Heat Illness

heat illness

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Every summer, hundreds of people experience sun-related illnesses and heat. Being prepared and hydrated avoids theses situations.

Why

When an athlete exercises, his/her body temperature increase and the body sweats to cool the body. During this process, body fluids and electrolytes are lost. If the boy is not recharged with fluids and electrolytes, it’s dehydration and it increase the risk of heat illness as a heat stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms are :

  • Chills

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

If the heat illness progress, there are more serious symptoms like :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea

  • Tingling of the limbs

  • Death

How to prevent

The most effective treatments for heat illness are :

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Fluid replacement before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing (light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer)

  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athlete by other players, coaches and medical staff

  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and how an athlete has acclimated to conditions.

  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In situations where the training program is intense or during a trip in a hot climate, an athlete should limit the intensity and duration of the training session. Thereafter, the athlete will increase the training’s intensity for a period of 7-14 days to allow to the body, the time to adjust to the climate and environmental conditions. For athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other diseases, they should especially evaluate these new conditions.

When an athlete should hydrate

hydrate

It’s necessary to hydrate before, during and after a training session. Drinking 47cl (16 ounces) of water is recommended 1 hour before exercises. Hydration should continue with 11-23cl (4-8 ounces) of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the effort

There is a trick to track the hydration’s level is to weigh before and after a physical activity. If the athlete is lighter after a physical activity, this means that there a deficit of fluids (indicated by weight loss) and it’s necessary to recharge them. For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink more to evaluate the losses (perspiration). An athlete who loses more than 2-3% of his/her bodyweight during exercise may decrease the performance and the body’s physiological function.

If the athlete is heavier after a physical activity, it means that there is a surplus of fluids (indicated by gain weight). For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink less to evaluate the surplus.

How to treat it

When you see signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it may be an imminent danger of death. It’s necessary that a person immediately call for medical assistance while you’re cooling the person at risk.

Treatment included :

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area

  • If it heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or placing cold towels over the entire body

  • Monitoring body temperature

  • Providing cool beverage if possible (i.e., if the athlete doesn’t have altered consciousness).

  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a type of heat illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperature and improper or unbalanced fluid recharging.

Statistics

  • Heat stroke is a type of serious illness related to heat. It can cause death to athletes and this is probably the leading cause of athlete death during the months of July and August.

  • The body produces 1.8 liters (a half of gallon) of perspiration to cool the body every hour. If there are not enough fluids or the heat is overwhelming the body, the person may develop heat-related illness.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Become Insensitive To Haters

hater

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To be successful, it’s really necessary to have the ability to ignore haters, especially on internet.

Beginners are unaware of the emotional impact that haters can create and it can also scare people who want to start their company online. When you develop your internet presence, avoid haters is impossible.

Hater

A hater is a person who feels the irresistible urge to send you a message by email, comment or tweet to tell you :

  • You’re the stupidest and ugliest person in the world

  • Your content is the most insignificant thing since the creation of the planet earth

  • That he/she hopes that you don’t make children to not spread the evil on the planet earth and that you die quickly

These 3 things are what say haters in general.

The truth is, you can’t avoid that. Select one of your favorite artists, athletes or actors, check out one of his/her video on Youtube and read the comments. You can see the quality’s level of comments and it makes people lose faith in humanity. And it’s not just haters, there are also people who tell a lot of bullshit and insult each other.

A hater is a person who is bored and has no purpose in life, so that person is trying to create trouble in your community and psychologically impact you in a negative way. Fortunately on social media, it’s possible to ban haters.

Don’t be afraid

don't be afraid

I know many people who want to create a blog, a podcast or a Youtube channel but they’re afraid of having a bad buzz. I know a medical student who wants to create something to help students who are in 1st year of medical school but he still doesn’t do anything. This is the same situation as people who never drive because they are afraid of an accident or people who never take a plane.

It’s important to understand :

  • It’s extremely unlikely

  • Even if you have a bad buzz, you’ll survive

  • In any case, you will build a community that will support you.

When you look at the biggest bad buzz in history, it’s rare to see that the sales falls caused the bankruptcy of the company (or maybe you know a case I don’t know). Sometimes there are people who have been a bit traumatized by a bad buzz but in the majority of cases, there is little damage.

The best revenge you can have for haters is to have a good life. To be afraid of the haters that make you afraid to act, that you’re paralyzing, it’s showing to the world that it’s you who are leaving intimidated by something that is very unlikely to happen.

Keyboard warrior

keyboard type

Haters are also called « Keyboard warrior » because generally haters allow themselves to make type of criticism about people on internet but they are unable to do in real life, face to face. They’re comfortable behind their keyboard because they suffer no consequence.

So don’t be intimidated by the keyboard warriors and what I recommend you to do, it’s to keep a bottle of champagne to celebrate your first hater. It’s important to know that having haters is a necessary step in your success. Having your first hater is a sign that you’re on the right track because you’re disturbing someone.

keyboard warrior

Constructive criticism

Among this ton of negative comments (95%), there are also critics who can help you improve. To identify these critics, you must ask yourself this question : « What is the intention of this criticism ? Do I feel that the person wants to help me ? ».

If you feel that the criticism of the person is to help you, you can analyze the criticism and see if you can do something that interest you. If not, you can ban the person. Unfortunately, you’ll see that the majority of critics are not made to help you.

Remember that about haters :

  1. They’re inevitable

  2. They’re a sign of your success. Everyone has haters, even the people you admire the most

  3. They’re keyboard warriors. They say things that he/she doesn’t allow himself/herself to say in real life, face to face.

