Are you making these 5 Mistakes When Starting Out On a New Training Program?
Posted on 15th February 2016 at 10:40
This week’s article concentrates on how to ensure that you get the most out of any new training program.
When people start a new training program, at the beginning of their fat loss journey, it’s normally because they have seen some inspiration online. They eagerly search-out Person X’s exercise program and away they go. A few weeks later they’re frustrated that they still don’t look like Person X.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know that I’m a firm believer in nutrition being central to changing your body composition and creating the body you desire. However, there is only so much nutrition alone can achieve, and the time will arrive when you need to hit the gym to get the most out of your body.
I recently wrote an article explaining how to become comfortable in a gym environment, a place that can often be very intimidating to the gym novice.
Today I’ll outline the top 5 mistakes to avoid when starting out a new training program.
1) The program isn’t designed for you. This is a big one. Person X who you want to look like, didn’t start out looking like how they do today (In most cases). It’s important to recognise that they’re in a different place to you, both with respect to training age (the years they’ve been training) and also their understanding of their body and, in particular, what it does and doesn’t respond to.
Sadly I see this too often with new clients when they show me their current training program; both men and women hand over a generic plan from a bodybuilding site that is designed for body builders. You are not a body builder! (yet)
Women and men’s programs need to be different. For example men want big traps to get that nice full look to their top half, while women generally don’t want to be looking at big traps in the mirror. Men want a nice big chest, women by nature normally have a big chest region and tend to ‘hunch forward’ and round their shoulders because of this. My female clients very rarely train the chest region, working instead on posture and pulling their chest open. Want to gain an inch in height? That’s how!
There is also individual needs for each women and man which their training program needs to take into consideration and account for. The bottom line is get a program tailored for you, your body and how you want to look, and you will notice the difference.
2) You start off doing too much too soon. When you first start a program you need to ease yourself into it. I didn’t say take it easy! Time and time again I see people doing 25-30 sets per workout for 1 body part. They then go and do 30 minutes cardio. This is way too much.
Training intensity is a tool that you use to help illicit a fat loss response. In the beginning I suggest doing big bang for your buck exercises. Train them hard and do them well. That’s all the intensity you need. If you are starting out with crazy high training intensity, spending 3 hours in the gym, where do you go from there? In the beginning keep the sessions 45- 60 minutes long.
3) Not knowing the machines. I’ve written about this previously, but it’s key. If you want an intense workout, you need to know what you are doing before you go into the gym. You may be the kind of person who likes to ‘wing it’ in life. If that’s how you want to be then that’s fine, but I promise your fat loss and training will suffer and you may sustain an injury in the process. Don’t be that person who is unprepared. With all of today’s technology, it doesn’t take much to go on YouTube and spend 10 minutes looking up the exercises in your program.
4) You don’t keep a training log. How can you track your progress if you don’t have a benchmark? I make all my clients keep a training log, and I check through it regularly, especially online client. If you stay with the same weight on the same machine for 2 weeks at the beginning of a training program then something is seriously wrong.
Each week you should be seeing progress. If you start off at the correct weight and don’t lift above your means, you should see your strength steadily increase session after session. This doesn’t necessarily mean upping the weight, it maybe you get 1 more rep or create more tension.
5) You don’t track your rest period. This goes back to setting a benchmark for yourself to track your progress. You may initially need 120 seconds between sets. But as you progress you’ll notice that you can go again after 45seconds. Writing this down and tracking your recovery, is another way of tracking your progress. Progress does not always mean a weight increase. 120 seconds may seem like a long time, but if you literally can’t breathe, then why go after 45? Your set will suck and you will get nothing out of it. Train smart!
Tracking your rest also helps keep the intensity of your session high. If you have 60 seconds rest, it means you have 60 seconds. This will make you a lot less likely to start taking gym-selfies, and help you actually stay focused and present in the training program you are doing.
What little tips have you learned when it comes to starting a new training program?
I’d love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or on the Facebook post for this article.
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