Protein and Strength Training and Cardio, Oh My!

The Most Important Things to Focus on Early in Your Fitness Journey
By: Marley Carviou, CSCS, Rierson Fitness Personal Trainer

The fitness world can be a scary place, especially as a beginner. With social media, influencers, and companies trying to sell you the latest fad diet, it can be overwhelming to learn what will truly help you early in your fitness journey. Truthfully, the process is much less complicated than most people realize, and we are here to help guide you in the right direction. 

Something > Nothing

Social media has become a resource that many people use in their fitness journey, whether it be for workout inspiration, the best workout gear, or healthy recipes. However, the large amount of information out there can be very overwhelming for someone who is simply looking to get started. Remember that something is always better than nothing! You don’t need the perfect workout plan, the perfect amount of reps, or the most ideal time of day. Use what resources you have and just get moving! Many of us need more movement and letting all the information freeze us into not moving at all will be worse for you than picking the “wrong” exercise. Set a measurable movement goal, track your progress, and stick with it!

Nutrition Guidelines

Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle but also the most frustrating: nutrition. All of the posts and articles with conflicting information about the newest studies and supplements can be information overload. Not to mention who do you believe when one article is telling you eggs are bad and another is telling you to eat three dozen eggs a day?! The best way to familiarize yourself with nutrition is to practice tracking what you are consuming so you have a clear picture of what might be stopping you from reaching your goals. If you decide not to track, make sure you still prioritize protein and whole foods. An easy way to improve your nutrition is to increase the protein sources you are already consuming like eggs, chicken, fish and red meat. To increase your consumption of whole foods, try minimizing how often you eat out and drink alcohol. We want to follow these guidelines 80% of the time, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself the other 20% of the time! 

Compete with Yourself

Instead of opening instagram or facebook and getting frustrated that you can’t do 25 push-ups like Joe Schmo who has been working out consistently for four years, track your progress so you can focus on your personal improvement. It is so easy to get lost in the influencer posts that are everywhere on your feed, but please keep in mind nine times out of ten those people have good lighting, maybe some makeup, and are posing to sell a product that they might not even use. I love keeping a notebook handy that I use to write down my workouts so I know how much weight I did and what movements I completed. This not only helps me track my progress and push myself, but it is easier to block out the distractions of other people when I know where I am at in my journey. The best part is when you have stayed consistent and fill a notebook up and you get to look back at all of your hard work!  


Everyone is a beginner at some point, and with the internet at our fingertips it can be stressful to look at all of the companies and people sharing conflicting information about health and fitness. Once you get started, be sure to show up consistently, make necessary nutrition changes to fuel your body, and focus on what you can do to make yourself a little better everyday. If you have more questions on the above information or are ready to get started on your fitness journey but still a bit overwhelmed, you can send us an email at or give us a call at 319-290-6319. At Rierson Fitness, we have experience working with all levels and are ready to help you on your journey no matter where you are starting from!


And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at and Instagram @riersonfitnesss. 

On April 18, 2024 this entry was posted in Health and Fitness by Jeff Rierson.