I read a Nerd Fitness article and I learned good stuff.
If you didn’t read the Part 1 , click here
Mastering the movement
If you want to have lasting results, there is no shortcut, you need to learn the basic movements. It’s like at school, learning and progressing.
The best way to start a strength training is to do a bodyweight workout at home (I started like that). If you want to do a barbell movement in your workout, you can use a broom stick or a PVC pipe. If you want to do a dumbbell movement, you can use 2 sections of PVC or 2 bottles of water.
The technique is very important for movement like squat, deadlift, pull ups, bench press. That’s why using light weight will allow you to learn to make the right movements. It’s going to be a bit long but you’re going to avoid having injuries and months of frustration.
Use your smartphone to make videos of your exercices to compare them with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube or others.
It’s possible that you feel uncomfortable with an exercice even if you have videos to improve. In this case, I advise you to see gyms in your area to hire a coach for 1-2 sessions. It’s only to improve your techniques, it’s not to hire a coach for several months. This coach will teach you what you need to know to train at home safely.
It’s not always obvious to understand tutorial videos on Youtube or others. The reason is that the person who explains how to do the technique knows very well how to make the movement but forgot to explain mistakes he/she made when he/she was a beginner.
If you have difficulties with a part of the movement, don’t get upset or be frustrated. It’s just something you can improve and by tracking your workouts, you’ll see that.
What to take
To start, takes comfortable clothes. Don’t buy special fitness clothes. The gym isn’t a fashion show, forget what people think about you. There is no ego in a gym. I like to wear simple clothes, no known brand because I always tear my clothes by dint of using them. Maybe I dress like a tramp but everyone is silent when they see my performances.
Note : If you go to workout after school/work, take your gym outfits with you to go to the gym directly.
I use for my strength training Classic Chuck Taylor and for my cardio Puma.
Take a bottle of water. It’s handy to have a bottle of water next to you to drink between 2 sets rather than go to the toilettes.
Takes a notebook to track your workout during your workout. Often after our workout we don’t remember the workout’s details as having done 1 more rep or 1 more set. If you use a smartphone, you can use Evernote as a notebook or a fitness app like Jetfit .
We sweat during our workout and it’s always nice to take a shower after an effort. If you’re going to train before going to school/work, shower gel is essential.
Takes an MP3 player or smartphone with a great playlist to « get in the zone » and make you feel like a superhero. Often music in gyms are special. In my gym often we can hear bachata or it’s nightclub ambiance.
My playlist it’s 50 Cent, G-Unit, 2 Eminem’s song and soundtrack of japanese cartoon « Hajime No Ippo » (boxe) and « Hokuto No Ken » (martial art) and soundtrack of « Rocky ».
I’ve been using my smartphone for a few years to listen to my music and keep track of workout (Jefit) and it’s really cool.
The basic rules
There are basic rules for gyms. By following these rules, you’ll be comfortable in any gym :
Put weights in the right place when you finished using them.
If a person is using a equipment you want to use, it’s OK to kindly ask this person how many sets he/sh has left to do.
If another person wants to use the same equipment as you, you can offer him/her to work together. You do a set while the other rest and vice versa. You may not be comfortable with that and you can say no. Say something like « no but I still have 2 sets and after it’s for you ».
If a person asks you to spot and you have never done that, tell that person you never did that and ask him/her what you’d like you to do. This person will explain everything to you.
If a person offer to spot you on an exercice (bench press), don’t worry. Usually it’s always an experienced person who does this to help you. It’s motivating and it’s a good opportunity to exceed your limits.
Cleans the sweat that has on the equipment you want to use. In gyms, there is always a station with liquid cleanser and tissues.
With benches, leaves a space between you and the others so that everyone can keep their personal space.
Even if you see a person making a move that you have never seen, let it happen. You don’t want someone to come and tell you that what you do is wrong. It’s the same for others.
Avoid speaking in your smartphone and call the person after your workout. You’re in a gym to train, only to train.
Don’t sit on equipment forever. Do your sets and go to the next exercice. Don’t sit on equipment for 2 hours.
Start your strength training as soon as possible. It’s by doing exercices several times that you’ll improve your technique. Don’t be afraid to do wrong because the majority of people in a gym have no idea what they’re doing. I have been practicing for several years and I’m always improving each one of my exercices, I say each of my exercices.
What keeps you from starting a strength training ?
Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.