Getting started with training, bodybuiding, or just wanting to get fitter and healthier is the hardest bit in my opinion. To actually change your daily routine, join a gym where you may not know anyone, change your full diet and adopt a new lifestyle can be very daunting and difficult for most people. Even if you do manage the initial transition, it is often such a difficult one it is hard to maintain and some people give up.
There are many things you must consider and undergo in order to start on the path to achieving your fitness goals. Here is my easy step by step guide to starting on the journey to a better you.
Motivation – The very first thing that you need in order to start training and succeed is motivation. Without this you will go to a gym, follow a plan that a trainer most likely gave you, do it half heartedly and then realize that you aren’t really all that bothered about being there. If you want to succeed you have to REALLY WANT to succeed. You need goals that you feel you are willing to work really hard to achieve and will make you happier by achieving them. These goals should be short term goals with one big long term goal that they are all leading towards. Achieving these short term goals will keep you motivated and happy throughout the full plan.
Joining a gym – This is a very big step for a lot of people as it requires a commitment in most gyms. Saying you will join a gym is easy as you don’t have to commit to anything in saying it. Actually paying for a 12 month gym membership is different. This is the step that means you either do what you say you are going to do, or you waste a lot of money. Once you have joined though, the fact that you have paid for it is good motivation to use the gym. When selecting a gym, make sure you find one that suits your needs. If you are looking to become fitter and don’t like working out alone then find a health club type gym that does classes or has personal trainers etc. If you want to get into bodybuilding or powerlifting and want to gain muscle mass then I have always been a big fan of back alley gyms. Big metal dumbells and big guys give the gym an atmosphere that is missing from health club gyms that may also aid with your motivation.
Devise a training plan – Once you have joined the gym you will need to find a training plan that will suit your goals. Think about how many times per week you can train? Do you want to gain muscle or drop fat? Do you want to improve on fitness? You must ask yourself all of these questions in order to write a routine. If you have no experience at all then I recommend either getting a personal trainer to write the routine or ask for help online. There are lots of places online that can help you with a routine like www.fitforum.co.uk
A good beginner weights routine for someone wanting to gain muscle and can train 3 days per week would be:
Day 1 –
Bench press – 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Incline flyes – 3 x 8-12
Seated machine shoulder press – 3 x 8-12
Lateral raises – 3 x 8-12
Tricep pushdowns – 3 x 8-12
Day 2 –
Lat pulldown – 3 x 8-12
Cable row machine – 3 x 8-12
Underhand assisted chin ups – 3 x 8-12
Barbell bicep curls – 3 x 8-12
Incline sit ups – 5 x 8-12
Day 3 –
Leg press – 5 x 8-12
Leg extensions – 3 x 8-12
Lying leg curls – 3 x 8-12
Calf raises – 5 x 8-12
This is a nice basic routine that will hit all bodyparts, not put too much strain on the system, allow lots of recovery time in between workouts and allow you to learn some different movements with free weights. There will be different workouts for achieving different goals but my best advice is to keep it simple. Change your workout every 4-6 weeks and try to improve on your weights or reps as often as you can.
Join me in part 2 where I will talk about getting started with diet and supplements.