Having now trained for 2 ½ years, I have learnt so much along the way, I’m no expert, but have looked around, listened to people, and discovered what’s best for me. My starting point was 14 stone, and so unfit a flight of stairs would take it out of me, I was a couch potato in all honesty!
So having joined the gym, I was given a weights routine to do on resistance machines, and some light cardio work. Not knowing much I just kept going with this, and it seemed to do the trick, but at the time all I cared about was getting thin, and not adding muscle tissue, and this was down to a lack of knowledge! I decided to really up the cardio, get my fitness level up, and this in turn would get me thin and ripped or at least I thought! With that I started to run 5-6km at lunch times, 3-4 times a week. It took me around 6 months to build up to this level, and I was getting a lot happier with my fitness, but I wasn’t defined nor did I look quite like I wanted. The time had come to try and look like a cover model, get some muscles and a 6 pack – my biggest goal. In the gym I saw a PT, and got a weight training routine split over 3 days. This was a nice routine aimed at getting me some definition; however I was still running 3 times a week as I was doing this. As the more knowledgeable of you out there reading this know, those two things don’t mix very well together! My two very different training routines were cancelling one another out. At this point I was still unaware of the best way to utilise my time at the gym and get the body I wanted. To add to this I was over training my body, and this meant I wouldn’t grow at all, and gain no definition, just look thin, but in an unhealthy way. What it took me too long to learn, is that you can do cardio while you try to add muscle mass, but it’s vital you do the right kind, and allow your body to rest and grow. If I could go back in time, it would take me a fraction of the time to achieve what I have now, and all because I was doing it wrong. I was too concerned that if I didn’t do any cardio I would get fat, and too much weight work lifting would make me huge.
As I have said my biggest recommendations to anyone is read up and ask people for help and advice, the more knowledge you get the better results you achieve. This is why FitMag is such a blessing for us all, because we have access to endless advice on training, nutrition and supplementation!!!
In my next instalment I will go into more detail about the things I have learned with weight training specifically!