Written by Gary Sethi
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the world of fitness. Being a strength/fitness nerd of sorts, it’s not only easy for me, it’s truly my passion. Losing weight and boosting your health requires striving hard and keeping focused. However, for those new to this world, I suspect it can be a little challenging. So those readers who need a bit of help with trying to understand fitness and strength training, this article and subsequent others that will follow in the weeks ahead on UrbanAsian will be worth reading.
The adage, big things come from small ones, especially applies to a lifetime of fitness, especially building muscle. It is important to note that like anything in life, at the beginning, you do not have to push yourself to the extent that you go immediately into intense training. Strenuous training exercises need preparation; you should not be going from zero to ninety miles an hour, as this could be harmful and in all honesty self-defeating.
You should start with a warm up, such as ten minutes on the elliptical machine or treadmill to warm up your muscles and get ready. It’s best to start with lighter weights and work up to see what you can handle. No matter how light you start, it’s only natural to feel sore the next day – remember the old motto, “no pain, no gain.”
Try to isolate body parts. Choose big full body multi-joint exercises, which are called compound exercises, and include things like squats, leg presses, bench press, back rows, and shoulder presses. These exercises work multiple joints and muscles at the same time. A row works the back, rear deltoids (back of the shoulder), biceps and forearm. The squat works the entire lower body and low back. These are the exercises you want to focus on to develop your start in weight training.
It’s important to note that there are no shortcuts when you want to strength train and be fit. You really have to work hard for it. Individuals must take it slow and steady during the start and then gradually increase your workout intensity. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to tone your body all in one day. Especially for beginners, it can be overwhelming not only to remember each of the activities you need to do in your routine, but simply just to have the energy and endurance to complete a routine.
Many people want to overdo the weight training in the beginning. Resist this temptation. Three full workouts a week is all a beginner needs. Remember, workouts breakdown muscle tissue. It is the rest period between where the adaptation happens. Make sure you are giving at least one day between heavy full body workouts to recover. I suggest a five day split, two days on, one day off. Another good point: don’t work the same muscles two days in a row. They need time to recover and muscles grow during the resting phase.
And finally, relax and breathe. It may sound silly, but if you’re holding everything in you probably are compromising your form. If you breathe with your movements, you’ll actually find it easier to lift weights.
Here’s an interesting fact, each pound of added muscle burns approximately 35 to 50 more calories daily. That can add up. And if you’re a competitive sort, strengthening can enhance athletic performance, helping you run hills faster in a race, jump higher and even cycle faster. It can also help prevent injuries: stronger, more balanced muscles equals greater stability at joints, more effective and efficient biomechanical relationships and an overall enhanced movement performance.
Still wanting more reasons to try weight training? Well, here are a few more benefits of building muscle
- increase metabolic rate which in turn allows your body to burn calories more efficiently, even at rest
- cut down on cardiovascular stress by reduction of resting blood pressure and heart rate
- increase bone density, thus reducing risk of osteoporosis
- improve strength, power and muscular endurance
- and even help firm up ‘bingo arms’ ‘moobs’ and ‘muffin tops’
If you are still puzzled and your goal is muscle toning, strength building or enhanced physical performance, check out my Customized Workout Blueprint offering at www.garysethi.ca. My team and I will design a one-month or longer program tailored to your personal needs and help you reach your fitness goals. A huge component of the Customized Workout Blueprint is the one-one-one coaching in-person or remote via Skype. In addition, the Custom Workout Blueprint works to include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements to your fitness program and goals.
If you simply would like to ask a question or require more clarification, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org .
ABOUT GARY SETHI
South Asian Sardar Fitness Trailblazer, Gary Sethi is breaking stereotypes. His goal is simple – inspire every South Asian to be healthy and fit, while showcasing South Asian Sardars in a positive light. Within that goal, Gary works to address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements of individual fitness programs. His focus is primarily South Asians – Gary extends his reach to the masses by working one on one with individuals to attain first hand, practical experience about fitness, and what it takes to follow a healthy lifestyle. He strives to maintain the highest standards in developing new and innovative ways to enhance and maintain physical fitness. For more information on Gary Sethi visit www.garysethi.ca
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