Setting out on your fitness journey can be exciting but also a little overwhelming, especially with such easy access to millions of articles on training and nutrition all contradicting one another and offering varying opinions it’s hard not to be overwhelmed.
As a personal trainer it’s my job to ensure that my clients understand what it takes to achieve their goals and how best to do it right from the start so progress comes quick and motivation remains high. There simply is no one size fits all training program for everybody and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. However looking back at how far i have come since i first started training and having worked with hundreds of clients over the years, there are a few standout things that i feel everybody should understand when first starting out.
So here are my top tips to make sure you get of to the best possible start.
Nutrition is Key!
I can’t stress this enough and any professional athlete in any sport will tell you the same, nutrition is the backbone of your success get it right and you’ll see result in no time. Get it wrong however and your progress will likely stall.
Base your diet on whole foods and educate yourself on how to balance your Protein, Carbohydrate and fat intake, supplement your diet where needed to achieve a balanced diet but avoid processed foods with additives.
It’s common to hear people say achieving a great physique is 80% diet 20% training and it really is true, commit 100% to both and you’ll see results in no time.
Make a Plan and be Realistic.
Set clear goals and be realistic about your expectations, real change takes time and nobody built there perfect physique in a few weeks.
You need to make training a habit, start our conservative with just a day or two in the gym and slowly increase your training frequency. This way you are less likely to burn out and more likely to enjoy your time at the gym rather than it becoming a chore.
After deciding on training frequency it’s time to do a little research and find a training program that fits your goals and training frequency. There are tons here on sasnutrition and even more so online.
With all the available fitness apps these days for smart phones and tablets tracking your workouts and diet is so simple that the only reason not to do it comes down to laziness.
KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid!
You should stick to compound movements such as Bench Press, Barbell Squats and Deadlifts they should make up the backbone of any training program as they help to build a solid strength base to build on and elicit the best overall hormonal response. Think of it like building a house, if you build a strong foundation the house will stand for years to come.
Isolation exercises are great for more experienced individuals however when first starting focusing on the core movements will set you up for long term success and help to prevent injury. You can easily get great results from a program based on compound lifts well into your first year of training and you’ll never stop using them in programs.
Track your Progress!
Plateaus are normal for all trainers and you’ll have to learn how to recognize and
overcome them by altering your diet and training. Sometimes it’s as simple as increasing or decreasing calories, other times you need to completely re-evaluate your training program. However without tracking you’ll never know what needs fixing.
Leave your ego at Home!
When you go to the gym it’s you and your program, don’t let anything else get in your head focus on your own training and where you want to get to.
Concentrate on the exercise you’re doing, make sure to maintain correct posture and form. Don’t try to lift more than you can to impress people at the gym.
Correct technique will get you further than letting your ego dictate how your workout goes, a lower risk of injury and faster results will follow.
There are no Shortcuts!
Hard work, dedication and patience is all it takes. No flashy new drug or celebrity training program will get you results faster, the only real way to get the physique you want is to make your new lifestyle exactly that your lifestyle. Your diet and training all need to be enjoyable or else it just won’t be something you can enjoy and maintain in the long run.
If you learn to balance your diet, train safely and efficiently and set goals that you can realistically achieve then you’ll find it so much easier to maintain the lifestyle and physique you want.
It wont be easy and it will take time but its definitely worth the effort.