A majority of everyone’s goals are to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle. There are various amounts of workout plans, programs, and DVDs available on the internet, stores, and at local gyms, but the problem is; where do you start?
Here we will provide a guide of common tips to get your workout plan started off on the right foot! Not sure where to start or how to get involved in certain areas in the gym? We’ve got you covered!
Where it all starts…
Any health/fitness program begins in the kitchen. You need to have adequate/proper nutrition to fuel your body during workouts, and not ruin all your hard work in the gym by pigging out in the kitchen. Ever heard “you can’t out-train a bad diet?” This is 100% true.
No matter the work you put in at the gym, you cannot out-exercise bad eating habits! No amount of sit-ups, burpees, and laps around the track will save your six pack if you are throwing down greasy cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries! Stick towards high/lean protein, fruits and veggies, and complex carbs. The fitness rule is 80/20: 80% diet, 20% exercise!
The idea of “strong” scares you
Strength training sessions are a perfect addition to any plan. Some women are apprehensive to begin a weight training program for fear of “getting bulky” – we now all know that it just isn’t the case. Our bodies don’t make even a fraction of enough natural testosterone to carry the amount of muscle mass seen in bodybuilding competitions.
After each strength training workout, your muscles need the energy to repair, boosting your metabolism, blood flow, and work from your heart. This is why having more muscle enables your body to burn more calories even by sitting on the couch! Pick up the weights, and watch your waist drop!
Tips for the weight room
Don’t be afraid to ask! As a beginner to the weight room you may be timid and afraid to touch the weights for fear of “doing a move wrong,” or “looking stupid.” Just remember, we were all beginners at one time!
You may think people will laugh at you or make jokes to their friends, but we assure you that isn’t the case. Most gym goers are uplifting, encouraging, and empowering. We’re all on the same team, trying to reach our own fitness goals, we want to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask someone, “Hey, can you show me how this machine works?”
The best advice would be to not interrupt their current rotation and to wait until their set is done, or wait until they get a water break, but none the less, ASK!
High reps, low weight? High weight, low reps?
There’s still the myth out there that you have to lift low weights for a max amount of reps to get “lean without being bulky.” Pick weights that you’re comfortable with. You don’t want to waste your time by using two or three-pound dumbbells, but don’t immediately go for the twenty-pound set either.
Compromising your form by using too heavy of weights will hinder your muscle gain and weight loss and overall- cause injury. Use weights that are a challenge, but to where you can complete a set with proper form.
You can do a light warm-up followed by a medium set, followed by your max set.
A simplified example
- 12 reps at a moderate weight for you
- 8 reps at a slightly more challenging weight
- 4 reps at heaviest you can lift with proper form
Make a calendar, be organized!
It is important to have a schedule of what you’re wanting to do to reach your goals. Are you going to workout 4 days a week? 7 days? Are you wanting to do two major muscle groups on the same day? All on different days?
Advice would be to do a major and a minor muscle group together, therefore you’re not tiring out two major groups at once. Space out your days so you have enough time to rest each muscle group before you use it again!
Example if you’re working out Monday-Friday
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Quads and Calves
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
Friday: Glutes and Hamstrings
- Keep track of the food you eat; oovereatingis the most common reason for fat gain and slow weight loss.
- Stay hydrated; you should drink 50% of your body weight in fluid ounces. Hydration is key for weight loss.
- Don’t be afraid of adding muscle mass, unless you’re taking massive supplements and working out 3x a day, 7x a week, you will not look like a bodybuilder anytime soon!
- Don’t fixate on the scale; remember that muscle weighs more than fat! The number may go up, but your pant size will go down.