The beginning of the journey towards a stronger you
When you first start your training journey, it is important to note a few things. First of all, what do you eat? Is this the right kind of food you eat? In addition, how often do you train? How do you train and does the training reflect your goals? And last but not least, the diet. Do you get your needs met when you need it?
Let’s take it step by step.
what do you eat and how does it affect your training and your progress?
Most people who start exercising do so because they want to see change and feel better, get better health, look better or increase their sports performance.
When you start something new, it is important to understand why you are starting out at all. You need to clarify what it is you want and why you want to achieve it. Next, you need to consider the lifestyle factors that have led you to where you are now. 90% of the time, diet will be the biggest culprit.
Correct the shortcomings of your diet and you are halfway to the goal. At the very basic level, one should try to follow a balanced diet and get enough of the 3 macronutrient units: protein, fat and carbohydrate. In the beginning, increase your protein intake with the help of real food or protein supplements, but do not forget about the healthy fats and carbohydrates. If you have just started exercising, it is important to replenish the depots regularly – your body is in a state of stress to begin with and it is important to have a proper diet so that you can recover optimally.
How often should you train?
There are no set rules for training frequency, but it depends on your desire for changes and lifestyle factors such as jobs and social obligations. In the beginning, while the motivation is high, we recommend exercising as often as possible. During this shock phase in the beginning, the body will quickly adapt to the increased training stimulus – this does not mean that you will necessarily see immediate results – but your body will get used to the new movement patterns and become more effective at them.
Although we encourage a lot of exercise, it is also important to understand the importance of recovery. A good rule of thumb is to rest 1-2 days a week. You can change this as needed and according to your program / progress, but it is important to be sensible in the beginning. If you skip rest days, you risk hitting training plateaus where your training progress stops. Sleep is also extremely important, as this is where the body and central nervous system get a chance to “reboot” and repair themselves.
So train hard, but listen to your body!
How do you train?
A common mistake many people make is the choice of exercises. As with diet, different exercises have a different effect in the body. So it is important to make the right choices when it comes to training.
If your goal is fat loss , then it is best to do a combination of strength training (multi-joint exercises) and HIIT. Not only will this kickstart your metabolism, but multi-joint exercises also activate more muscle fibers, meaning your body works harder during exercise (compared to isolation exercises). Leave magazines, newspapers and phones at home so you are not distracted from reaching your goals!
Diet for fat loss
Diet is the key to fat loss, so do not throw away all your hard work in the gym, by being lazy or eating food you should not. Simple carbs are the enemy in this game, so avoid sweets, sweets, sodas and alcohol. Instead, try eating real food made from good ingredients from scratch.
If your goal is to increase fitness for endurance sports , then you should focus on a mix of cross-training with running, cycling and rowing for example. You can start with volume progressions (distance) and then incorporate intensity variations. HIIT has also been shown to be an advantage in endurance athletes, but you can advantageously work on the basic form before you start incorporating advanced techniques. If you do strength training, then medium-to-high number of repetitions will be most effective in building muscle endurance (over 15 repetitions). Multi-joint exercises are still most effective – you use several muscles at the same time and affect the respiratory system in the same way as during a run.
Diet for endurance sports
With any type of endurance training, it is important to refill the glucose stores. Glucose is stored in the liver and in the muscles of humans. Without the necessary nutrition or the right supplements to optimize replenishment, the body will have difficulty recovering quickly, which manifests itself in prolonged muscle soreness and lower training intensity in subsequent workouts – not to mention a tendency to get sick more often.
If your goal is muscle growth , then it is best to address the weights. When you start exercising, do not be overconfident! Start with a weight you can easily lift. If you can not lift 8-12 repetitions at a given weight with good shape, then you end up hurrying slowly and achieving poorer results in the long run. You also do not want to be the guy who lies and worms around on the bench and has obviously chosen a too heavy weight. Leave the ego at home, increase the weight every week and build a solid foundation on which you can then build.
Focus on exercises such as: Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Deadlift, Squat. Each of these lifts trains the whole body and will slam kg on the bar and body as quickly as possible.
We recommend full-body training, especially at the beginning of one’s training career. As the weight of the bar increases, one can consider a training split – Bench Press and Deadlift on Monday, Shoulder Press and Squats on Tuesday for example.
Isolation exercises like Bicep Curls, Lateral Raises and abdominal exercises can be put at the end of a workout. They are good to finish on, but start with the heavy multi-joint exercises.
Diet for muscle growth
Diet is again the key to optimal muscle growth. It is important to eat enough protein – the type of protein at this time is not so important, but Whey Protein Powder is popular after exercise and Casein Protein Powder is a popular choice before bedtime.
For some, getting bigger can be a problem. An easy way to solve this is by increasing your calorie intake by consuming more carbohydrates. The combination of proteins and carbohydrates after exercise has been shown to increase recovery and protein synthesis (the method the body rebuilds muscles after exercise).
All-in-one products like Informed Mass are a great start for beginners who want to be bigger as it combines a range of key ingredients like protein, carbohydrate and important amino acids like BCAAs and glutamine.