Beginners! Stop overcomplicating Resistance training!
Dara Singh Handa
I was going through my old pics few day ago and caught hold of pics from my initial training years. We were a group of motivatedyoung guys who eventually became great friends. Looking at the pics I realised that all of us were able to put on good amount of muscle and were pretty strong. We hardly knew much about training and nutrition but still we managed to get big and strong within couple of years. All we knew was that we need to have enough protein and work hard in the gym. This made me thing about the current trend. Beginners are soo obsessed with the right program, right diet, right clothes, right shoes, right shaker, right supplement, right gym accesories and what not. This obsession is shifting their focus towards the flashy stuff than the core principles of which set them on a path towards their primary goal. Below are few points to keep in mind as a beginner. 1. There are no magical workout programs! No matter how much a pro Bodybuilder or a celebrity wants to advertise the benefits of their program, no workout is magical in terms of fatloss or muscle gain. Stop finding one and start learning the basics of strength training. In simple terms learn basic compund lifts and some isolation exercises and get stronger in them without fatiguing yourself too much. 2. There is no ideal reps and set combination Stop wasting your time trying to figure out the ideal sets and reps to do. You can do few sets a week and grow and if you like do some more. Just makesure that you don't do soo much that you end up being very sore and unable to improve your lifts overtime. You can grow doing 6-8 reps and you can also grow doing 15-20 or more reps. The point is to overtime improve in the chosen rep range. Doing more sets and rep doesn't always ensure a better workout. Makesure your sets you do takes you closer to failure and not to the actual point of failure where you can't move your limb. 3. Training more number of days is not always good. When you train you create microscopic tears to your muscle fibres and also fatigue your central nervous system. When they recover you improve your performance and your muscle mass increases microscopically. The recovery abilities of a newbie is lesser as compared to a seasoned athelete. So before you stretch your limits trying to fit in an athelete's shoe and burn out before you make substantial progess, makesure to try a program that's sustainable and improves your performance overtime. You may choose to train 6 days a week or 3 days a week and still make progress if you don't overdo. 4. Get in terms with soreness Soreness is an indicator of local tissue damage and one should be able to distinguish between sharp pinching pain and muscle soreness. With time the soreness reduces and you get used to a movement and intensity. To avoid soreness, as a beginner, don't try and push yourself too much too early. Start challenging more in the 2nd or 3rd week. However you will experience some soreness always and that's good. Sooner or later you'll start loving the feeling of being sore the next day. 5. There are no magical exercises The purpose of resistance training exercises is to load a muscle through the maximum range of motion it can go through comfortably and get stronger in that range. A body part with its combination of joint, legaments, tendons, muscle and bones can only attain a certain range of motion. No matter how fancy an exercise looks, it can only work on a muscle in the max range of motion a muscle can attain. You may see many people boasting about the benefits of a certain exercise and no exercise is magical . As long you are targeting all basic movement patterns of a humans body, you can use a variety of exercises and see benefits if you progress in them. 6. Enjoy the Process Let's say that you found a magical workout. Let's say it has the ability to magically change you. But you can't follow it even for a week because it's too hard on your or it's too lengthy for your schedule or you don't enjoy it at all! What will happen? That magical workout will practically be of no use. While resistance training has many benefits and should be included in one's workout routine, there are endless ways in which you can make it suit your preference. You don't have to stick by something just because a so called fitness celeb or coach has laid down. Pick exercises which targets all the basic body movements and improve in them. Enjoy the process. Reduce the sets if you feel it's too much or increase if you feel it's too less. Enjoy what you are doing or find something you enjoy but overtime you should improve or get stronger in your chosen set of exercises and schedule. Don't be too early to judge a schedule too soon. Maybe you are too lazy at the start. Be smart and judge wisely.