You must walk before you run: A Basic Introduction to Anyone Starting a Fitness Program.

As I have promised in my last blog post, I have come up with a fitness plan to get people up and going and achieve their fitness potential. Initially my plan was to do a program based on advanced functional training techniques. Then I realized that maybe I should begin with the basics if I wanted people to actually start it.

It is very important to learn basic forms of movement first before beginning any sort of resistance training. Even if you consider yourself more advanced in fitness and resistance training I would still encourage you to read this article and watch the video. I find that many so called “personal trainers” leave out essential body mechanics when it comes to training their clients. Either they know it and do not apply it or they just don’t know basic body mechanics.

Why is it important to learn the basics? 

Because form is key! (Refer to Beginner Fitness Guideline # 4)

10 Important Beginner Fitness Guidelines:

1. Beginners should focus on training the whole body in a circuit format. Therefore, five or so exercises concentrating on every part of the body every training session.

2. Beginners will improve every aspect of fitness with any training. They should not worry about specializing in anything yet. Adaptation will happen everywhere.

3. Beginners should not try to kill themselves with intensity. Form is important, as well as not shocking your body too much at first and being discouraged.

4. Form is the most important part of any program. Learning bad form is like learning a bad habit. It’s also important to walk before you run when it comes to fitness. This is one of the major mistakes that I see new bees doing. They just want to lift the heaviest weights possible. If your form falls apart and you continue training like this, your body will learn poor mechanics and you will develop muscle imbalances that will lead to injury.

5. Diet is very important to get the best results and recovery. This is a separate topic. Please refer to the Paleo Diet found numerous times on this website. It’s quite easy to follow and gives maximum results.

6. Sleep is very important for the same reasons as above. Try 8 to 10 hours every night. This again depends on the individual. Changes in your adaptation to resistance training occur durning sleep.

7. As the exercises get easier it is important to know how to progress them. Changing the angle and resistance can go a long way. Changing up exercises also stimulates progression, but that will be left for future blogs.

8. Just as form is important, it is important to breath properly. If your breathing is wrong, then you will develop a bad habit. Breath out on the hard part, such as when you are pushing or pulling against a force and breath in on the easier part, such as when the weight is being taken down by gravity.

9. Be aware of your posture, form and breathing as you exercise and your body will soon learn it automatically. Concentrate and use a mirror.

10. Learning is very important. Keep learning what you experience in the gym. Ask people regarding training. Most people are happy to help out. Read articles and apply new exercises to your routine with proper form. Do not worry about looking like a beginner. It is a very valuable time in our lives to see in a beginner’s perspective.

In addition to the above, it is important that you are healthy enough to begin a resistance training program. If you have to, consult with your physician and explain what you will be doing.

The Program:

– 5 – 6 exercises done in a row as a circuit with no rest.

– Begin with 2 sets, 12 to 15 repetitions and stop the exercise just short of 2 to 4 repetitions of muscle failure (just before not being able to lift anymore on that set).

– Training should be initially done 3 times per week.

– Cardio training is added to this as well. Cardio can consist of jogging, biking, elliptical, etc, as well as the circuit itself. Try to do 10 – 20 min of cardio.

– Total time should be about 30 – 40 min, 3 times per week, which equals 1.5 hr to around 2 hrs per week. No excuses!

– Make sure to stretch at the end.

It is difficult teaching everything regarding posture, form and technique in one blog post. Try your best and get someone who knows to show you as well. I will write articles regarding posture, form and progression in the near future. Enjoy!

 – Simon Bialecki

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