Over the past few years, the health & fitness community has been one of the fastest growing out there. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it, why wouldn’t everyone want to be fit and healthy? For a lot of people, the question is not whether or not they want to be healthy. The question is HOW? How do I start up? What should I do first? These are questions that plague many minds looking to hit the gym and change their lifestyle. This easy guide is designed to help newcomers understand the best steps to take when starting out.
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Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!
Before you even consider joining a gym you need to get your nutrition in check. There’s no point hitting the gym hard five times a week if you aren’t fuelling your body correctly. Stay clear of fatty foods full of calories. A simple diet would be to stick to lean meats and try to get your carbs from veg. Most people think eating healthy is boring and tastes weird. It’s not true. ‘Healthy’ food tastes just as good as you make it. Some healthier alternatives, like sweet potatoes, even taste better than the original! Try your hardest to get as much fruit and water as possible too, by eating healthy you’ll set yourself up for more gains in the gym. If you struggle to tear yourself away from junk food and treats then give this article a read, it will give you some very helpful tips!
Getting the most from your weights
There are many, many theories as to what kind of workout delivers the best results. Should I lift heavy weights for a very small amount of reps? Should I lift lighter weights for a very high amount of reps? In time, you’ll learn to figure out what works best for your body. But starting out, it’s usually a good benchmark to lift heavy enough that you reach failure anywhere between 8-12 reps. ‘Failure’ doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It refers to when you simply cannot lift the weight anymore, with proper form. As soon as you have to ‘cheat’ that weight up then you’ve reached failure
I cannot stress this enough. Do not overtrain!! There’s a common misconception that you need to train every single day of the week if you want to see results quickly. THIS ISN’T TRUE. In fact, if you train every day without any rest, you will end up hurting your body. It’s especially important to not overtrain when starting out because your muscles will likely not be used to this strenuous work. A good starting point would be to train for three days a week, as shown in this workout for beginners.
Know your supplements
When you start off training, you may have no idea about supplements and that’s okay. Supplements are there to help give you a boost of nutrients that your body needs, but you may struggle to get just by eating food. The most popular supplement is protein powder. Our muscles need protein to help them recover and grow, if we don’t get enough protein then we won’t see as many gains. Obviously, there is protein in lots of foods (meats, fish, eggs, cheese) but sometimes we can’t get enough, so protein shakes are a simple, effective way to ingest protein. There are lots of supplements out there that you simply do not need and will waste your money. As a general rule, avoid anything that claims to ‘burn away belly fat’ the only things you need to burn fat are a good workout plan and good nutrition. Here is a guide to some of the best supplements for beginners.
Make sure you know your goals. If you’re looking to lose weight, then you’ll need lots of cardio. If you’re looking to put on muscle, then you’ll want to focus on weights.