From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 1)

become your own pesonal trainer

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Before to read this article, I advise you to read Find The Gym For Your Goals Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2; Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 et Part 2.If you already read it, continue and have fun.

A strong body is a healthy body, you have heard this many times but it’s not easy to do. Starting a new workout can be intimidating. It’s, for this reason, a lot of people fail.

How you will train

gym training

To start, you have to find out what kind of strength training you want to do. It depends on the equipment and your goals. Here are several types of training programs :

Bodyweight

With a bodyweight training, you need little equipment (or not at all) and you can train everywhere (home, hotel, playground, workplace). As long as you have room to move, you can train.

If you like bodyweight training, take a pull-up bar and a set of gymnastics rings. If you’re really a beginner, an exercise band  can assist you in the movement like pull ups and dips.

If is that you can do bodyweight training without equipment, the disadvantage is that you need to constantly change exercises difficult to be sure to progress.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are excellent for starting a workout with weight for several reasons.

First, gyms always have a good set of dumbbells. If you want to train at home, you can buy a set of adjustable dumbbells (that’s how I started in my bedroom).

The second reason is that dumbbells allow you to add a small amount of weight to do an exercise and exercise with dumbells are less intimidating that exercise with a barbell. For example, if you’re a beginner, starting with a 20kg (45lbs) barbell is a bit too much.

Dumbbells also allow you to work your symmetry and allow you to balance the strength of your right side and left side of your body. It’s ridiculous to have an arm or a leg extremely bigger and stronger as the other.

If you can’t finish a repetition, it’s easy to throw dumbbells on the floor compared to a barbell. For a beginner, it’s excellent for learning movements.

The disadvantage is that to evolve, you need to buy new dumbbells and this can be expensive. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

Barbells

If your goal is to gain only strength, this is the recommended option. Barbell allows you to progress cleanly and quickly by adding a small amount of weight each week.

A barbell is really stable because you use your 2 hands instead of 1 hand for dumbbells so it’s easy to lift heavy (especially for the lower body like squat of deadlift). For exercises like the squat or the press, you can use the rack to load and unload weights safety.

The disadvantage is that to do this at home, you need to have a squat rack, a barbell, a bench and enough weight plates in your house or in your garage. A gym membership is handy to avoid this problem.

What’s the best way to train?

The barbell is optimal for gaining strength. Bodyweight training is good but you have to seriously motivate you to train at home.

Sometimes you have to adapt to the situation to be able to do your training. When I travel a bodyweight training is perfect if I don’t have access to a gym.

But the best workout is when you lift heavy. Nothing can replace squat, deadlift and body weight pull up.

There are also other ways to have a strength training like rock climbing, yoga or parkour.

Choose the program to follow

gym training program

Never go to the gym without having a plan. To get results, it’s necessary to have a plan to track your progress.

For to make a lot of progress, a beginner can have a full body program of 3 times a week with a day off between training days. Be sure that the program you choose matches your goals, A powerlifters will have a different training from a bodybuilder or an endurance athlete.

In my article Back To The Source Of Human Strength Part 1 and Part 2, I talk about numbers of repetitions and their goals :

  • Reps in the 1-5 range build super dense muscle and strength

  • Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amount of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

  • Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size

Many beginner strength training programs say to do 5 sets of 5 repetitions to optimize progress to gain strength.

With a circuit or superset, you do a set of each exercise in an order and you repeat the process.

For example :

  • 20 bodyweight squat

  • 10 push ups

  • 20 walking lunges

  • 10 dumbell rows

  • 15 second plank

  • 30 jumping jacks

  • Repeat all these 5 times to do 5 sets

In traditional strength program, you do a complete set of an exercise, you rest and you do another set of the same exercise and so on.

For example :

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Rest

  • 10 squat

  • Next exercise

If your goal is to be healthy and lose weight, you don’t need to focus on strength, a circuit (superset) is perfect.

This allows you to spend less time at the gym and to make up your high heart rate longer.

If your goal is to have more strength and have more muscle, choose a traditional strength training.

One important thing, your diet corresponds to 80-90 % of your success or failure. The quality of your diet will help you gain strength and lose fat.

When you choose a workout to develop your strength, be sure to increase the difficulty over time. To become stronger, you need to write a plan. This can be to do one more squat, lift 2kg (5lbs) more or do your circuit (superset) 10 seconds faster.

The main goal is to always be better than the last time, this is what ensures the continuity of being stronger and faster.

