Starting in the gym: what difficulties
Getting started in the gym is a bit difficult for everyone, especially for complete newbies (or gym newbies). Even those who, despite boasting a fair seniority in training, return after a long absence from the weight room may find themselves disoriented.
What makes the protocol “difficult” is that, on balance, the protocol itself is missing; that is, you start training without having clear what the objectives are, as well as the phases of planning and annual programming. This is a fundamentally wrong approach, because it increases the risk of quickly losing motivation and determination (becoming a so-called “droput”). Starting the gym riding the wave of enthusiasm, without paying attention to details and excluding awareness and clarity, can therefore prove to be a double-edged sword.
On the contrary, it is crucial to create an “annual plan”, establishing what condition I would like to reach 365 days starting from today – therefore the relative “period” objectives – as well as establishing the “periodic program” of each phase – therefore, the systems or methods trainers to follow according to the aforementioned objectives. All of this, of course, can be corrected in the operational phase.
Conversely, in a situation of lack of planning and scheduling, many people tend to “push ahead” and start a training model that is completely unsuitable for their training level – often too demanding. This is because, regardless of the condition reached at the time of the interruption, what is authentic is the “present”. Hypertrophy and strength are characteristics that tend to fade away very quickly, and the greater the progress achieved over time, the faster they will go away. This involution, fortunately, is not linear and tends to slow down as one approaches the basal condition. Therefore, a highly trained subject, if on the one hand he will quickly lose the results that he was most difficult to achieve, it will take a long time to return to “
Competitiveness (with oneself or with others), which for many is the very essence of the workout, can also lead to excessively speeding up the increase in loads, the difficulty of the exercises or the complexity of the system. In addition to the risk of non-compliance, there is therefore the danger of injury, which itself is a very frequent cause of early abandonment; let us not forget that small tendon and joint damage are those that, in the chronic, can give rise to complications even of considerable discomfort.
Based on what has been anticipated, it is therefore obvious that even the simple start of training is of crucial importance, not only in the short term, but also in the long and very long term.
In the next paragraph we will try to better understand “how to do it”, therefore how to start the gym, giving a few examples of exercises and training schedules.
How to do
Getting started in the gym: how to do it
The first thing to do to start the gym is to free yourself from the guesswork and false myths from day one by arranging a meeting with a member of the fitness staff; in the case of home fitness, it will be necessary to contact a personal trainer.
Note : after choosing it carefully, it is advisable to fully rely on your coach. Better to avoid proposing workouts that friends or acquaintances suggest, just as it would be desirable not to question the method or make controversy about any unwanted results – especially women, they tend to repudiate the increase in muscle mass, convinced to achieve in just three months volumes comparable to those of a body building; let’s not forget that hypertrophy is the basis of body remodeling.
Secondly, it is good to clarify the logistics of the gym and the operation of certain machines. Better to get some demonstrations on the use of the equipment considered indispensable right away, perhaps by means of an introductory session.
On the basis of the objectives, the time has come to build planning and first programming; this aspect, even though it seems to be the responsibility of the coach or personal trainer, requires the total participation of the person concerned. Everyone, of course, has their own goal.
You now have total training autonomy. At this stage, one of the essential keys to properly start training in the gym is to “not overdo it”. Very difficult for the “more possessed”, the trick of going slowly is crucial to avoid what is specified in the previous paragraph. A good tip is to divide the start-up into three phases:
- Technical learning
- Consolidation and introduction of loads
- Increased loads, but without reaching muscle or metabolic exhaustion.
Respecting this didactic-performance progression, from 3 to 6 months can pass; rarely up to a year.
Having patience, especially in the third phase, is a crucial device for leveling up. Advancing too fast can lead, in addition to increased risks, to the collection of incorrect data and equally incorrect subsequent programming. Regardless of the currents of thought, in fact, it is undeniable that to “grow” or “adapt” muscularly it is necessary to “super-compensate”. This is based on the reconstruction and structural increase of overused tissues with the workout. Excessive stressors are to be avoided, because they do not allow to overcompensate between one stimulus and another, to the disadvantage of technical learning, consolidation, caloric expenditure, etc. In fact, in neophytes, it can be deduced that the permanence of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) beyond certain temporal limits is completely independent from the adaptation process. Ergo, by exaggerating with weights, the muscles can hurt even for 8-9 days, although the super-compensation was completed in half the time; Needless to say, the more time passes between this moment and the next stimulus, the slower progress will be.
