Lifting weights is easy. You pick up some iron, pump out a defined number of sets and reps then you’re done.
Why do many people hesitate to get started lifting weights?
Firstly, there is information overload on the web.
Secondly, there is a community dialogue that can be confusing. “Mate, your boulders are looking solid.” (Boulders = shoulders that are solid as rock and built as strong as steel.) This can be confusing if you don’t know the terminology.
Thirdly, there is row upon row of complex looking equipment manned by Goliaths hammering it hard at the gym.
Oh, did I forget the hundred-page 12-month gym contract that needs a lawyer to decipher?
Well, you don’t need to worry. This article will give you a simple structure to help you to get started.
Exercising at home may be more convenient but, the day you choose to take advantage of everything a gym has to offer, you are making a serious investment in yourself. Chances are there is more than one gym close to your home. While the right gym will help you succeed with your fitness goals, the wrong one could be an expensive mistake.
· Tip #1 - Visit every gym within a 15-minute driving radius of your home. You will not attend if you have a two-hour round trip included in your workout. Do not sign up to any plan until you have toured the gym with a member of staff
· Tip #2 - Does the gym contain all the equipment and facilities their website or brochures claim? Do you need all the services they offer? If you are never going to swim in their Olympic-sized pool, you are not going to be getting maximum value from your membership money
· Tip #3 - Is everything included in your membership fee or do you have to pay for separate areas such as the sauna? These costs add up
· Tip #4 - Insist on getting a free one-day pass. If they refuse this, then the gym is not for you. Make sure you can use this pass at the time of day you intend working out
· Tip #5 - Do the math on the membership fee. $50-a-month is roughly the average cost. In context, this is the price of two large delivery pizzas. If the gym passes each test and you intend to go at least three times a week, then you are getting value for money
People love teaching others. It is simple human nature. There are very few experienced lifters who would not jump in and stop you if you are performing an exercise so badly your back is about to snap. However, these guys are there for their workout. And, while they will help you, you must display basic gym knowledge.
The easiest way to do this is either to buy a book such as Men’s Health Gym Bible or find a bodybuilding website that lists gym equipment from A-Z. You’re not taking an exam here, you are familiarizing yourself with the equipment.
Why A Pencil Is The Most Important Piece Of Gym Equipment You’ll Ever Need
The stacked mega-man who’s been pushing iron for ten years knows how many sets and reps his body needs.
Before that, he took a pen and a piece of paper to the gym to monitor his progression.
Sure, you can get an app for your phone or invest in a wealth of bands and watches but a pencil does the job of recording:
· How many sets you did
· How many reps you managed
· What weight you lifted
· How long you performed cardio for
Build a routine around the outcomes you want and stick to it for six weeks.
The outcome of each routine can be summarized neatly:
· Heavy = Muscle
· Reps = Slim
· Entire body = Strength
· Core = Back, abdominals and the base of all your strength
Devising a routine is not complicated.
If you have invested in a book, it will have plenty of sample routines.
If you have done your homework on the gym, you can ask if an experienced member of staff to put your first plan together.
At the start of the six weeks, you need to weigh yourself and have someone take measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist, quads, and calves. You should also consider a photograph as there is nothing more motivating than a before and after picture. Never forget to take your pencil and write down what you did and when. This information is vital at the end of the six weeks when you may decide you have lost enough fat and wish to start bulking up.
The power is in the repetition. And if you listen to too much ‘bro science’ and alter your routine during the six weeks, you will not be able to gauge the benefits.
All the above is utterly useless unless you refuel your body with the correct nutrients.
How you fuel your body is as important as the weights you lift. You can bang away all day in the gym and see no results if you eat the wrong food. You do not need to spend a hundred hours scouring the web for advice. If you have done your pre-joining homework, a member of staff may write you an eating plan.
Eating plans are basic and easy to implement.
· Porridge is your friend, and 30 grams will fill you up
· Sweet potatoes are a must while white potatoes are no good
· Brown rice is in, white rice is out
· Turkey, chicken, fish and small quantities of beef are great. Pork has to go
· If it is green, eat it!
· If it is not real, then don’t eat it. Fresh food is your friend
· Tuna is the ultimate budget-buster if funds are low
Above all, have fun and never stop educating yourself.
Be consistent in your workouts and the experienced guys will take you seriously.
Learn your muscle groups and equipment then you can ask educated questions. Take your time to learn, don’t be the person labeled as ‘all the gear and no idea.’ Let other people introduce you to slang terms. Watch what other people are doing and, at a suitable time, ask them why they did X or Y before doing Z.
Above all never ask anyone in the gym if they want an invite to the gun show!
Keep it simple, have fun, look great, and make some new friends. The weights are waiting for you.