6 Things I Wish I Knew before Starting my Fitness Journey
1. Strength training is the way to go
Doing endless cardio or HIIT alone won’t help you build a significant amount of muscle or a stronger physique. (But don’t get me wrong here; This doesn’t mean cardio is the enemy and shouldn’t be done at all!) Weight lifting is the most efficient way to build muscle, get stronger, and sculpt your physique.
2. How to overcome gym anxiety
Stepping into a gym for the first time can be intimidating, and it might feel like everyone is judging you for being a newbie; But the truth is, the fact that you took that first step towards your goals and made it to the gym matters more than anything other people may be thinking of you. Besides, most people are too caught up and focused on themselves to be judging you (I promise!). But if stepping into a whole new environment makes you nervous, it can help to start training with a friend! Having a friendly face around will make things less intimidating.
3. It’s OK to be a beginner
It’s important to set a solid foundation for yourself. Go into each training session with a plan, take your time to learn how each machine works, as well as how each movement should look and feel, then keep at it until your form improves; Don’t be shy to pull up a YouTube video or Google search or even ask someone for help while you’re at the gym if you’re not sure about something! Most gym rats are friendlier than they appear 🙂 If you train alone, it can also help to record yourself when you’re unsure of your form. This allows you to focus on your set first, then watch it back later, compare it with a good example, and figure out how to improve.
4. Food is fuel
Nutrition plays a big role in enabling you to reach your fitness goals; So if your goal is to build muscle, you need to make sure you’re eating enough food to support that. Eat your protein, prioritise whole foods, remember your micronutrients, and make sure to eat your carbs too! “You can’t train a malnourished body and expect it to grow.” If your body isn’t receiving the fuel it needs to recover, no amount of training will help you build the body you’re working so hard for.
5. Rest days are just as important as training days
Rest plays an equally important role to recovery as nutrition. ‘Rest’ doesn’t just refer to sleep (which you should also ensure you’re getting enough of), but also refers to taking an intentional two or three days off from the gym each week. This allows your body and mind to recover, so you can come back stronger and push harder the next training day.
6. Consistency is key
In order to see progress in your physique and strength, it’s important to stick to one program for at least 8-12 weeks. This means following the program you choose as closely as possible; ensuring you don’t swap out exercises week to week, and also pushing yourself to lift better, get in more reps, or go heavier each week. Not sure how to program for your goal? That’s what us coaches are here for; Working with a coach will ensure your program is catered entirely to your needs and goals. Coaches also work to keep you accountable and safe while you’re at the gym; Pushing you to get stronger, while teaching you proper form.
Krystle takes on personal training clients at our Robinson Road branch, and works with them to actualise realistic goals in the way they approach life both inside and outside the gym. Book a session with her at email@example.com
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