Most of the gym beginners do not exactly know which workout they should follow to start with. They do not even know whether to do only cardio, or only weight training or a combination of both. Some straight away go for functional training. Here comes the confusion of what to follow and what not to follow. Some even think since I have more mass on upper body as compared to lower body, so I should focus more on upper body and ignore the lower body. Few may think let’s do only abs everyday as I need to reduce more from waistline. Few are not even aware of how much time they should be spending in gym everyday. What are the warm up exercises that they should be doing. Or how important is the warm up activity. How important is cool down and stretching to finish the workout.
All in all, here we discuss the basic questions and confusions for gym beginners. Remember, all points require equal attention.
Basic questions and confusions for gym beginners
1) How much time should be spent in gym daily
For gym beginners it gets confusing to figure out how much time is ideal to spend in gym everyday. Now according to general guidelines, 45 minutes is good enough time. Again there is no harm in going up to 60-70 minutes as well if you may take more rest in between sets initially. Also on days when you are doing only cardio, 45 minutes is good enough. Even for functional training 45-60 mins is enough. However the actual time for you to workout can easily be judged by you only, as after few mins in gym you may feel little less on energy and tired. That’s the time when the body is going into catabolic zone, which should not happen.
So, ideally go slow in the beginning and watch how your body reacts to the workout and after how much duration you really do not feel like working out. You should stop around that time and then gradually your stamina and strength will increase to keep your workout going on for those 45-60 minutes. Remember, everyday before and after meals are very imp either you are a beginner or an avid gym goer. Later once you move to a higher level, from beginner, the duration can further be increased.
2) What should be the gym workout for beginners
Cardio OR weight training OR combination of cardio and weight training?
Out of the basic questions for gym beginners, this confusion tops the list. It’s very normal to get confused about what should be the workout to start with. Should a beginner start with only cardio? Should a beginner start with weight training? Or a combination of both?
Well, whenever you start it is always advised to keep cardio and weight training both in your weekly workout. Cardio being aerobic and weight being anaerobic workout- both are required for a complete training. So, no more confusion- cardio and weight training both are essential and should be part of your workout from day one of your gym.
3) How important is warm up activity
Before starting with actual workout it is important to do some warm up to activate the muscles to avoid any damage when you start with weights. It could be anything like some cardio activity for 7-10 mins. It could be one set with light weight of the variation that you are taking up on that particular day.
4) Should we workout only for upper or lower body
Focus on a single body part and ignore the body as whole?
This confusion comes second in our list of basic questions for gym beginners. Few beginners hit the gym with the belief that they can workout on one body part (which they think needs most attention) and then leave the other parts with little or less attention. Like, if someone is heavy on upper body, then he/she may workout for only upper body and cardio and may totally ignore the lower body. This could be dangerous as our body works as a whole and not in parts. Also, we need to build strength for overall body, rather than just few areas. So, do keep regular workout for all body parts.
5) Should we focus only on abs: how often abs workout should be done
Same in this case also, do consider body as whole. Include abs workout along with other body parts over the weeks time. If you wanna focus more on abs, keep abs 3-4 times a week as compared to normal workout that keeps abs only twice a week.
6) Whether to self train OR take a fitness expert at gym
This is a million dollar question. Because most of the beginners tend to quit gym due to reasons like – not getting desired results from the workout; not putting the best of their effort; body remains sore entire day etc. Now, these most probably happens when you are doing self training and doing exercises with wrong form OR not stretching at the end OR not doing warm up before starting the workout. So it is advisable to have a fitness expert initially, who can guide you on correct form, correct number of reps, who can push you to go for higher weighs, who can help you with stretching and warm up activities. Once you learn the form and gets motivated enough to give your best efforts without any help, start working out on your own.
7) How important is stretching after workout
Always keep few mins aside for stretching as it is very important to relax your muscles to come back to normal so you do not feel the soreness the following days. Also, it will increase the flexibility in your body, stopping it from getting stiff.
When it comes to health and fitness, and you are a new entrant, things may look difficult and far away, however your dedication and efforts with correct knowledge can make the journey enjoyable leading to desired result. So, be aware of what you are doing and why and how you are doing the exercises, and most importantly do not make the basic mistakes. So, consider all above points, equally, and go for the correct workout. Bingo!