Why should you keep fit? Everyone should keep their body, inside and outside, in the best condition they can. This can drastically reduce your chances of developing serious medical problems like heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients around the body helping it to be more efficient. Your muscles and bones become stronger helping you go about your daily life much more easily.
I’m a beginner, what should I do? Start slowly. Little and often works best to start with. Your workout should include some cardiovascular exercises for the heart and then a good proportion of weight training for your muscles. Make sure you warm up and mobilise thoroughly before you start.
How many times per week should I train? Aim for a minimum of 4-12 times per month. 2-3 times per week would be ideal. Once per week is definitely better than nothing! As another guide, the NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.
What exercises do I need to do? Some form of cardio like, rowing, cycling or the treadmill for around 20-30 mins, and then a good weight training program featuring a variety of presses and pulls plus some exercises for your legs. An example might be, dumbbell chest press, lat pulldown, seated shoulder press, leg press, triceps pushdown, split squat and plank.
Should I do HIIT training? (High intensity Interval Training) You can do, but it’s not essential. A small 10-15 mins 2 times per week will really help burn them calories and get your heart fitter quickly. It depends on your current level of fitness. It’s not really the best idea if you’re a complete beginner as it can be quite intense.
What rep ranges should I aim for? For most of us 8-12 reps are the ideal rep range to stick with. If you’re really new to weight training then 12-15 would be a great start, as more reps and a lower weight will help you practice the techniques initially then gradually increase the weight and lower reps slightly.
How should I lift? Slowly! The more control you have the better. A slow tempo will create lots more muscle tension, therefore building more muscle. It is also a lot safer to lift with control. A good tempo would be to lower the weight for a count of 3 (eccentric movement) and to lift for a count of 2 (concentric movement).
Do I need to do Squats and Deadlifts? These are great exercises, but again not necessary. Some will find these hard to perform well, so there are so many alternatives that might be more manageable in the beginning.
Do I need a personal trainer? Again, not essential, but a personal trainer is a fantastic way to get you off on the right footing. A good trainer will be able to help you get the most out of your training, safely and effectively. They will teach you new exercises and correct techniques, therefore building your confidence. You will generally progress faster with a trainer who can help you get that little bit more out of you in each session.
What’s the best way to attack my poor diet? Make small changes. Don’t try to change everything in one go. Just little changes that are manageable. Cut down on your junk foods and processed foods. Track what you eat with apps like MyFitnessPal, it can be a real eye opener. Learn more about foods and what they do for you, and you’ll gradually find it easier to make the better choices.
I’m a female, do I need to do weight training? Weight training for females is one of the best things you can do. It will help keep your weight in check and give you a firmer & leaner look. Don’t worry about building big muscles, as the female body does not have amount of muscle building testosterone that a man has.
Should ache after every session? This process is often known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Muscle soreness is related to muscle damage, which can promote, but is not required for, muscle growth. In a nutshell, unless your goal is to feel sore, then you don’t need to be sore after every workout. If you are restarting exercise after having a while off then you will most definitely experience some muscle soreness which is why it is important to take it slowly. Don’t let this soreness discourage you from continuing to train, even stretching and gentle walking the next day can help with this and keep you moving.
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