Building Your Fitness from Scratch: 6 Key Tips to Get Started

Fit From Scratch


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Starting a fitness journey, especially if you're new to training or returning after a break, can seem like a huge challenge.

Are you wondering how to get fit from scratch?

It's normal to feel intimidated if you're beginning from scratch, where even the idea of training might be discouraging.

However, building your fitness from the ground up doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Let's explore how you can ease into it and make the process enjoyable and effective.

In fact, if you're starting off with low fitness levels then the initial progress can be huge with tangible results week after week.

1. Try to believe in yourself

It can feel like standing at the base of an imposing mountain when you are looking to start building some fitness on the bike.

This is when you need to have the self-confidence to believe in yourself and what you're capable of.

In the early stages, there will likely be setbacks and unforeseen issues that knock you off your steady course to being a fitter version of yourself.

Having your eyes on the longer-term goal will keep you motivated and turning up for each ride.

2. Take your time

If you're on the hunt to get fit fast it can be all too easy to push yourself beyond what your body is capable of.

If this happens every now and then it isn’t too much of an issue and can even be a good way of testing your limits.

When this becomes the normal way to ride, well that's when injuries and overtraining can become an issue.

The biggest factor that will dictate your progress is how well you recover and adapt to training between each ride.

Insufficient recovery is the fastest way to fatigue yourself into a position where you need to take a prolonged period of time away from training which will ultimately put you back at square one.

3. Expect fatigue

Even with the best training plan and a nice steady build in training stimulus, you don’t get better without some level of fatigue.

After all, it is this fatigue that prompts the body to recover and build improved physiological systems.

What this means is that training will leave you feeling fatigued and generally more tired than you otherwise would be.

Fatigue cannot be avoided but it can be managed.

Listening to your body and giving it more rest when it needs it is a surefire way to prevent burnout and build your fitness in the healthiest and most sustainable way.

4. Always Get comfortable

If you are returning to riding after a long period away from the saddle it is likely that your riding position might need revising.

Lifting the bars up and relaxing your riding position will make you more comfortable on those longer rides.

It might have been the case that once upon a time it was easy to hold a low and aggressive position for hours on end but this fades much like your fitness.

Your flexibility and strength will come back over time however when starting out it is best to give yourself every little bit of help.

5. Cross training

Building fitness for cycling does not always have to involve a bike.

In fact, spending time doing other aerobic activities can help prevent injuries and strengthen your body overall.

Cross-training also goes beyond the physical benefits and can be a great way to keep things mentally stimulating and prevent psychological burnout.

Your body position is very static during cycling, and pedalling is a regular and repetitive motion.

This is something that the body takes time to adapt to, so work up to big volume training by doing other sports too.

Use running, swimming or gym work to strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments that you need on the bike.

Cross training can be a great way to fortify your body from injuries.

6. You should keep smiling all the time

This is the most important point of getting back on the bike and into training.

As much as it is great to build up fitness and get faster on the bike and ride greater and greater distances, cycling is also about the enjoyment of being out in nature and travelling under your own steam.

Enjoying your riding is really important for building fitness.

If you enjoy what you're doing, you'll come back for more.

When starting out, consistency is key to gaining fitness, and that'll be a lot easier if you look forward to getting on the bike.