Here's How To Get Started
First, have a goal. Do you want to tone, shape,
or build? Understand the main muscle groups of the body and work
them all using basic exercises.
Forget supplements and get to the gym and train
hard! Stop with the excuses: I don't have time. I'm too tired.
There are no good gyms near me. Get motivated now.
Setting Realistic Goals
The first thing I will say about a goal is to
have one! The book, The One Minute Manager, states, "Goals
begin behaviors." Changing your behavior starts with thinking
about your goals, and writing them down. What results do you expect
from your weight training program?
The second thing about goals is to be realistic!
Trying to get into shape one week before vacation is not realistic.
It takes time, planning, and hard work. Setting unrealistic goals
can quickly result to disappointment. If you work hard, put in
the time, and change your eating habits, you will succeed.
Once you have set your realistic goal, know
how you are going to get there. The only way to do this is by
planning. Get your planner out right now! If you don't have one
gets one and right this down:
Plan on joining a gym or purchasing
Inquire about a personal trainer.
Plan the days and times to get to the gym.
Plan your workouts. What are you going to do
once you get to the gym?
Plan your meals.
Regardless of your fitness goals, keeping track
of your workouts and food intake is a crucial step in reaching
your fitness goals. Don't just think that you are going to wing
it! Telling yourself you plan to go to the gym or telling yourself
you will start eating right won't cut it.
Keeping an exercise log and food diary will
be a constant reminder of your goals. It will help you get to
the gym and eat write. It will help you plan and modify your workouts
and food intake to help you reach your goals. For example, if
you want to lose weight, you need to know how many calories you
consume and the allocation of those calories to help modify your
Let's say by keeping a food diary you find that
your current caloric intake is 2500 calories and 40% of those
calories are from fat. You would have never known this if you
didn't write it down. Now you know what you have. Now you need
to change it. Now you can use a food diary to reduce the number
of fat calories you consume.
Keeping a Food Diary
Plan your meals by documenting the times of
your meals, the number of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and
fat you plan to consume in a food diary. Budget your calories
by evenly allocating them throughout the day. For example, you
have budgeted 2000 calories for the day and scheduled five meals
with the last meal at 8:00 p.m. You should have a good idea that
no meal should exceed 400 calories: (400 calories * 5 meals =
Allocating Your Calories
The general consensus among the nutritionists
and bodybuilders is that carbohydrates should make up about 60%
to 70% of your calories. That leaves only 30% to 40% to allocate
for protein and fat. The allocation of protein and fat is controversial.
To maintain my physique, I currently consume
about 65% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 10% fat.The government
recommends a breakdown of 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and
30% fat. As you can see, we are close with carbohydrates, but
not with protein and fat.
Carbohydrates and protein
Count the number of grams of carbohydrates and
protein you have consumed in one day.
Multiply each gram of carbohydrate
or protein by four.
Divide the product by the total number of calories
Multiply by 100
For example:I usually consume
about, 2000 calories a day, 300 grams of carbohydrates, 125 grams
of protein, and 20 grams of fat.
325 grams X 4 calories = 1300 calories
1300 2000 = .65
.65 X 100 = 65%
125 grams X 4 calories = 500 calories
5002000 = .25
.25 X 100 = 25%
Multiply each gram of fat by 10.
Divide the product by the total number of calories consumed.
Multiply by 100
20 grams X 10 = 200 calories
2002000 = .10
.10 X 100 = 10%
Now, if you find that you are consuming 4000
calories and consuming 150 grams of fat, you better start making
some changes regardless of your fitness goals! Because consuming
4000 calories a day for most people is excessive unless you are
an offensive lineman for the New York Giants. And consuming 150
grams of fat per day will make you fat regardless of your occupation!
Keeping an Exercise Log
Keeping track of the weights you use, sets and
reps performed, days you work out, can be very difficult. That's
why it's important to keep track of all this information using
an exercise log. Ask any bodybuilder or fitness expert about the
importance of logging progress in order to reach goals.
Planning your workouts entails developing a
tentative training schedule for each week, knowing what body parts
to train every workout, and the exercises to perform, before you
get into the gym! I say tentative because you never know what
may happen during the week to throw off your training schedule.
Weekly Training Schedule
Planning workouts ensures that all body parts
are worked at least once a week and that the muscles to be trained
are grouped logically for best results. For example I don't recommend
training chest and shoulders in the same workout. Trying to train
shoulders after a heavy chest workout can be very difficult.
This can result in overtraining the shoulders
because the shoulders get a lot of work from chest exercises.
Training legs and back in the same workout can be very taxing
on the lower back. The last thing in the world you want to do
is injure yourself. The following charts show examples of a three-day
weekly training schedule, to ensure efficient and safe workouts.
|Chest & Biceps
||Back & Triceps
||Shoulders & Legs
You do not have to take a day rest between your
workouts if you are not training the same bodyparts. For example:
Chest & Biceps
Back & Triceps
Shoulders & Legs
You can do it anyway you want, workout two days
in a row, take a day rest and then continue the following day.
It doesn't really matter, as long as you consistently get to the
gym three days. The better you plan, and the more consistent you
are with the days you plan to workout, the more likely you will
get to the gym and reach your goal. If you can only devote two
days to weight training, you could then train the entire body
in two days. For example:
What you're actually doing in all these examples
is training each body part only once a week. Each workout should
not take more than 45 minutes to one hour. Abdominal exercises
could be included in all three workouts, unless they are still
sore from the previous workout. The abdominal muscles recover
faster than any other muscles in the body. They tighten and contract
every time you sneeze, laugh, talk, exercise, and during other
activities we all take for granted. Three days per week for abdominals
is more than sufficient. Besides, a washboard stomach is attained
only through strict dieting.
For all the reasons mentioned, I have made available,
the Exercise Log & Food Diary with Calorie Counter to help
you keep track of your workouts and food intake. I used it to
prepare for my bodybuilding contests throughout the years. In
addition to providing space to record your food intake and exercise
it also includes a calorie counter in the back along with a notes
page. For the exercise log part, you can record the aerobic activity
that you performed, the number of calories burned, distance, and
the time you planned or worked or both.
For the Weightlifting section, record the muscles
you plan to work in the section labeled Muscles Worked. You can
write down the exercises you plan to perform first and then record
the weights, reps, sets as you go along. This way you know exactly
what exercises to perform without wasting any time deciding what
to do. Or you can keep a separate list of exercises you plan on
doing in the Notes section and then write hem down as you go along.
This adds some flexibility because if you planned
to perform flat bench presses for chest and all the flat benches
are being used, you can perform and record incline bench presses
instead, or whatever alternate exercise you decide to perform.
Always keep alternative exercises in mind or on paper. Do something
else! I perform exercises that most others don't such as dips,
pullups, and squats, rather the bench presses, pulldowns and leg
extensions. I don't ever remember waiting to perform any of these