It's a giant mountain, but one that more and more people are overcoming.
When you first set foot in a gym and see the seasoned trainers lifting weights heavier than you, 'daunting' doesn't do your feelings justice.
However, everyone has to start somewhere, and the benefits of exercise are too obvious for us to lay out once again. Whether it's to improve your quality of life or reduce the chances of utilising your insurance plan, the benefits are evident.
So, as a beginner, how can you make your training more effective? Let's take a look at some of the best tips.
You don't want to go all out and risk injuring yourself when you first start. You'll likely find that you're a lot sorer than the regulars at the gym, and that's to be expected.
Start with a weight that you can manage for a certain number of repetitions, and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
If you turn to weights that are more than you can handle, all you are doing is worsening your form. The upshot? As well as the injuries, you're also not going to be correctly exercising your muscles in question. After all, we've all seen the people who swing heavy dumbbells at the gym, but in truth, it's a 'fake' movement that will offer minimal benefit to your training – but plenty of risk.
Vary your routine
As with anything in life, variety is the spice of training. If you do the same exercises all the time, your body will quickly adapt, and you'll find that your results quickly slow down.
Adding new exercises, or varying the sets and repetitions, will keep your body guessing and ensure that you make progress. As soon as you feel things are getting a bit easy, they probably are, and your body has worked you out.
Use a training diary
A training diary is a great way to keep track of your progress and ensure you're on the right track. Not only that, but it can also be a motivational tool.
If you see that you’re making gains, you’ll keep adjusting your weights or runs and progressing to the next level. Conversely, if you're not making the progress you want to see, it can help you identify the areas you need to work on.
Not only is this great for a tracking tool, but it's also something that can act as superb motivation. As you slog through your first few months, it can feel as though nothing is changing. Take a look at your paper evidence, though, and you'll see all these changes in their full glory.
This one is pretty simple, but it's essential. When you're training, your body is utilising a lot of water, and you need to make sure you're replacing what you're losing.
If you don't drink enough, you'll become fatigued a lot quicker, and your performance will suffer.
Similarly, you also need to fuel your body with the right food. After a good workout, your body is primed to take on nutrients and rebuild the muscles you've just worked.
If you don't eat properly after a workout, you'll find that you don't see the gains you're expecting, and you may even find that you put on weight.
A good post-workout meal should include a good source of protein, some carbohydrates, and a little bit of healthy fat.
Published by John Liverstone