You can write your own training program or fortunately, there is a lot of excellent beginner program.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Higher Level

higher level

June 1, I increased the level of my training program. I increased 4 kg (8.8 lbs) all exercises (except those which I couldn’t do 4 sets of 10 reps clean). Well do all of my sets with 6 repetitions.

Exercises I couldn’t do 4 sets of 10 repetitions clean, I kept the same weight and I do 5 sets of 6 reps to work well the techniques. For the rest, it’s 4 sets of 6 reps.

Squat and Romanian deadlift have a different periodization. Now I’m to 4 sets of 10 repetitions at 110 kg (242 lbs). I increased 2 repetitions.

higher level

34kg (74 lbs) for the dumbbells incline bench press, it changes many sensations, during 6 months I lifted the same weight. Every 2 months I added 2 reps, I was getting used to. What’s cool is that I can lift the weight alone, without help. 36kg (79 lbs) for dumbbells bench; 75kg (165 lbs) for one arm lat pulldown; 100kg (220 lbs) for one leg Leg Press; a dumbbell of 30kg (66 lbs) for the decline crunch and decline twist crunch .

I am happy with myself, I have prepared my body to be able to come there. What fun is that my training time is shorter and I feel I can do more but later in the day, I’m hits by a stronger fatigue than usual and there I told myself that I am trained. My body is being reorganized to adapt to this new training. I think I have to be careful with my sleeping hours to really recover.

Right now, I weigh 78kg (171 lbs) with a 8% bodyfat, I focus on my body symmetry, my body aesthetic. 2 last summers, I liked the walk without t-shirt in parks (show off, show off, show off) but this year I don’t want to do it. I want to improve my body as I do an update for a software. People tell me that my body is better than last summer but their compliments make me anything. I know my body can be better and I will.

higher level

It’s special now, the weather is fine, I wear T-shirt and when I hear people comment (wow, he is muscular, did you see his shoulders, etc.), it annoys me ! I’m a discret person, I have always been discreet. I’m not looking to have problems with someone, I do my stuff and I’m not talking. I had too many stories where jealous people broke my plans, that’s why I say nothing now.

When you work hard on a project, after a time you can’t hide because results are there and nobody can contest them, that’s what life is beautiful. I just need to get used to these comments and I simply ignores them. Knowing me, I’ll ignore them because the majority of people who say these comments have a worse physics than mine.

You want my advice, listen only people who are better than you in your domain. This is the only way to be better than yesterday and even become better than them. Being better than the person you admire, that’s motivation. Yeah, that’s what I want !

And you want ? Do you want to become better than people you admire ?

-Steph

Calves

calves

When I train, I see very few people in the gym works calves. I often say that we must work legs but I saw a guy with big thighs and small calves, it was weird, I swear. In my program, I work 2 times a week calves and today was shoulders – calves.

In my gym there is no special machine to train calves so I do seated dumbbell calf raise and calves extension Leg Press with on leg and often people look surprised.

seated dumbbell calf raise calves extension leg press one leg

This is really a muscle that everyone forgets and yet train it help a lot, you’ll see. A survey was done by the « Runner’s World » with 14 000 runners injured and the second most popular injury is the calf. Even if you run once a week like me, it would be unfortunate injury.

Work your calves improves stabilization between your ankles and feet, improves your power to lift your heel to walk, run and jump (you do highest jump) and improves your body’s symmetry. Do you like twist your ankle ? Me, non. This is why I train my calves.

-Steph

Shred Or Not Shred

shred

That’s one week that I wonder if I’m going to be shred this summer. By returning the matter in all directions, I made a decision. No, my body fat is now 8%, I’m going to gain muscle and have more definition. It’s true that I told several people I was going to be shred and I apologize. I had already made it last year, it was difficult but it went well but body had to stop his progress for a while, this is normal.

It’s been since August 2015 I changed of gym and really with the equipment I have more opportunities to train with an arm or a leg to improve my symmetry. I want to balance my muscles of my right side and my left side, I want to work more on aesthetics. I’ll keep my 8% body fat because it’s enough to continue my training which changes every two months and gain muscle.

asymetric body

This year,I’m not shred to sculpt my body for summer 2017. It’s clear that next year my body will be much better. I would take the decision in February 2017 because there is a competition in May in my area. It’s always good to keep an eye on local athletes to stay motivated.

You know that athletes train for years for competitions for years, this is why I must be focus in training because each reps count. It also costs money, it’s like going on a trip on weekend, there are a lot of unforeseen expense. This is why when you get decides to go, it’s serious.

Now my goal is set, train non-stop. And you will be shred this summer ?

 

-Steph