Things you need to know before you start gym or exercise
Want to start exercise but not sure how to start? This article will help you to get started at the gym or if you want to do exercises at your home.
Of course you are confused about what to do at first day. Though there are thousands of videos and guides on YouTube but still people become confused when they first time hit the gym and does exercises without guidance and invite injuries.
In this article I have shared my thoughts on fitness world how it actually is and how you should start, what things you must keep in mind.
Here is some basic information that will help you to start your fitness journey. There are two parts in which you need to be on the track when you enter fitness or exercise world.
You must know that every good workout contains three phase:
1) Warm up
2) Your main workout
3) Cool down and stretch
- Warm up means to prepare your muscles and joints for the main intense workout. It should contain joints rotational movements. It depends on which type of movements you want to do in your main workout. For example if you want to train shoulders then you need to do some rotator cuff movements and some shoulder rotational movements for warm up.
- Doing very light sets before starting main sets is also a good way to warm up. It is called warm up sets. This will release synovial fluid which reduces the chances of injuries during heavier sets.
- First of all you need to understand that there are so many types of exercise methodologies out there. You can call it different communities. For example Bodybuilding, powerlifting, aesthetics bodybuilding, crossfit etc. All of them have different perspectives. Aesthetics just concentrates on looks. On the other side powerlifting guys goal is to lift as heavy as possible. Crossfit’s perspective is to increase functional work capacity. It’s up to you to decide what your perspective is and which method you want to go with. It is an important part because most of the people don’t really know what they actually want to do. They are just hitting the gym and doing the things their friends are doing.
- For general fitness you need to take some part of all of the above mentioned methods. For example let’s assume you want to go with general fitness and a bit of aesthetics. Here is an example workout so you can get an idea of a simple beginner workout.
- Because you are a beginner you should start with 3 or 4 exercises with 2 or 3 sets with low or no weight.
- Take enough rest between sets.
- Dumbbell lateral raises – 2 sets – 8 to 10 reps
- Barbell shoulder press- 2 sets – 8 to 10 reps
- Dumbbell front raises – 2 sets – 8 to 10 reps
- Dumbbell bent over lateral raises – 2 sets- 8 to 10 reps
- This is the example of a beginners shoulder workout. You can do some warm up sets before each exercise to prepare the joints.
- You can also combine two or even three body parts in a day OR a circuit of 3 or 4 different parts.
- In the Circuit training there are 3 or 4 different exercises and you have to do all of them without rest. You will get 3 to 5 min rest at the end of every circuit.
- Gradually (most important) you should increase the intensity of your workout.
- Yes it is very important to increase your intensity gradually. Here both the things are important
1) increase of intensity.
2) Increase it gradually. It is called ‘principle of progressive overload’.
- If you are training for the aesthetics, the most important thing you have to do when you are performing any exercise is FOCUS on the muscle group you are training. Feel the muscle when you are moving weights. Your main goal is maximum muscle activation. So many researches have proven this fact that if you focus and concentrate on the muscle you are training, muscle activation increases drastically. Even Arnold said this thing is his documentary ‘Arnold Blue print’. Yes this doesn’t apply for a powerlifter or a crossfitter because their goal is NOT muscle activation. Their goal is improvement in performance.
Cool down is a very important part of a workout.
Doing 5 to 10 min of any type of cardio exercise after completing your strength workout. It helps in recovery of the muscle damage.
Actually when we do exercise or we train any specific muscle group our blood flow increases rapidly in that area. After workout we want our blood flow to become normal and equal in all body parts to function properly. Here when you do any cardio activity (running, cycling etc.) it will force your blood to circulate in whole body and this will immediately trigger recovery process.
Cool down generally is about 5 to 10 minutes only and should be done with normal intensity. If you want to do it as a cardio then you can increase your intensity as per your capacity.
Stretch is very important part for any type of training most of people ignores it. Mainly stretching will help your muscles to recover faster and will give you mobility and will guard you from injuries. It also improves your range of motion which gives you better muscle activation and eventually better growth.
Many people think stretching loosens up their muscles and stops the gains but it’s not true. Actually stretching improves blood flow in the muscles and gives faster recovery. Remember, recovery means gains.
Your muscles are not made in the gym it’s made in your home after you break them in the gym and eat properly, take rest and RECOVER.
Remember your range of motion and your flexibility will decrease drastically if you won’t stretch your muscles every day.
There are two types of stretching first is dynamic or active stretch and second is static or passive stretch. Generally dynamic or active stretches are done prior to the workout and static or passive stretches are done post workout. You need to hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds in passive stretch.
I will write a whole article about different type of stretches till then I wish you enjoy your workouts and please let me know if you like this article.
No matter how good you are training but if you nutrition is not on the track you will not get the results you want. For more information on how to approach your nutrition or how to make your own customized diet please check out my article on nutrition.