We've all had the new years resolution of getting into the gym more, but do we always know exactly what we're doing in the gym? One thing both of us were bad with last year was inconsistency with our diets and workout routines. It would be a case of going for 3 weeks straight, feeling like we could match Conor McGregor in the UFC octagon, then not going for a couple of weeks and getting tired from just running up the stairs.
That then led us to speak to our good friend and fitness expert @Leealexandersimon on what he thought were some of the biggest mistakes people are making with their gym routines and in their diet that are not so obvious. We got talking and thought it would be a great piece to share at Regal Gentleman, to help with your own fitness goals for 2016. So over to you Lee..
Although you are increasing your physical activity it is common that people don't take their nutrition in to consideration.
In terms of gaining weight or losing weight you need to be in a caloric surplus if you're looking to gain weight and be in a caloric deficit if you're looking to lose weight.
Calories (Kcal) are mainly made up of three macronutrients;
Protein (4 Kcal),
You need to make sure that you are getting a balanced amount of these sources from natural food that also contain a good amount of micronutrients.
If you are training frequently and looking to build muscle or "tone up" or even trying to lose weight you need to increase your protein intake. Contrary to popular belief this does apply to women as well. One of the most common beliefs is that women will become overly muscular if they increase their protein intake. Although protein does help to increase muscle size, women do not produce enough testosterone to gain as much muscle as a male would.
Protein helps with muscle recovery which allows you to train more frequently, which will effectively increase your progress in achieving your fitness goals.
How much do I need?
It mostly depends on your weight, body fat % and goals. It can be as low as 0.5 grams per pound of lean muscle mass (per day) and as high as 1.5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass. The average amount is generally 1 gram per pound of body weight.
This link below provides a decent calculator on how to measure your required calories to achieve you goal.
Before entering a gym you should research how to perform exercises correctly (correct form). There is always room for improvement through experience, however it is crucial that you understand the basics of how to perform an exercise before attempting them. If exercises are not performed correctly you'll most likely not be training the specific muscle group to its maximum potential. This can also lead to injury if performed very wrong.
Although increasing the weight or running an extra mile is a good sign of progression, you need to make sure that you are increasing it at a steady rate.
Lifting a weight that is greatly beyond your ability can lead to serious injury and stop your progress. Make sure that you train smarter and keep in mind that you are also training for longevity and avoid the possibility of burning out too soon.
Create a Program or "Split" instead of just hitting the treadmill all workout or freestyling every exercise. Write down a routine, and this will help you to focus properly on different body parts throughout the week and will also help you track your progress, avoid boredom and most importantly allow you to give every muscle group an equal amount of attention.
Chest / Triceps
Back / Biceps
Take progress pictures! A lot of new beginners will start the gym and not take these. After time most will quit or lose motivation after the first month or two.
Take a progress picture as soon as possible (ideally before you start training).
Aim to take pictures 3 months apart minimum. This will help motivate you to keep going. The weighing scale is a good tool to use but it doesn't convey the change in your physique as well as the mirror/photos.
Make sure that you stick to your split/program/routine as much a possible. Consistency is the key to achieving your goals. It's all well and good that you've started exercising but doing it once here and there will not get you results. Aim to go a minimum of 3 times per week to start with and increase overtime to progress further.
A massive thank you from everyone at Regal Gentleman goes out to Lee for providing some great insight into common gym mistakes and how we can improve upon them. We're going to sign off and get our gym bag's as we speak!!