Are You A ‘WORKOUT NEWBIE’? Let’s Give You What You Need!
You know the feeling…….. you see a piece of furniture in IKEA and it looks amazing! You get it home – open the box to find a thousand pieces, thick instruction manual and enough bolts and screws to build the Iron Giant!!
Despair, and overwhelm kicks in!!
“I’ll not bother building it today, I’ll put it up tomorrow!!” you half-heartedly proclaim!!!
That’s how it can sometimes feel when you make a decision to get fit and ‘in shape’!!
You envisage that toned and sexy physique on the beach……
You get the ‘feeling’ and figure you’ll just lace up your trainers and get started…………..
BUT THEN…………you read the magazines,
…You download the blogs, you get advice from friends, family and colleagues, all telling you contradictory things!
…You hear about heart rate zones, of drop-sets, of Stairmasters, of BMI, of TDEE, of HIIT, of macros, of micros, of isolation and compound exercises…………..and your ‘feeling’ quickly disappears and is replaced by helplessness!!
“I don’t think this ‘fitness thing’ is for me” you exclaim!!
I know how you feel – I’ve felt exactly like that many years ago, but luckily I saw through the fluff, and got to the good stuff!!
Trawling through the tons of info, and trying to decide what is the truth and what is a myth certainly can be a daunting task!
BUT, stop the disillusion – you are not alone, I’m here to help!
Below I’ve compiled some of the most common questions ‘Workout Newbies’ ask, and have provided straight forward and proven answers you can trust and rely on………..
Without further a-do, here goes:
1. WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE I WORKOUT?
It depends on the workout intensity and length. If it’s a light workout you will most probably be able to power through it without any extra fuel.
However, if you’re planning a hard session you want to load up with food containing a mixture of carbs and protein.
Something like a sliced apple or banana with peanut butter will hit the mark. Try to eat this 1-3 hours prior to your workout to maximise its effect.
Remember, this is a beginners guide so I’m not going to be-dazzle you with fasted cardio, fast and slow release carbs and all that stuff! It’s not relevant yet!!
2. HOW OFTEN MUST I WORK OUT?
Whilst any amount of training is better than ‘no training’, you should ideally be aiming for 3 to 4 workouts per week to start with.
This should be supplemented by being active daily in the form of regular walking and other body movements.
Small adjustments to your daily routine can also help.
Take the stairs instead of the lift. Park at the far side of the building rather than literally in the entrance. Go for a stroll at lunch time rather than reading the newspaper. Be creative and have fun!
3. HOW LONG SHOULD I WORKOUT FOR?
The length of the workout will depend on the intensity at which you work!
If you are short of time a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session lasting 15-20 minutes may fit the bill!
If you have more time and/or don’t have the inclination to work at such a high intensity I would suggest 45-60 minutes is a good length of session.
Make sure you don’t miss out on the warm-up or cool-down when short of time – that’s an injury scenario waiting to happen!
4. WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO WORKOUT?
Simple – the best time is the time that works for you, and that you can consistently stick to!
– Short of time in the day – maybe try early morning sessions!
– Work near a Gym – go during your lunch!
– Free at midnight – go at midnight!
If it works for you it’s the very best time!!
5. I’M SORE AFTER YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT – SHOULD I HAVE A REST DAY, GO EASY OR GO HARD AGAIN?
A level of soreness is to be expected, particularly when you first start training.
It all depends on your level of soreness. A little bit of movement can boost your circulation and shorten recovery time, so don’t use a slight bit of soreness as an excuse to sprawl on the couch!
Instead, go and do a light workout. As always be sure to do warm-up stretches and ideally use a foam roller after your session.
However, if the soreness is extreme and you feel you may have an injury such as a pulled muscle – go and rest!
Your body needs rest days, just don’t make them more often than active days!
6. HOW DO I GET RID OF MY LOVE HANDLES AND BELLY FAT?
Despite some claims to the contrary, you can’t spot-reduce fat from just certain areas! However you will see your love handles and belly fat begin to disappear as you lose overall body fat!
Remember fat-loss is not just about the workouts.
Diet obviously has a massive part to play, but also every day things such as good quality sleep, reducing stress and staying well hydrated can assist in your quest to lose fat!
7. HOW HEAVY SHOULD I LIFT?
You should lift the heaviest weight that will allow you to complete the required number of reps and sets with the correct technique and range of motion!
Improvement comes from pushing yourself, so don’t use weights that are far to easy for you!
Alternatively, don’t sacrifice ‘doing the exercise’ properly in order to look macho lifting heavier than you can manage!
Master the technique then tweak the weights so that they are challenging you!
The weights you use, as well as the number of reps/sets, will change depending on your goals. Want strength you will go heavier with fewer reps. Want endurance go lighter with more reps……
AND forget about the myth that you will bulk-up too much – especially if you’re a woman.
Most women don’t have the genetics to build large “man muscle,” so that shouldn’t be a concern!
And the majority of men would need to commit to years of smashing weights to develop the sort of physique that would see them in a bodybuilding comp!
What you can, and should expect, is a leaner, stronger, more defined, more efficient and better version of the body you have right now!
8. I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, SHOULD I DO CARDIO OR WEIGHTS?
Both are good, but strength / weight training will always beat steady-state cardio when it comes to weight loss!
However, why choose one when both can play a part.
I see strength training as the Main Course and cardio as the Dessert! I also do it in that order – and don’t always have dessert!
Or I combine them with a resistance based HIIT session or circuits!!
9. WHAT HEART RATE SHOULD I AIM FOR?
If you are an elite athlete or serious long distance runner you should closely monitor your heart rate and work to various zones. However, if you are the ‘Workout Newbie’ this was written for don’t even consider it!
The key is to go as hard as you can, recover, and repeat!!
10. I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START, AND CAN’T AFFORD A 1-TO-1 PERSONAL TRAINER. WHAT SHOULD I DO???
That’s where the GymWolfPT comes into his own!
If you can’t afford, or simply don’t want, a personal trainer at the gym, sign up for my tailored online Body Transformation Training.
With my training you get all the tools, support and advice needed to transform your body – no matter your fitness level or experience!
I guarantee to give you the results you want as long as you are committed and follow my fitness / nutrition instructions!
AND HAVE FUN!! If you aren’t having fun and seeing results, you won’t be exercising for long! I firmly believe my programs will inspire you, and push you to smash your goals!
As usual, any questions fire them over.
Ian David Worthington | Creator, Owner and Coach at GymWolfPT.com