So, you’ve finally taken action on your New Year’s resolution of going to an ActiveSG gym (or any gym for that matter). The thing is, going to the gym or starting a fitness regime, in general, is a learning experience. You will make mistakes at the start and, of course, that’s okay. But, there are some mistakes that may affect your progress in the long term without you noticing. So, here are some things you should take note of to keep things smooth during your first months of training.
Work with a trainer
We cannot stress enough how important having a trainer is when you’re just starting out. If you’re going to the gym for the first time, it’s only natural that you’ll feel anxious and intimidated. But having a trainer during those first few sessions will do wonders for your confidence and motivation. The simple idea that you have someone guiding you can be very reassuring. Of course, you will also be taught about the right exercises to do and how to do them correctly. This is important if you want to keep yourself safe from any injuries or accidents in the gym.
Your workout schedule
The thing is, you can always adjust your workout schedule in line with your daily activities. If you can go to the gym 5 times a week, that’s great. If you can only go three times a week, there are also workout plans that can be effective for that! Don’t worry too much about the schedule. What you should be focusing more on is being consistent with your time. Even if you can only go for 3 days a week, be sure to stick with it and not miss a day at all.
Do compound lifts
One of the most common mistakes beginners make is that they only do isolation exercises. Isolation exercises are movements that only involve one particular muscle. If you want to gain more muscle though, you have to focus on the compound movements. Basically, these are exercises that work multiple muscle groups. These are the bench press, deadlift, barbell squat, shoulder press, etc. Because you’re working multiple muscles at the same time, you’re making your workouts much more effective and time-efficient.
The importance of rest and recovery
Let’s say you have enough time to go to the gym for 6 days a week. When it’s your very first time, you’ll usually feel as if you can exercise for hours and days straight. Although that shows your great motivation, you will still need rest periods. If you don’t allow your muscles to rest, you’re beating them up to a point that they might not grow anymore. Plus, it’s during the recovery phase that your body can really maximize muscle growth!