The first thing to keep in mind: training, of course, means getting more robust (in the broad sense), but injury prevention should be given special attention, so the goal is not to push your limits at each session. If you hesitate between several training programs, choose the easiest. It’s better to find something too easy and do more of it than to jump into something too hard, get hurt, and have to start from scratch to rebuild.
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Introduction to the Program
Why go to the weight room? Starting weight training directly in the gym can be intimidating and ultimately discourage many people. It is not always easy to evolve in this universe when you have the feeling that you do not have control over what you are doing. That being said, training in a weight room offers an incomparable setting for a beginner, thanks to the various machines and the many types of equipment it provides. To take full advantage of it and make this first experience a factor of success, you must; however, respect a few principles :
- Stay focused; this is essential for a good workout, especially if you are starting. You must learn to execute the movements correctly and stay on the lookout for any mistakes you are likely to make. Don’t get distracted by conversations around you, a noise coming from a television or radio, while waiting for a machine to become available. If necessary, use headphones or earphones to isolate yourself.
- Put your ego aside. Everyone was a beginner one day, don’t forget that. Whatever your age or your physical condition, don’t let the outside looks influence you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone and are there only for you.
- Stick to the schedule. The consequence of the previous point, the pressure of others’ gaze, the advice of a stranger who wants to explain to you why you should modify your program, should not influence you. Do not use the wrong weights or tackle new exercises while still trying to master the program’s movements. And then, if you modify the program, you will no longer be able to blame us that it did not work!
Why a “strength” oriented program start? The program that we offer here favors the four main movements: the squat, the deadlift, the bench press, and the military press. You can liken it to strength training since the first three movements mentioned are the movements practiced in an athletic strength competition. The progression from week to week will be linear, and only the load will increase (not the number of repetitions or sets). The advantage of having a strength goal as a beginner is that it will force you to acquire flawless technique. Otherwise, injury is guaranteed. Doing more sets with fewer reps allows you to put in enough effort while avoiding muscle failure and poor technique. Thus, for each set, you will get less tired between your first and last repetition: the time during which you will have to concentrate on your technique reducing, the concentration can thus be more significant, and the progress too.
Systematically warm-up before exercise A warm-up of at least ten minutes before each of your sessions allows you to wake up your muscles and put you in condition for the announced training. Start with 3 to 5 minutes of cardio training (cycling, rowing machine, etc.). Then follow up with a few specific movements (using a stick and/or elastic bands) to target the joints and muscle groups you will use there-after (pay special attention to the shoulders and hips). Quickly test your mobility state vis-à-vis the exercises planned during your session and work there if necessary. Then do one or two warm-up sets on the first exercise in the program, with light weights and about 20 repetitions each time. Gradually increase in weight until your load for the day, being careful not to exhaust yourself on these sets either. If the need arises, you can continue to do warm-up sets before each new movement.
Supplementation To help you in your budding adventure, you can supplement your diet and your sports routine to avoid deficiencies and to give a boost to your results. If you find it challenging to consume enough protein during the day and “feed” your muscles after a workout, you can drink a whey shaker when you wake up, for example, and immediately after your workout. If your goal is weight loss, the Impact Diet Whey can help you: it contains protein and ingredients that will help you lose that unsightly fat: green tea, CLA, and carnitine. Vitamin supplementation with a multivitamin complex will also help fight effectively against deficiencies to stay in shape. To ensure that you have enough omega 3 in your diet, which is essential for good cardiovascular health, you may consider supplementation.