First and foremost, this article is meant for people who are looking for a place to start and seeking out pointers. For people who are looking for a routine, stop reading now, I am only providing some do’s and don’ts based on my personal experience. What works for me, may not necessarily work for you.
Before you start, you should determine what body type you are, there are basically three main body types, ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. The ectomorphs are the hard gainers, small frames, small shoulders and petit muscles (I would consider myself to be in this category when I first started). The mesomorphs are the lucky guys, these are the easy gainers, the hard bodied and naturally athletic people we all strive to become (in the most modest way possible, I would consider myself one of these now). And finally, the endomorphs; these are the bigger guys, big boned, round and soft muscled.
This article is aimed towards the smaller scrawnier guys who are looking to put more muscle and definition onto their frames and get some strength along the way. If you are looking for tips on losing weight, this may not be the article for you. . .however you can still get some pointers on where to start, so it wouldn’t hurt to read.
● Eat properly.
There is a reason why every live fit article you will ever read says the same, its true.
I curbed junk food and excessive drinking when I decided to work out. I know it sounds hard but it becomes habitual once you get into a routine of it, then it becomes second nature for you to avoid bad food. Since carbs are you bodies main energy source, you should eat these in the morning, lots of fruits and vegetables so you burn these throughout the day and stick to meat in the evening, this will give you the protein your body needs to build and repair muscle.
I avoid the typical 3 meals a day, I eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day (on average about 5 or 6). The reason for this is because your metabolism works like a furnace, the more you keep fueling it (with small meals and snacks) the more it burns (fat) and provides energy for you. Also, this is a minor detail that many people miss but CHEW YOUR FOOD! The smaller your food is, the more surface area there is for enzymes to catalyze their breakdown.
● Invest money into it (sort of)
This is kind of misleading but let me explain. You don’t need fancy supplements or pills to get in shape. If you show me a person who takes two pills a day vs. a person who runs two blocks a day I will bet you the latter is more in shape everytime. What I mean by investing money is that I personally found that when I bought supplements such as multi-vitamins and protein I was more motivated to workout simply because I put money towards it and didn’t want it to go to waste.
● Get into a routine and get a partner!
Honestly once you’re into a routine you find yourself out of place when you miss a day of working out. Start early in the day as possible so you get it out of the way and always go on Mondays, this will start you off on the right foot for the rest of the week. Also, workout with a partner if you can, one who is the same strength and fitness level as you preferably and you will motivate and push eachother. Plus it is invaluable to have a spotter on a bench press.
● Do body weight excersices and do a high intensity run to start your workout.
When I first started working out, I could not do a single pull-up or a single dip and this was extremely discouraging but you just need to be persistent and you’ll get yourself above the bar in no time. Your body has this amazing ability to adapt and become stronger as long as you put enough stress on it. Now pull-ups and dips are no problem and I use weights to increase the resistance. I recommend body weight exercises because they don’t target specific muscles but rather groups of muscles together (I always found that the gymnasts were the most defined people in the Olympics) . Also, do a short but intense run to warm up to get your whole body started, don’t get yourself too tired or you’ll be dead for the workout.
Avoid this at all costs, I found that when I did this, there was a lot of just fooling around and talking as opposed to working out. If you can get a group of people that are determined and focused then it wouldn’t be so bad, as long as you can avoid taking long breaks in between in set.
●Avoid machines if you can
This is essential if you want to build muscle. Sure, you can lift more on a machine, but you’re restricted in your movements and you don’t use your stabilizers as much. Also, I’ve been told by a personal trainer that you’re prone to serious injuries using the leg extension machine and squatting on a smith machine. Why go through all the trouble with for fewer gains? Just stick to free weights.
●Don’t Give Up!
Sure when you first start, you can’t lift as much as the regulars at the gym, but everyone had to start at some point. You just need to get over that fear, and trust me, nothing will motivate you more than seeing some gains when you look in the mirror.
●Don’t slack off
I can’t tell you how often I go to the gym and see people just slacking off and not working hard. If you’re at the gym to workout then stay focused and give it everything you’ve got, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
●Don’t stick to a routine
This is important because once you stick to a routine your body adapts and then it plateaus and you don’t get any gains. Change up your exercises often and don’t stick to what you’re comfortable doing, get outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
All in all, this is just my advice and you swallow it how you want, what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone else. In case you’re wondering yes that is me in the picture, I wish I could show you a before picture but trust me, I was tiny. I’m not big but its an improvement!
Writer: Louis Le