Everyone walks into the gym a little wet behind the biceps but here’s your cheat sheet for looking like a seasoned pro from your very first entrance.
DO: Keep Busy
Resting between sets is necessary but rather stretch and keep busy – not socialise.
DON'T: Try To Spot Reduce Fat
It doesn’t work no matter how much effort you put in. Hundreds of sit-ups cannot forge steel cut abs, rather, pay attention to your diet and exercise your entire body intensely.
DO: Use Free Weights
Machines put your body on power saving mode, but easy-does-it never earned anyone gains. Yes, free weights will make your workout tougher, but the rewards are worth it.
DON'T: Rush Your Reps
There’s no prize for finishing first. Rather make your reps slow and deliberate, which will ensure you’re lifting with correct form. That’s no excuse to loiter, so keep your workout short and your sets longwinded.
DO: Work Your Biggest Muscles First
Moves that target your biggest muscles are the most taxing on your body so shoot for personal bests when you’re fresh rather than at the end of the workout when tired.
DON'T: Use The Same Routine For More Than 12 Weeks
Most athletes adapt to a new routine in roughly 4 weeks, but novice lifters continue to make gains on the same routine for up to 3 months. When your gains slow, your body has adapted to your workout and craves a new challenge in the form of a fresh workout. Remember: progress comes from forced adaptability.
DO: Laugh At The Notion Of: "No Pain, No Gain"
Pain is your body saying stop. Push through it and you’re likely to get injured. As you learn your limits, you’ll discover how much pain you can put yourself in before you’re at risk, but be sure take it easy when you’re first starting out.
DON'T: Hold Your Breath
Breathe in on the lowering phase of a lift and out on the working portion of a lift. This might vary from exercise to exercise, but on a whole the worst thing you can do is come away panting when you’ve only done 5 reps. Your body craves oxygen - use it.
DO: Check Your Ego At The Reception Desk
Using too much weight, using poor form or going at it too intensely are very fine ways of making sure you’re too sore the following day to make a repeat visit. Getting fit and staying that way is not a 3-month pursuit – it’s a life long goal so treat it as such by pacing yourself.