You come across that gym everyday on your way home. At first you didn’t think about it, but now you’re getting interested. You want to start doing a bit of exercise, but is it really that easy? Everyone seems to just “do their thing” from the outside, but in reality, there’s a lot of forethought behind the routine of those who take it seriously. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you get in shape as efficiently as possible.
Your first weeks
Your body will be suddenly executing new demanding movements, so while it gets used to them, it’s recommended to take things slowly. The routine you plan to do needs to be based on your current capabilities, no matter what they are. You might feel a bit discouraged at first, but it is in your first weeks where you’ll see the most significant changes, as your body rapidly adapts to the action.
Start with simple exercises. If you want to strengthen your arms, do a few dumbbell reps instead of a heavy deadlift for now. For legs, you’d probably prefer doing squats before a barbell lunge. The goal is to finish your training feeling good, not dead. This is because overworking your muscles can actually produce negative effects. As time passes, you’ll be able to gradually increase intensity and try harder things.
If you have the time, training at least three times per week is the gold standard. A 24 hour rest after a total body workout should be enough, but if you want to focus on body groups, be sure to vary between them each day so they have time to recover.
A good diet is key
If you don’t plan your meals, the efforts you put in your exercises will have no effect. When you burn more calories than you gain, you lose body weight, so athletes usually tend to eat a bit more than the average person as a way to compensate for the big amount of energy they use. Now, eating more doesn’t mean that you’ll be ordering a family-sized pizza for yourself! Eating healthy is the way to really boost your physical performance.
You should be avoiding processed food and moderating your consumption of saturated fats. Consider adding lean proteins like fish, eggs, beans and lentils to your diet, and good fats like avocados and nuts. You also need to regularly drink water, because training causes water loss through sweating.
Some experts suggest eating small meals every three hours, as not eating for too long can cause you to overeat later on. The use of protein and creatine powders is also an option to build muscle faster, if your diet isn’t meeting your calorie requirements.
Finally, try to sleep for as long as you can. A good rest will make you wake up with the willpower to dominate your day. It is in a deep sleep where our muscles totally recover from workout and the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is released, completing the muscle-building cycle.
A lot of people don’t know the importance of sleeping, but it is ultimately one of the best ways to stay healthy. Yes, due to our lifestyle, it can be a bit difficult to sleep for the recommended 7-9 hours, but going to bed late is often related to disorganized priorities and checking social media for hours, so reduce your distractions!
As in every other activity, the beginning is intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. If you prepare to get the most of your training, the results will most likely surprise you, so go grab your sportswear! With consistency and dedication, you’ll be able to make the best of yourself.