Things to Keep in Mind Before Joining a Gym
Webblogers Editors Team |
April 5, 2023
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If you are just starting to hit the gym and embark on your fitness journey you may be unsure about what exactly you should be doing.

 

As a beginner, it is important for you to get the right advice and training early as it will guide you on the right path and help you achieve your goals.

 

Welcome to Norbert’s Fitness Studio in this post, we will cover 5 things every beginner should know before joining a gym.

1. Set Realistic Fitness Goals

 

Let’s face it, you might not have seen visible abs, bulging biceps, and an Arnold-like chest in your first month or even a year.

 

It is important to have a broad overall goal like “losing 10kg”, or “getting as strong as possible” as this will be your long-term motivation but you will need smaller, actionable goals that you can achieve on a week-to-week basis.

 

For example, among the actionable health goals are:

  • going to the gym 3-4 days a week
  • Set aside 30-45 minutes for the main workout
  • sticking to a nutrition plan

 

These goals will keep you in control and eventually see you achieve your goals. This is popularly known as the yogic effect and applies to various aspects of life, including fitness.

Track your progress

 

Getting into the habit of tracking your lifts, body weight, calories and workouts is a great way to get optimal results.

 

You will have a very clear idea of ​​where you are in line with your goals and where to improve.

 

You can keep a journal, or an Excel sheet, or use a mobile app like HealthifyMe to track your workouts and calories and use FitNotes to track the weight you’re lifting each day.

 

 2. Get Proper Nutrition and Sleep

 

Understanding and getting down to the basics of healthy eating is important because it will help you avoid these “diet fads” that promise you quick results or sell you weight loss pills or sketchy supplements.

Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods

 

  • To eat healthily, it is necessary to eat more nutritious food than calories.
  • As a general rule, eat foods that are high in nutrients such as protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • These foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, fatty fish, chicken, and eggs.

 

cutting down on highly processed foods

 

Avoid carbonated drinks, mass-produced baked goods, candy, sugary cereals, and some boxed snack foods that contain any whole food ingredients.

Sleep

 

If you plan on doing intense exercise to increase strength, you’ll need at least 7-9 hours of adequate sleep for muscle recovery and development.

 

Even if you work out, poor sleep can have the opposite effect on your body. It can increase cortisol (stress) levels and cause loss of muscle mass and fat.

 

Your bedtime will definitely depend on your lifestyle and profession but it is important to get those 7-9 hours of sleep.

 

Minimize excessive screen (phone) time before bedtime and avoid spicy and acidic foods and caffeine as these can interfere with your sleep.

 

 

3. Do compound exercises (body weight and free weight exercises)

 

For a new gym goer, compound motions are essential for building muscle because they allow you to attack several major muscle groups with one movement; Ultimately a lot of time is saved.

 

Pay attention to compound movements such as:

 

  • pull-ups
  • overhead press
  • deadlifts
  • clumsy

 

Even if you are unable to perform these movements with weights, it is important to learn the correct technique for performing these exercises early as it will benefit you later.

 

Because you’re working multiple body parts at once, you’ll develop coordination and control that other machine-based and isolation exercises simply don’t provide.

 

Add weight to the exercises only if you can do them with the right technique and form.

Don’t rely too much on machine exercises

 

It is easier for beginners to spend more time on machine-based exercises because they are simple exercises and easy to use.

 

But it won’t be beneficial to you in the long run if your goal is to build strength, gain muscle and lose fat.

 

The drawbacks of machine-based exercises are:

 

  • Suitable for most average-sized people – if you are tall, short, or overweight, you may face problems
  • Unnatural movement paths (such as Smith Machines)
  • Do not strengthen the stabilizer muscles (you are in a fixed position)

 

To give credit where it’s due, there are some machines, such as the cable machine, that can be extremely beneficial for beginners to perform exercises like the lat pulldown that train most of the muscles needed to do pull-ups.

 

For best results, it is recommended that you do free weights, and compound exercises at the beginning of your workout, and then do machine exercises.

Don’t just focus on isolation exercises

 

Even though isolation exercises can be good for targeting specific muscles and managing volume, doing most isolation exercises for a large portion of your workout isn’t beneficial.

 

Cons:

 

  • Less number of target muscles (less work, more time)
  • Do not allow heavy lifting

 

using only lightweight

 

Relying only on light weights for a long time will not give you results. To build more muscle, you’ll need to apply progressive overload (increasing muscle demand by increasing weight, repetitions, and intensity).

 

This can be done by adding more weight (such as an increase of 1.5 kg) to the barbell exercise or by increasing the difficulty of the bodyweight movement, eg. Switching from normal pushups to decreasing pushups.

go too hard, too fast

 

In the early stages, it is important to pace yourself and only do exercises that your body is capable of and comfortable with.

 

It is important to learn the correct technique for performing the exercise, especially on lifts like deadlifts, squats, and benchpress as these are compound movements.

 

Add weight to the exercises only if you can do them with the right technique and form.

 

Adding more weight to exercises you can’t do properly can lead to muscle strain, joint pain, and injury.

 

Establishing a strong mind-muscle connection, that is, conscious, deliberate, and emphasizing muscle contraction is even more important than aimlessly swinging weights.

 

Some useful tips for achieving the mind-muscle connection:

 

check your ego at the door

 

Instead of focusing on the quality of each repetition, forget about how much weight you’re lifting.

 

exercise very slowly

 

  • Use a lighter weight than normal for this.
  • Take 4 or 5 seconds for each of the concentric and eccentric parts of the repetition.
  • Pause for a moment at the point of maximum contraction.

Flex your target muscles in between sets

 

  • This gives extra blood to your muscles.
  • Be more aware of your muscles when they are fully pumped, which makes it easier to mentally isolate them.

 

4. Warmup Before Your Main Workout

 

Even if you’re short on time, don’t skip the warmup as it can cause injury or unnecessary stress on your muscles.

 

It’s important to warm up before doing any of your core exercises, whether it’s cardio, or strength training.

 

Benefits of warmups include:

 

  • increased flexibility
  • low risk of injury
  • increased blood flow and oxygen
  • better range of motion
  • less muscle tension and pain

 

Warmup Type:

 

Dynamic warmup to prime your body before your main workout.

 

Focus on movements similar to your workout, for example, movement-based stretching such as lunges or squats, and jumping exercises.

 

Static stretching is effective at the end of a workout.

 

They help lengthen and loosen your muscles and connective tissue. For example tricep stretch, and hamstring stretch.

 

5. Be aware of newbie benefits

 

One thing that beginners should know is the “newbie advantage”. When you go from an untrained phase to regular training, you can see results quickly by following any program.

 

This is an important stage where you can make a lot of progress, especially if you follow the right workout routine. Most beginners should focus on full-body exercises rather than bodybuilding routines like “brow splits.”

 

Full-body workouts should include compound exercises that maximize the use and target of most muscle groups. This will make your workout optimal for overall strength development.

 

Once the body adapts to regular training (usually after 2-6 months, but varies from person to person), future “gains” take a lot of work and time.

Webblogers Editors Team

Webblogers Editors Team

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