Beginners guide for going to the gym – 2018
Joe’s been hitting the gym!
I can’t stress enough how important fitness is to overall health. You may not realize this but fitness can help reduce stress which in doing so, can help with bodily functions such as hair growth.
Joe has been going to the gym more regularly but he still has a lot to learn. As a beginner himself Joe understands that it’s tough to motivate yourself and break that barrier of self-consciousness because we all know at some point in our gym endeavours we think people are watching us or thinking we will never be that muscular.
The Mental Block
As Joe mentions, this is a hard barrier to get through because we like to tell ourselves that we’re too tired or too lazy. “What’s the point of working out when I won’t have time when school/work starts?”
These are the types of mental blocks to get through in order to enjoy the actions of going to the gym or being physically active. If you enjoy something you do, there’s more chances you’ll stick to it compared to if you don’t enjoy it.
Stay focused and don’t compare
The easiest thing to do is look at a stranger or your friend and say that you can never look like that person. I can tell you right now that everyone had to start from somewhere – those people who look muscular and fit were not born that way.
Be honest with yourself and understand what you want to focus on. So instead of comparing, switch your mindset to learning and asking those people what kind of regime they followed to achieve that. People are friendly they don’t bite.
Chances are they once were in your position too and they either asked for help or searched for help online with articles.
Stay focused and think about why you’re going to the gym in the first place. The people at the gym will have similar goals to what you have so they’re not going to be focused on staring at you. Don’t pay attention to what you THINK people are doing and actually think about the exercise you’re setting out to do.
Joe mentions that music has helped him drown out the distractions and it keeps him pumped for his gym session. I personally brought a friend along to the beginning of my gym days because it’s always easier to go with someone who is at your level and understands your struggles.
How do you start?
Ease your way in. You’re not going to get a six pack and big bulging biceps on your first week. Take it easy and start off with going at least two to three times a week – make sure you have those rest days because you’re going to feel sore. If you’re overworking yourself and expecting results to happen overnight, it’s only going to make you quit faster.
If you have the money, a personal trainer is great because they help keep you check for what you’re eating and making sure you’re doing the exercises properly. But I understand that not everyone feels comfortable or wants a personal trainer.
Another way to start is to just ask the gym staff, they’re more than willing to help and give advice – that’s their job! You’d be surprised at how much the gym staff are willing to lend a hand or provide information.
What if you just want to do everything yourself?
Start with the general areas like, chest, back and legs. It’s a good idea when you start, not to mix exercises – for example, when I do chest days, I probably won’t do back exercises on that same day. Why? Well if you’re starting out these push and pull motions will tire you out completely. It’s best to focus on those groups of muscles on their respective days instead of grouping them together.
Don’t just use machines all the time, start incorporating compound exercises (exercises that require more than one muscle). Its’ important to incorporate these exercises because you’re activating more muscles to help stabilize and build. They translated to more real world use compared to machines which isolate the muscle.
It’s about what you eat
Food is going to be extremely important if you’re goal is to get bigger or lose weight. Generally if you’re bulking you probably want to eat more than you are now. The intake you get should be higher than what you’re expending. For some, this may be a big challenge. It’s not as easy to eat when you’re not feeling the need to eat.
Compared to losing weight, you’re doing the opposite – trying to expend more than you intake. This doesn’t mean you stop eating completely or skip a meal. Instead, pay attention to how much you’re eating and listen to your stomach. I generally stop eating at about 75% fullness. You don’t need to stuff yourself every time to feel full.
Joe uses an app called Myfitnesspal to track calories which is a great tool. Be in the habit of tracking down your calories as you would take pictures of food.
If there’s one thing to take away from with food, it is to not starve yourself. When people want to lose weight they think it’s about not eating breakfast or lunch when in reality it’s the amount that they eat.
Moderation is key. Whether you’re trying to bulk or lose weight, start small and work your way upwards. This is the same with going to the gym. Do something small until it becomes a habit that you enjoy.