- Fitness trainer Fredrick Lugongo says that as a beginner in the gym, the hardest part is knowing what to do.
- When you start exercising, you imagine you can do it on your own, but Lugongo recommends that as a beginner, get a trainer.
When Hellen Atieno decided to join the gym late last year, she was determined to have a toned body.
The journey started with great enthusiasm but the results did not live up to his expectations; achieving the perfect body took longer.
“The laziness slowly started to creep in because I couldn’t see the quick results I had hoped for. And before long, I quit the fitness trail,” she says.
Ezra Oyando, a fitness trainer with Total Fitness Connection in Embakasi, Nairobi, says Ms Atieno’s case is not isolated as the gym can be daunting and overwhelming for a beginner.
He says the expectations of newcomers are high, leading most of them to give up if they don’t see quick results.
Others, Oyando points out, think the journey is easy without understanding that fitness requires 100% commitment.
“Others get bored doing the same activity for a while,” says the trainer, adding that some lack the energy to continue.
Fitness trainer Fredrick Lugongo says that as a beginner in the gym, the hardest part is knowing what to do.
“You’re probably familiar with squats, biceps and push-ups, but the daunting part comes with which exercises to do first or how to do them well,” says Lugongo.
He says that while each person has a different reason for going to the gym, there are some dos and don’ts for a gym newbie to make the fitness journey last.
Get a coach
When you start exercising, you imagine you can do it on your own, but Lugongo recommends that as a beginner, get a trainer.
The trainer will design a training program to help you follow the fitness journey.
The workout plan, he says, will be used as a tool to track your progress. The program will also guide you on how to modify exercises over time.
“The trainer will design a routine that matches your fitness level and your goal,” he says.
Having a meal plan
If bulking is the goal, a beginner should follow a calorie excess meal plan by eating more than the body needs.
This means intake of more protein, fat and carbohydrates, as more energy is needed during exercise while protein and fat are needed to build muscle, along with vegetables and plenty of water.
On the other hand, those who intend to lose weight should stick to fewer servings of food. Opt for a calorie deficit meal plan.
“Don’t eat or cut foods from your diet because your friend is doing the same thing. Most people end up following what other people are doing that isn’t right for their body,” he says.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, or both, Lugonzo says a fitness journey should start by focusing on improving body movement, building endurance and of the force.
A newcomer should start with moderate, low-intensity workouts involving free weights and machines. Free weights include any weights you can pick up and move, such as dumbbells.
“Don’t use the big machines and don’t do intense exercises. Start by building your mobility, fitness and strength before gradually moving on to exercising with weights and using heavy machinery,” he adds.
The first week will be about improving movement and the second week about building endurance and strength by exercising three days a week. Each day, do between 8 and 12 repetitions and three sets.
By week three, a person will have made fitness a habit and prepared their body for the rigors. This involves performing harder and longer exercises while adding more progressive overload, says the Moran Lounge-based trainer in Nairobi.
Low-intensity exercises should last between 30 and 45 minutes then reduce the intensity in the third week before increasing the fourth week to monitor performance.
“Do more low intensity exercises by gradually increasing the intensity, as rushing will put you at risk of injury. Do not rush into training with heavy weights. Also, do not overtrain to minimize the risk of injuries,” warns Mr. Lugongo.
The trainer warns against falling into the trap of only training the muscles you want to develop or those that respond easily to training, or worse, not training certain parts of the body. body because they are intimidating to exercise.
Having a certified trainer, he says, will be able to come up with a comprehensive training program that allows you to hit all major muscle groups in the body and not just focus on one part while undertraining the body. other.
“Aim to do at least three things in your weekly workouts; train the legs, push some weight (and pull some weight).
In terms of reps and sets, he explains that it will depend on the person’s goal. For example, if adding strength and power, building muscle, or improving muscular endurance, the reps will vary from set to set.
“The rehearsals also depend on the exercises you do. Exercises like bench presses and squats are easily trained in low repetition ranges, taxing the body after a few repetitions, while more detailed exercises like shoulder elevations are often better done in sets of 10 to 15 repetitions to protect the joints, “said the trainer.
Mr Lugongo says most newcomers fall into the trap of setting deadlines to start seeing results, not knowing that progress depends on many factors including where you started, age, body type and nutrition of a person.
“Don’t expect to look like a superhero in a month, no matter what the internet or other people say, because building muscle takes time and aesthetics are often the last thing to come.”
He warns that one will also likely experience a plateau which is a stage where you stop seeing rapid changes despite exercise.
“Usually they occur because the body has become too familiar with the current training protocol and needs retraining. Changing the order of exercises, training style, or even the tempo of each repetition can help crush a plateau,” he explains.
Mr. Lugongo recommends getting enough sleep as rest is also part of training in addition to ensuring a balanced diet after exercise as well as sufficient water intake.