So you’ve made a new years resolution to join a gym and reach your goals whatever they may be but you don’t know where to start. For the most part this article will be relevant to lifting weights, classes and weight loss but if your looking to get into a particular sport some of this may help you too.
How to train? How often should I train? What do I need eat? What supplements do I need to take? These are commonly asked questions by people taking part in our beginner classes.
1. How to train
First off your training needs to be based around your goals, you need to find someone who can help you reach these goals, I would strongly recommend against doing this alone or trying to teach yourself. If your goal is to run a marathon find someone who’s done it before, if you want to do kick boxing find the best kick boxer you know and ask him/her to send you in the right direction and if you want to get stronger find the strongest people you know and ask them for help… i’m sure you can all see where i’m going with this…seek out the best to get the best from your training.
If you have a friend that you are certain knows what there doing and can help you then maybe you could ask them for help, maybe just start training with them, the best thing about this is your coaching is free and you’ll probably just have to pay for a very cheap membership in a commercial gym, this is how I started and it served me very well in the early days.
If this isn’t an option you’ll need to look for a trainer or a class that will fit your needs. If you opt for personal training it is the more expensive option but if your trainer is good at what he does you will get the best training possible as his/her eyes should be on you at all times.
Tip’s: Don’t choose your trainer on how many facebook likes or instagram followers they have, this often misleads people to be trained not by the best trainer but who plays the social media game best. Also if your trainer has you doing rounds of machines in the gym leave them and find someone else, this is the easy and lazy way out for them to train you, compound barbell movements is where you will get the most benefit but they are the hardest to teach so some trainers avoid them. Ask people you know to refer you to someone that they have worked with and have seen great results working with.
The cheaper option and the one I would recommend for everyone is classes. This is where you will get the best value for your money, it comes in at a fraction of your monthly personal training bill. Good classes will teach you how to train, look after yourself so that you can walk into any gym with a programme and train, gym etiquette, and whatever else you need to learn.
Tip’s: Same applies here with social media, doing rounds of machines and getting someone to refer you to a good trainer/facility, where this differs is the numbers in a class.
If your class has more than 12 people in it constantly and only 1 trainer then maybe you should have a think about whether or not your getting enough attention from your trainer. If a class runs for 45 minutes and there’s only 1 trainer then on average everyone gets less than 4 minutes of that trainers time per class, do you think this is enough for you to learn how to train? I most certainly do not!
2. How often should I train
For a beginner 2-3 days a week is plenty, I personally believe 3 is best to give plenty of practice in the main lifts. Often times when people are starting out they will be very eager to do as much as possible even training every day, but what if i told you that those extra days weren’t actually giving you that much benefit at all, would you still do it? If you’re coming from doing no training of any kind and you start lifting you are giving your body an enormous amount of new stimulus with just 2-3 days of training, there’s only so much change your body can make in a week of training, so training 5-7 days will do nothing extra for you other than burn a few extra calories, the easier option would be to eat a few less calories instead of training extra days. The other issue with this is you will eventually burn out and get sick of it.
Now hopefully you’ve all taken that on board and if a coach in a gym or personal trainer wants you to sign up to a more expensive training package that has extra days in it you’ll understand that you don’t need it and you probably don’t want to be working with that trainer as all he cares about is your money.
Here’s a link to one of our clients transformations who had been training twice a week for 12 weeks.
Note: This is beginner advice, as you progress through the months/years and want to see more change you may need to up your training to 3-4 times per week.
3. What do I need to eat
This one is simple enough really, if your not worried about your weight then keep doing what your doing and begin to enjoy your training, if you want to gain weight simply eat more food starting with wholesome highly nutritious food sources like steak, eggs and oats.
For those who want to lose weight, I’m going to make this as simple as possible, you should not being eating a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or having a shake as a meal, EVER!!! This to me is just ridiculous when I see people showing me these meal plans I just cant see any good logic behind it, they should be snacks you have in between meals. People are absolutely starving and stressing their bodys to lose weight and it just isn’t right.
All you need to do is this, cut out the crap that you know you shouldn’t be eating and replace it with healthy nutritious food sources with absolutely NO NEED TO COUNT CALORIES whatsoever. Focus on becoming healthy not losing weight, by making these simple changes the weight will come off you.
4. What supplements do I need to take
None, don’t waste your money on them.
Unless you have a deficiency that you need to supplement for, then everything you need to recover from training and grow is in your food.
Now i’m sure some trainers and supplement company/shop owners would not be to happy about some of the stuff I’m saying here because they are trying to capitalize on new year resolutioners but I really don’t care because it’s the truth. I hope this helps you all in not being misguided or lead in the coming month as you start your fitness journey.