10 Basic Things I Wish Beginners Knew About Fitness

Woman pointing upward

I want to tell you in person, but you might yell at me

I wish you knew this already. I sometimes want to tell people straight out what’s going on in my head, but I shut my mouth. This writing business is a great way to get out all the muck I see in my gym setting and see if anyone out in the world of Medium can benefit from the following advice. I write a lot about diets, and it’s key to your progression when it comes to fat loss and building muscle, but what about this never-ending annoying thing I keep observing daily? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting the same results. This is a phenomenon I observe in most people at the gym. Everyone is doing the same boring and mundane routine repeatedly, day after day, week after week and month after month, and never seeing a difference in their physiques. I often wonder if these people realise they are wasting their time? One guy is on the same machines, doing the same things every second day. And of course, we have someone using as many machines as they can fit in a small window of time. Is it any wonder that your plan of action isn’t working? I’m sure the cause of this is just lack of education & goal setting. These are both necessary for making some form of progress in the gym. But let the truth be known, I was this person a very long time ago (and I choose not to remember — as it’s painful). From my experience, it’s only a lack of knowledge, with a fear-based mentality when asking a professional. No one wants to look stupid and uneducated. We are all meant to know the answers to everything, and not learning messes with our ego. That’s why I created these ego friendly tips in which you don’t have to ask someone (although it’s a good idea too). Instead, you can research them yourself and practice. 

Ten tips to make sure you’re getting the best out of your exercise

One: Be well aware of your diet and the quality of your food

The main focus of training is to eat a well-balanced, macronutrient-based diet. That means protein, fats, vegetables and complex carbs. Muscle growth should entail consuming more protein and moderate carbs. Cycle your carbs and focus on proteins, fats & veggies if you are trying to lose weight. 

Two: For the love of God, it’s time to change your routine

Our bodies adapt to everything we put them through, so we need to change our routines regularly. Don’t do the same thing each day — switch it up regularly. 

Three: Muscles don’t grow with 2kg weights

Protein is essential — but not as much as lifting is! There is no other way to build and grow muscles unless you lift weights. Don’t lift the same weight every day; differentiate your training weight and routine. You can lift both heavy to lightweights, which results in muscle fibre increase. 

Four: You don’t need to spend hours in the gym

 Forty-five minutes to an hour is enough. Any more than this, and you risk being counterproductive when gaining muscle mass. So please don’t overdo it as it’s a waste of time. 

Five: You can’t out-train a bad diet 

If your goal is to lose weight and build muscle mass, you HAVE to change the way you eat right now. 

Six: Put an end to the endless cardio

Stop wasting time doing endless cardio to make up for lousy eating — it won’t work now or in the future. 

Seven: Lifting weights regularly

To create changes in your physique and activate the necessary hormones for fat loss — you must lift weights at least 3–4 times per week. 

Eight: The best form of cardio for fat loss is HIIT

Only subject yourself to this for 20 minutes and only 2–3 times per week. Do this on a separate day from your weight training. 

Nine: Why are you in a hurry — take it slow

Controlled and focused attention on the downward (eccentric) movement is key to muscle growth. 

Ten: If you are finding fat loss challenging — try Intermittent fasting

This is the fastest and best way to fat loss and maintenance. The only thing you need to do is skip one meal a day — that’s it! No caloric restriction, deprivation or missing out anymore. 

I do hope this does help you take a step forward in the right direction. What’s your most pressing question when it comes to the gym?

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