I’m dedicating this article to the beginner. To the person who is mentally preparing themselves to get in shape. The individual who suddenly has realized after many years that they simply cannot continue being overweight, tired and listless with muscles.
I have always taken great pleasure in training the man or woman who walks into the gym for the first time. I have always viewed it as a courageous, intelligent act of taking responsibility for one’s own health. I enjoy training beginners, because they get to learn things correctly from the start.
Here are my tips for the beginner:
NO FEAR — The psychological aspect is the first thing to accept. There will be a lot to learn concerning weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. However, recognize that as you begin the process, you will continually learn, get more comfortable and, most importantly, make progress.
DECIDE — Goal-setting. However, I prefer DECIDE, because I see too many people fail with goal-setting. I realize its a play on words, but it seems to work. You shall need to write down and DECIDE what it is you want to achieve. For example, you may decide you want to lose 30 pounds of body fat and gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle. Maybe you shall decide you want to be able to walk 5 miles without losing your breath, or possibly fit into that size 8 dress or 31″ inch waist pants. Write it down and make it achievable.
GET A CHECKUP — Having a physical is a wise decision, because it will help assure you shall attain the most benefits with the least amount of risks. If you smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or are overweight, its more important. This is about starting right.
GET REAL — Take a close look at your schedule and be realistic concerning how many days and how much time you can realistically devote to exercise. This is going to be long-term, so it has to be based on reality. Too many people start working out every day and think that is the best approach. Wrong! Maybe you only have two to three days to devote to exercise and only 45 minutes for each session. It’s the combination of efficient nutrition and exercise that will yield the greatest benefit, not simply excessive exercise.
EDUCATE YOURSELF — You’ll need to develop an understanding of concepts such as repetitions, sets, cardio, etc. Again, we can help. When you get to the fitness program, you need to learn the glossary of fitness terminology that will help get you started in the right direction. This will give you a good, overall understanding of many fitness terms you may have heard in the past.
EAT — Begin to get an understanding of how food affects the body. I am not asking you to become a nutrition guru. Simply try to understand, for example, what happens to your body when you have a big bowl of rice and dal compared to a smaller amount of dalia combined with one egg white and a small salad.
MOVE — No, not geographically. Start to work out, start to move. Your weight training won’t take a lot of time as a beginner, nor will your cardiovascular exercise. You shall focus on form, technique, precision and breathing correctly during your workout.
BEWARE OF MAGIC POTIONS — Don’t get hooked into supplements that can magically reduce body fat or that sell ineffective products to get your stomach flat. Remember, these companies are just trying to make a buck, and most of them don’t provide all the information you require to make a wise decision. Stay far away.