At this time of year, many people are buying up gym memberships and taking the first steps toward getting in shape. The gym can be an intimidating place for newcomers. Everyone else is moving from workout to workout efficiently and everyone seems to know what they’re doing. What’s their secret?
The fact is, we’ve all been beginners at one time. Learning to how build a workout plan is one of the most important early skills a person can build. You want to maximize your efficiency, while also ensuring you get a whole-body workout that isn’t neglecting any aspect.
This week, we’re going to share some easy tips for building a workout plan that’s suited to YOUR needs. Please note, we won’t be recommending individual exercises as there are infinite possibilities for exercises, reps and other considerations. If you’re looking for this type of guidance, Contact Us and we’ll be happy to assist with assessing your fitness needs.
Step 1. Understanding Everyone is Different
A common way people get started is by adopting a workout plan used by a more experienced gym goer. While this is fine, it neglects an important fact about fitness – we all have a unique body with unique needs. The most effective workouts are ones tailored around a person’s age, goals, nutritional strategy and free time. Before you begin, you need to figure out what you’re hoping to achieve by working out. Are you looking to lose weight? Become more fit? Maybe you’re looking to build muscle mass? The goal you’re seeking will have a huge impact on the workout plan you put together.
Step 2. Consistency is Key
There’s a hump that nearly all gym goers need to get over. It typically comes after a few weeks, when you’ve been going to the gym regularly but you haven’t begun to see a tangible impact. This is the point at which many people fail and slip back into their old lifestyle. It can’t be stressed how important it is to push past this feeling and keep going. The positive effects are just around the corner and the destination is more than worth the journey. Keep going, keep working hard and the results will come in time. Soon, you’ll have formed the gym going habit and the positive reinforcement loop will keep you coming back.
Step 3. Rest is Vital
When you’re embracing the fitness grind it can be hard to convince yourself to take a day off. The truth is, rest days aren’t just recommended, they’re vital to making progress and resisting injury. Ensure you’re scheduling adequate rest days. This is the time your body heals and muscle builds. Individuals who don’t assign days to rest are stunting their own progress and creating an environment where injury can happen. Personally, I enjoy assigning Monday as a rest day. This is often the busiest day of the week at the gym and skipping it altogether helps to avoid sweating over the availability of particular machines or equipment.
Step 4. Don’t Forget to Stretch
Once you’ve completed your workout, resist the temptation to head straight home. No workout is complete without stretching. Not only will stretching help you feel less sore the next day, it improves blood circulation and aids flexibility. As anyone who practices yoga can attest, it also relaxes your mood and relieves stress. Start by stretching the muscles you worked out and pay attention to any muscles or joints that feel like they need extra attention. The process of building muscle involves us tearing our muscles and knitting them back together bigger than before. Stretching ensures these new connections don’t constrict your range of motion over time.
Ready to Help
Whether you need help treating injury, or are looking to put together a killer workout program, VanCity Physio is standing by to assist. To find out more, or book an appointment, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.