My Top 5 Fitness tips for beginners

Starting the gym in 2013 or even in future, then check out my top 5 tips for those starting out.

1 year in the gym. Progress Photos included.

So around this time last year, I realised that I was getting a bit of a belly. I decided that I would start the gym in the new year as my resolution. Although I don’t normally ever stick to my New Years resolution, this was one I was determined to do, due to the fact I didn’t like how I looked.

I started the gym on the first of January and struggled my way through the first month. I was not going to give up no matter how painful it was, and by god it was painful. I’d never felt anything like DOMS. I stuck at it though and before I know it, December is here. It’s been a quick year and I’ve put in the work, so decided to take an updated photo for my end of year comparison. Here are the results.

 

1yeardown 1yearside june-december

 

 

 

Still a got to begin cutting fat and get some definition on the go. I’m very happy so far with the results of this year. I just hope that my progress can be an inspiration to anyone thinking of starting out. It takes time, but it will happen.

 

Roll on 2013

Uh Oh It’s Christmas

Everyone seems to think that this time of year is a terrible time of year to be on a diet due to the amount of food going around. The thing is, that it’s not really the amount of food going around. It’s how much you choose to eat.

You can have an enjoyable christmas without going overboard on the treats. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a few extras here and there. A healthy diet can still include so called “bad foods” now and then. Bad being those foods that everyone associates with gaining weight. As long as these are eaten in moderation, there is nothing wrong with eating what you want any time of the year. The trick is to have them as part of a balanced and healthy eating plan.

One of my big downfalls is Pepperoni Pizza, from the local takeaway. I always seem to have one a week, but I make sure that I’m taking this into account with the rest of my diet for the day. This isn’t a problem at all and my constant improvement in the gym and physical changes in front of the mirror just go to show that me eating rubbish, does not mean that I am going to get fat.

Self-control is needed by anyone on a diet. If you cut out all the bad stuff straight away then you are more likely to fall back into bad habits, where if you eat the bad things in moderation then you’re less likely to relapse.

So relax this christmas and enjoy the time with your family. Enjoy the food going around and have a Merry Christmas. You deserve it after all the hard work you’ve been putting in.

Stronglifts 5×5

Hello folks,

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. Mainly due to being swamped with coursework at uni, but it hasn’t stopped me hitting the gym. 

I’ve recently started a new routine, which is called “Stronglifts 5×5″. It involves only working out 3 days a week with only a variation of 5 exercises.

These are Squats, Bench Press, Military Press, Deadlifts and Bent over Barbell rows. The aim of the workout routine is to increase strength at a constant rate. So you’re always pushing your limits each workout. 

So far I’ve already seen jumps in strength and my body shape is changing along with it. 

It’s a completely different routine to anything I’ve done before as I’m usually hitting only one muscle group per workout, but I absolutely love it. Can’t wait to see how the progression carries on over the coming months. 

 

I’ll post a before and after picture when I’m a few months in. 

 

Let me know if you’ve done 5×5 or anything similar. Post your results too. 

Fad diets and Under-eating.

One of the main things that annoys me in the world of weight loss and fitness, are these fad celebrity diets and under-eating. If you want to lose weight and keep the weight off, keeping the weight off being the important part of this, then you need to make sure you are eating properly and following a good exercise routine and meal plan.

Diets like the “Maple syrup diet” and other similar diets where you starve your body completely of all the essential things it needs in order to function properly are not only useless in the long run, but can be seriously damaging to your health.

Let me go on a bit about why they are useless. These diets are essentially crash diets, where your body will use all the stores of Glycogen and at the same time, water. This tricks your brain into thinking that this diet is the next best thing and you’ll be skinny for the rest of your days now. This is wrong. Mainly because once you stop this “diet” and begin eating normally again, the weight will just pile straight back on, just as quick as it came off. You probably won’t even get rid of any of the fat that you have.

Blunt, but it’s just the truth and this is something that needs to be addressed.

If you are serious about losing weight and keeping the weight off then here are the steps that you need to follow.

You need to work out your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure). This is the amount of calories that your body requires on a normal day at your current activity level to maintain weight.

This can be done using a number of online TDEE tools. A list of which can be found below.

 

Fitness Frog

IIFYM

 

These will allow you to figure out how many calories you will need to maintain your current weight. In order to lose weight at a steady rate (recommended 1lb/week) you should be aiming to eat around 80-85% of this number.

