You don't need any kit to start fitness - stop shopping and procrastinating


I am training and doing endurance sports for more than 3 years. In that time, i've talked to a lot of people who want to start exercising, but still find reasons to postpone it.
One of the easiest reason to procrastinate is shopping

Here is a true story about two people I met - Bill and Jim (not real names). Bill is around 65 years old, and has issues with his muscle strength. Jim is around 45 years old, a strong man with weight and blood pressure issues. Both Bill and Jim had a very strong recommendation from their respective doctors to start doing low-impact cycling. I had the opportunity to observe their fitness for one summer:

  1. Jim decided to buy a bike, went for weeks to different shops, talked to cyclists and negotiated a good price for a great bike. He rode it twice and decided to buy kit. He did his research, went to shops in the city and even to some in other countries. He spent most of the summer shopping for bib shorts, helmet, glasses, gloves, t-shirts, water bottles and what not. 
  2. Bill took out his wife's old bicycle. He didn't clean and lube the chain. Every morning at 5 AM he went for a slow ride on the fitness track in my home town. I passed him on my morning training rides, and he was frowned and sleepy, but cranking the pedals. In the first weeks he was slow, his bike creaked on every pedal crank, his pants developed a smudge where they rubbed off the chain. 
  3. By the end of the summer Bill's bike was the same, Bill had ridden hundreds of kilometres which he rode a bit faster and the chain was quiet(er) and clean. And Bill was smiling when other cyclists passed him in the morning.
  4. By the end of the summer, Jim's bike had had the same two rides from the start of the season. Jim had great kit which was never worn, and he was still planning to start riding, but he just needed to buy one extra item.

You don't need any kit to start fitness. To start running, you need a pair of sneakers in fair condition. To start cycling, you need any functional bike. The thing you need much more than any kit or equipment is persistence to do the same thing every day even if you are pissed off doing that.

About that kit - you'll probably need it as you get better at your training - and you'll know exactly when you need them:

  • Buy new sneakers when your current ones start tearing
  • Buy cycling glasses and t-shirt when you get fast enough that insects actually fly in your eyes
Any shopping before this, you are just wasting money and procrastinating.

What is your biggest fitness procrastination? Tell us in the comments!
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About Bozidar Spirovski

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