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The Beginning.


For those brand new to the fitness lifestyle the questions always roll in: How do I start? What do I eat? What exercises should I be doing? What are the best exercises for my goal? So on and so forth. Well here's what you do step by step.

1. Find out your goals.

2. Make your goals achievable and realistic, yet challenging. Achievable may not be an understood concept in the beginning so here are some basic barriers.

- Fat loss should generally not exceed more than 3lbs per week. (although in beginner situations more than that can be achieved normally)

- Increases in cardiorespiratiory efficiency (endurance) are relative, but a good way to keep track is bi-weekly self assessments.

- Muscle gain/fat loss depends on caloric intake and exercise habits (ie. for large muscle gain you'd need to achieve a caloric surplus and reduce the amounts of calories expended for greater success for that goal and vice versa for fat loss.)

- Strength gains, fat loss, muscle growth all take time. (But, also of note. Increases in neuromuscular efficiency like change in form, will feel like massive strength gains)

- Genetics/chronic conditions/diseases should be taken into account for varied and specific programming.

- Relativity is never to be forgotten, do NOT consistently compare yourself to those of a different composition/activity level than you for sure. I can't tell you to never ever compare yourself to others (its going to happen at some point, its part of how we measure growth among other things.) but I can say that I do not advise comparisons to anyone except yourself until you have achieved self-acceptance.

3. Keep in mind that a total overhaul of routines is generally not advised due to the ill-motivating nature of mass change.

4. Frame of mind and discipline is the most important factor in starting out. Place yourself in a complimentary environment for your goals to avoid unwanted temptation. This is mostly for your mind. Physical environments are sometimes difficult to avoid, but your head rests on YOUR shoulders. Your thoughts and innermost processes are mobile, they are with you all the time. Take time to organize that properly. Discipline > Motivation (this is the exact reason you need to keep your goals specific and tailored to you with the proper planning to get there.)

5. It is not totally necessary to hire a professional. If you elect to though, keep in mind that they should always be pointing you in the right direction, are generally trustworthy, knowledgeable, passionate about their job. Avoid uninterested trainers and depart from ones who do not respect your time.




Once all that is sorted out, realize that the MOST IMPORTANT part of any workout program is food intake. If you dont eat properly, you won't achieve properly. SO, figuring out your calorie goal is the first big step in starting a program for weight loss/muscle growth. Keep in mind all numbers that you use (caloric intake, macronutrients, vo2max, resting metabolic rate, etc) will all be estimations, which is completely fine. The only way to get exact numbers is through lab testing and other expensive equipment.

-Caloric Intake is based on weight, height, age, level of activity, and your fitness goals (weight gain/loss)

-Weight loss = burn more calories than you consume. Muscle growth = consume more calories than you burn.

-Macronutrients are carbs, fats, and proteins. Macronutrients are essential to growth in general. Your macronutrient ratios are dependent on your caloric intake and your fitness goals.

Click Here!

Above is a link to a blog post that breaks down how to figure out those numbers in relatively good detail. Or, you could have a consultation with me and I'll figure it out for you. ;)


Next thing to focus on is the actual workout program you will be using.


By workout program, I'm not talking the ones you see on tv that guarantee certain kinds of results. I mean a program designed with you in mind. I'm not demonizing the idea of premade workout programs at all. I'm just trying to save you time and efforts and maximize your success in correllation to YOUR fitness goals. To do that you need something set up for YOU.

As a personal trainer it is my job to set up specific programs like that for a wide variety of clients. Fortunately, I have had the pleasure with working with all sorts of individuals from one end of the spectrum to the other. That includes perfectly healthy individuals with simple goals to look more defined or get more strength. To clients with chronic conditions and diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis. Programs vary on all sorts of different aspects and this needs to be kept in mind when choosing a program.


If you intend to set one up yourself though here are some key points:


- Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume so, steady state cardio (running, walking, jogging) is a great addition for any program. Other forms of high calorie expenditure are HIIT (high intensity interval training), HVIT (high volume interval training), VIIT (varied intensity interval training). HIIT is a staple for athletes but, when applied with proper intensity variables and proper rest periods are very effective for weight loss. HVIT is not the reccommended for beginners in my opinion due to the level of proper programming this takes along with the increased injury risk due to volume. Again though, with proper intensities and rest periods it's pretty effective too. VIIT is what I'd prefer for beginners for a vast variety of different intensities and volumes. You can switch this up as you please. Weight training in raw form does not burn many calories. But, if you perform them in circuit fashion they can be just as effective if not more than interval training.

- Muscle gain is the opposite of weight loss. You need to burn less calories and add resistance training to route the calories you eat to aid in muscle growth. Cardio should be at minimal levels to slow the total expenditure of calories. While resistance training should be used to maximize muscle mass and build upon it do understand that weights alone will not give you muscle. You can indeed build strength without gaining mass in noticeable quantities. Also of note bodyweight training does make noticeable (not maximal, resistance training yields better results) changes in muscle composition and growth in proper (person specific)quantities.

#fitness #beginners #firsttime #starters

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