Useful tips for starting the gym
Below we will summarize some useful, almost fundamental, tips to start and continue training in the gym:
- Fun: The most important thing about training is different. Especially at the beginning, it is essential to let personal taste and interest guide the sessions, not what “needs to be done”
- Having a plan: we have already said that, it is essential from the beginning. Knowing what to do will prevent you from wandering aimlessly or feeling disoriented, losing motivation. In the absence of a personal trainer, programming and planning are paradoxically even more important
- Focus the exercises: the accuracy of the sets and repetitions is not a priority, while it is to understand the type of exercise and its function. For the most part, it is sufficient to be clear that a workout is structured, for example, as follows: 20 ‘of cardio exercises for cardiovascular warm-up, 15’ of strengthening exercises (mostly multiarticular calisthenics, i.e. free body and that move more segments of the body) and 10 ‘of cool down. Repeating an exercise for the legs of the day before because we do not remember the execution of the one today is not essential. The details will come over time
- Do not exaggerate: on this point too we have been quite clear. Training hard every day from the beginning killing yourself, and then giving up, is totally useless
- Training must become a lifelong habit: there is no beginning and end. It is therefore necessary to avoid spending weeks or worse months of inactivity. Rather, it can be useful to build short and easy training sessions, which can be respected even in moments of low motivation, physical energy, economic or time resources. Rather than give up, you do cardio to sweat but without exhaustion, lift weights just to keep you up
- The training load can increase in volume rather than intensity. At the beginning, it is better to go to the gym 5 times a week for 40 ‘, rather than 2 times for two hours, exhausting the muscles that will hurt for at least ten days.
The exercises to start in the gym should be the most important ones. Below we will divide the cardio exercises from the strengthening ones.
Cardio exercises to start in the gym
They can be divided into executions that require fitness machines or not. We will avoid mentioning aerobic activities that do not require fitness machines (running, cycling, skipping, walking, etc.) and we will focus on those that require specific equipment:
- Treadmill or treadmill: Typically, using this conveyor belt requires very little skill and presents a minimal chance of error. The easiest way to get started is to press the “Quick Start” button. Once started, you can adjust the speed and incline using the “+” and “-” buttons on the manual setting. It is a good idea to start with a walking pace, and then get to know the more challenging settings
- Exercise Bike: You don’t need to have balance skills, just put your feet down and start pedaling. You may need to adjust the seat height, which is typically done by pulling the latch knob, raising or lowering the steerer, then reinserting the latch knob. You can adjust the resistance or try your hand at predetermined routes
- Spinbike: It is similar to the exercise bike, but has a different resistance system. Generally used for spinning, it can be a valid alternative
- Elliptical: it is one of the most complicated pieces of cardio equipment, because the movement does not imitate anything real. In reference to the movement of the legs, it is a cross between a treadmill and an exercise bike; the arms, on the other hand, move two sticks that should simulate Nordic walking sticks
- Stair Climber: This machine can appear as a series of steps or in a more compact manner, with two pedals and some static handles. The weight of the body sets the steps in motion; however, you need to set a schedule or press the quik start button to make the stairs move faster
- Excite: allows you to move only the arms with a circular motion, similar to that performed by the maneuvers of sailing boats. The movement can be forward or backward. The body position is most often sitting.
Weight room exercises to start in the gym
To begin, it is necessary to learn the best calisthenics exercises, or bodyweight, some of which can later also make use of overload:
- For buttocks and thighs: squat or squat, lunges, leaps, jumps (of all kinds)
- For pecs, triceps and anterior delts: push ups with all holds and inclinations
- For the back, biceps and posterior deltoids: pull-ups on the bar, with all grips and widths
- For the abs: crunches, sit-ups, plank, side bridge and torso twists
- For the lumbar: hyperextension of the bust.
Secondly, it is essential to learn the movements (chest presses, rows, lat pulldowns, leg presses, etc.) of the most important strength machines:
- For glutes and thighs: horizontal press or oblique, leg extension, leg curl and gluteus machine
- For pectorals, triceps and anterior deltoids: chest press machine, pectoral machine
- For the back, biceps and rear delts: lat pulldowns machine, pulley, vertical row
- For the abdominals: abdominal machine.
Note : it is essential to assume a good starting position, which is why they are equipped with locking knobs for adjusting the height of the seat or back. The load is adjusted by moving a pin on the pile of weighted tiles, or by loading and unloading the cast iron discs in the appropriate housing.
Immediately after, the movements to be performed at the Ercolina, a machine equipped with pulleys and cables. This allows to isolate, or almost, the muscular action, even involving only one joint. Some exercises are:
- Feathers and pectorals: crocs other, basse e medium ai cavi
- For the triceps: high cable push down
- For the biceps: low cable curl
- For the central delts: lateral raises to the lower cables
- For the anterior deltoids: front raises to the low cables
- For the posterior deltoids: 90 ° crosses to the lower cables
- For the back: various pull dowms similar to those performed on the lat pulldowns machine
The load is adjusted by moving a pin on the stack of weighted tiles.
Finally, exercises with free weights, especially dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells; other resistances consist of rubber bands, medicine balls, training bags, etc. In the opinion of many, they are the most effective but also the most difficult to perform correctly because they require stabilization.
It is advisable to switch to overloads only when, for each calisthenics exercise, you are able to perform at least 20 bodyweight reps. In the beginning, it is better to focus on the quality of the movement rather than the load.
Free weights can replace most of the movements performed on the cables, with differences in the stabilization capacity and the maximum tension reached in the various angles of the joints.