will Smith recently announced that he’s starting a new fitness journey and YouTube series, after revealing on Instagram that he’s in “the worst shape of his life.”
“This is the body that carried me through an entire pandemic and countless days grazing thru the pantry. I love this body, but I wanna FEEL better,” he wrote in a follow-up post.
If you’ve lapsed in your fitness and are trying to get back in shape, the best strategy is to build long-term healthy habits, according to Irving “Zeus” Hyppolite, personal trainer and founder of House Of Zeus in New York.
Keep your motivation up with small victories
The most important step in any fitness journey is starting with a plan and keeping up with it long-term, Hyppolite said.
Whether you’re completely new to fitness, or getting back in shape, beginning with small, sustainable changes can help you build momentum toward making lasting improvements.
For exercise, start by adding a few simple workouts to your routine each week, with movements like planks, mountain climbers, squats, and lunges.
“What’s important is establishing what we like to call ‘quick wins,’ which are the easiest things you can do to improve your health and fitness,” he said. “Finding a scheduled routine and getting back to it is a win.”
Hyppolite also recommends getting at least seven hours of sleep a night and doubling the amount of green veggies you eat each day.
This initial success, no matter how minor, is a great incentive to stick with your fitness journey.
Focus on habits, not results (at least at first)
Once you’ve established your small wins, the next step is to build consistent healthy habits, according to Hyppolite. While it can take time, a slow, steady approach will lead to more long-term success than chasing a quick fix.
“That sounds backwards because we’re in here for results,” Hyppolite said. “But people start to do too much. They go crazy on two-a-day workouts and join a bunch of bootcamps.”
If you take on an intense new program right away, you’re more likely to burn out and end up right back where you started.
Be patient with your progress and check your ego at the door, he added. Trying to flex on other gymgoers is likely to lead to injury, burnout, and frustration instead of progress.
“Don’t play the game of comparison when it comes to the gym. Run your own race,” Hyppolite said.
“Understanding and managing your ego is key, especially for men.”
Don’t neglect recovery
To find success along your fitness journey, give your body time to heal and grow muscle after you work out, Hyppolite said.
That means not working out too much or too hard. He recommends limiting workouts to 45-55 minutes, three to four times a week, at least at first.
Each workout should include a warm-up with some dynamic stretching or light cardio, and finish with some moderate cardio and a cool-down, Hyppolite recommends.
It’s also crucial that you sleep enough and eat well to fuel your fitness journey, he said.
That’s particularly true for older people trying to get in shape or trying to revive their previous athleticism. They may need more rest to recoup from hard workouts.
“This goes out to all Will Smiths in the world. You lose skeletal muscle as you get older, starting in your 30s. But we can fight back,” Hyppolite said.
“If you’re older, you’ve got to work hard in the gym, but you have to recover harder. Double down on the recovery, whether it’s spa days, massages, yoga or foam rolling.
Celebrate the Dad Bod
Many people responding to Smith’s Instagram post applauded the actor’s honesty and candidness about his “Dad Bod.”
Hyppolite said this is part of a positive trend toward being more accepting of how bodies can change, especially for parents, and a reminder that health and fitness doesn’t have to look a certain way.
“We’re starting to respect all dad bods without shame and guilt, whether you have gained weight or not. It’s not so much predicated on how great you look, but how you’re bringing generational health to your family,” he said.
If this resonates with you, a great way to stay motivated and maintain a healthy relationship with fitness is to reach out to like-minded peers for support and exercise buddies, Hyppolite added.
“If you’re a dad, if you’ve got that dad bod, having a subgroup of fathers is an amazing tool to grow and change the narrative. It’s about finding your people,” he said.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.