5 Tips: For a Gym Newbie

A shortlist of tips to get you started on your fitness journey and ease the break-in process.

You know what they say, “by the yard, it’s hard, but by the inch, it’s a cinch”.  With this in mind, we thought we’d introduce a new series – one which focuses on quick, actionable change that can be made to any routine. The whole idea is to make you a stronger, healthier, and more positive version of yourself. So here it goes:

  1. Keep Dietary Strategies Simple: diet fads are nothing new. But starting a fresh routine can be intimidating. Atkins, Keto, high carb, low carb, high protein, vegan, vegetarian… we’ve heard them all.

With the plethora of choices, you can get stuck in “paralysis by analysis” – like having too many cereal options at the grocery store, standing in the aisle, unsure about which to pick… We’ve all been there, right?

At the end of the day, the NUMBER ONE determinant of bodyweight is energy balance – the amount of fuel you input vs. the  energy you expend. As long as you’re running at an energy deficit, a balance, or a surplus, you can reach your weight loss, maintenance, or gain goals, respectively. From there, you can optimize your protein/ fat/ carb intake for even more optimized results.

  1. Feel the Motion (Sight is for Suckers):Struggling to feel a muscle work in a certain exercise? Common trouble areas such as the lats and low traps (the muscles used in upper body pulling motions: rows, face pulls, and lat pull downs). A simple fix to this issue is closing your eyes (We know… it sounds weird, but bare with us). Have a friend/ trainer/ stranger (don’t be shy) place their fingers on the muscles you’re hoping to target. From there, go through the movement. The touch sensation will allow you to focus on the area –  you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to engage the desired muscle from there.
  2. Focus on the Master Controllers: One area that is often overlooked in a closed chain movement (where your feet are on the ground) is, well, your feet. They have feedback loops that reflexively control how hard other muscles fire. So, they’re a crucial point of focus in these exercises.

Next time you do a squat, try sitting down as you would naturally. Next, think about scrunching the floor with your toes and heels (as your hands would a piece of paper). Maintain this ‘active foot’ as you go through the next squat. You should feel your hips, knees, and back line up much more naturally.

Tip Tuesday – Your feet play a bigger role in your exercises than you think. Being able to create and maintain a “tripod” foot through various ranges of motion is essential to creating proper stability and keeping you strong/safe in the long run. Have any workout questions you’d like to see answered? Leave them in the comments below! #strongeryoupt #fit #fitspo #personaltrainer #fitnessgoals #gym #???? #yvrfitness

A post shared by StrongerYou Personal Training (@strongeryoupt) on Feb 7, 2017 at 4:45pm PST

4. Control Hunger: Stick to a regular eating schedule (ie. eat your meals around the same time every day). Additionally, you should consume an adequate amount of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The right composition and schedule will give your meal much more “staying power” – so you won’t need that 3pm candy fix.

5. Think Long-Term:When planning a workout routine, it’s easy to get over-excited. We’ve all been there – saying we’ll commit to 7 days a week at the gym.

This is great if you can stick with it. However, it’s important to be realistic. Devoting too much time in the initial stages can be demoralizing – you wear yourself out. Remember that progress takes time (as much as we wish it was instantaneous).

Try approaching it more sustainably. Four times per week at one and a half hours a session is still a great amount of physical activity. It also  gives you three days off, to let your body rest and your mind refresh. This schedule will give you a positive mindset going into each session. Remember, fitness is supposed to improve your quality of life, not diminish it! From my experience, the individuals that maintain a balanced routine end up with the most progress in the long run.

So there are the tips and tricks for this week. Stay tuned for more in our next post!

Have any questions? Check out our personal training methods. Take the first step towards a StrongerYou by booking afree consultation online or by phone at604-562-3719.