 

A good tool to track your daily calories is the website MyFitnessPal (MFP). They also have a smartphone enabled app which you can download from the App store(iOS) and the Play Store (Android) be sure to log your exercise when you have done so. Also the good news is, that you are allowed to eat back the calories that you’ve burned off. This is one main common confusion amongst dieters. You can and must eat back the calories that you burn at the gym. The estimations that the machines in the gym and that MFP have can be a bit off, so probably best to eat back half of the calories that they are recommending. If you have a heart rate monitor, then these are much more accurate and you can eat a bit closer to the calories that you have burned off at the gym.

 

Now diet alone will not be enough to burn off that fat that you have stored. You will need to exercise too. Now my first BIG BIG tip for this would be for women, do not avoid the weights. 

 

I cannot stress it enough, how all your beliefs and assumptions are wrong. You will not become the female equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Using weights will be more beneficial for you than you could hope for. Although before doing so, be sure to consult a trainer/member of staff at your local gym, in order to learn the proper form and ensure you do not injure yourself.

 

You can find many great workout routines for women online just by doing a google search. Scoobys Workshop is a highly recommended place to start your research. This also applies to men, although you may become like Arnold, if you keep up the weights and diet properly, but that’s not a bad thing.

 

I think I’m beginning to waffle a bit now, but I think I’ve got the point across that I wanted to in the beginning. Any questions then please don’t forget to comment below. I’ll answer every one.

Where are you headed?

Why did you begin working out? Was it for yourself, or because of others around you? What’s your end goal?

There are so many questions that can be asked when someone begins a journey towards getting fit. It could be a number of reasons. Health, self-esteem, career, etc.

My main reason for wanting to get fit is, is because I’m getting older and was letting my body slip into a physique that had no edges, almost like runny cheese. I didn’t want that and it wasn’t where I was expecting my body to be until I looked in the mirror properly one day and realised I was heading there pretty fast.

Here I am 11 months later and still looking slightly runny, but some of the edges are beginning to get some definition, which is fantastic, but I’m still a long way from my final goal. My end goal physique is somewhere between underwear model and fitness model. Not too  big and not too small, with plenty of definition. I’m currently in the middle of a bulk, although I may have to cut it short as my BF% is beginning to get a bit too high.

I did recently take another update photo, I say update photo, but I really just use it as an excuse to have a good pose in front of the camera. I still feel somewhat small, but others say that I’m not. It most probably is all psychological as I know I’ve come a long way from where I was before I started. It’s just a long road and I can’t really see the end of it yet. Although in saying that who knows if I ever will see the end, as this is now a journey that I’ve started and probably will continue for the rest of my life.

Here is said posing photo for those who are interested in my current progress.

I haven’t blogged in a while….

and to be honest, I don’t really know why. I’ve kind of gotten a bit sidetracked recently from the whole blogging thing. I am still checking on here though, but just haven’t really had anything to write, so I’ll tell you whats been happening since I last wrote on here.

 

This week I started a new workout split as I felt my old one had got a bit stagnant and wasn’t doing as good as it should be. Although that could be down to my work rate. Anyway I decided a new split was worth giving a go. My new split is as follows : -

 

Monday – Chest and Triceps

Tuesday – Back and Biceps

Wednesday – Legs and Abs

Thursday – Chest and Biceps

Friday – Back and Biceps

Sun & Sat – Rest

 

You may be thinking that it’s relatively similar to my previous split and to be honest it is. The main difference is that I’m now doing my chest and back twice during the week, and also minimised my rest periods between sets to 90 seconds maximum and I’m not going to lie, I have left that gym sweating every day since I began and had the sorest DOMS, for months. In fact it’s the only DOMS I’ve had in months. So something must be working, right?

The bad part to this week is, that I seem to have developed a self-diagnosed Tendinitis. What’s that you say? It’s sore that’s what, or at least if that is what I actually have then it’s sore. The pain sort of stems from the inner part of my elbow joint and spreads down through my forearm to my fingers and up my upper arm to my shoulder. It’s most uncomfortable and seems to be much worse when I actually try to sleep. For the time being that seems to be me resorting to Ibuprofen, Ice and immobility in my left arm for the next four days. Not very fun, when I’m 3 days into a new 5 day routine, but I suppose resting is better than making it worse.

 

Fingers are crossed I’ll be back in the gym in no time, and I’ll make sure to get some new content up here for you as soon as.

 

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