  4. Keep a bottle of champagne for the day you’ll have yor first hater

  5. To identify constructive criticism, ask yourself this question : « Is there a positive intention in this criticism to improve myself ? ».

Subscribe to my newsletters and share this article if you think it can help someone you know.

-Steph

The Only Thing To Be Successful In the Long Term

 long term success

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

Sir Winston Churchill said : « Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ».

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote . But there’s something that nobody told you about that quote. This thing is the « GRIT ».

What’s this

definition

The meaning of the word « grit » is : « passion and perseverance for a long-term goal ».

We discovered after several years of case studies that intelligence wasn’t the most important element to have success in school, at work and in life.

The most important element to be successful is grit and personality. It’s essential to have the courage to go through all the challenges and failures to find a new solution to achieve the goal.

Psychology Professor at University Of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth shows in her studies that   :

« Smarter students actually had less grip that their peers who scored lower on an intelligence test. This finding suggests that, among the study participants – all students at an Ivy League School – people who are not as bring as their peers compensate by working harder and with more determination. And their effort pays off : The grittiest students – not the smartest ones – had the highest GPAs ».

And  :

« At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as « Beast Barracks ». Grit matter more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the grittiest contestants were the most likely to advance to the finals – at least in part because they studied longer, not because they were smarter or were better spellers ».

These findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.

There is also this article by Thomas Friedman in New York Times: Need a job ? Invent one .

In this article, there is a quote from Tony Wagner, Harvard Education Specialist : « Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know ».

As you can see, it’s not the amount of information that is important to be successful but what you do with this information. It’s the same principle to have a healthy body. I know people who know a tremendous amount of information about how to lose weight and how to build muscle. But there is a problem, they’re all overweight and from year to year, they take on more weight and they need to take more medicines.

What is necessary is to use the information that you have every day. It’s useless to know all the answers and look for the perfect workout. Start with what you have now and day after day, you’ll improve your knowledge on the field.

How do I do

how much

Here is my case. As you already know, I plan my workout program throughout the year to gradually increase the difficulty (periodization). I have failures (very often) and I adjust. Every week I search for small changes and tactics.

Tracking my workout helps me tremendously to adjust the difficulty without creating any injury. I use an application on my smartphone to track my workout, it’s Jefit.

I know that all my life is going to be like that. Learn more, have more failures and find new tactics to progress.

It’s true that says it like that, you think it’s boring but it’s very motivating to see progress made week after week. Small details are important to your body. Often the people around you don’t see you making progress. They don’t see that your body is changing but you know you have more strength and better health.

What looked annoying is actually motivating. I like to see small changes on my body because I know that the accumulation of small changes make a great transformation. It’s the same principle as a video game, the main character is gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

When I look my workout’s tracking over several months or several years, I see that I have done great transformation. The amount of weight lifted has increased and my endurance has increased.

When I check my workout’program of the day, I stop to day to myself : « It’s going to be painful today, oh no ! » but « Mmmh, it’s going to have a little new record today ! ».

That is why I began to « document » the evolution of my body. If you watch my videos every day, you’ll not see any difference but when you watch the videos I made 6 months or 1 year ago, you see that the differences are really visible. And it’s the same for you.

Build the grit

grit

For several years I had several (one ton) failures and I searched to find small changes and new tactics to change my body little by little, week after week. I did all that to create « my new standard » and « my new identity » to have the best possible future in my life. All these small improvements on my body have developing more grit and perseverance.

Here is how to build your grit yourself :

  1. Determine your new « identity ».

    The more specific your new identity, the easier it will be to prove it to yourself. For example : « I’m the type of person who never miss a workout » and « I’m the type of person who always eats a healthy meal at lunch » and/or « I’m the type of person who works on his own business as soon as I have free time ».

    To always have these identities in mind put post-it in several places in your house like on the calendar, the phone and the mirror of your bathroom. You can also have it in the wallpaper (lock screen) on your smartphone.

  2. Have small victories every day to prove it to yourself and motivate you to do that

    Follow your evolution and highlight your small victories to see that you are in the right direction. Make a daily challenge that takes you between 5 and 15 minutes. Once this challenge is successful, it’s a small victory in addition.

  3. Increases the difficulty of your challenges every 30 days

    For a month, for 30 days, you’ll have small victories. Once you have 30 small victories, make a party to celebrate these victories and increase the difficulty of your challenges for the next 30 days.

    Attention, our will’s strength is limited so use all this will to build this new healthy habit.

  4. When you have created you « new standard », it’s time to improve it.

    Improve your « new standard » by making small adjustments. Make slow and steady progress to win. If you make drastic adjustments, you will have more failures than small victories and this will make you want to give up.

  5. When you fail in something , be sure to fail differently next time

    Failure doesn’t mean that you have a bad or a weak personality. It’s just mean that you didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to succeed. Learn and practice more on the field to continue towards the best.

It’s not important where you’re from, where you’re going that’s important.

I warn you already that this a path with more that 1 billion challenges but it’s the price to pay for a better lifestyle. To achieve the lifestyle of your dreams , you will create 1 billion versions of yourself, all better than the previous ones (it’s like an update).

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything in you life (this also includes you parents).

If you know you can do it, do it !

What is the little victory you have recently made, and what the next ?

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

-Steph

Improve Discipline

discipline

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Here is how I worked, a few year ago. I had a project that I really wanted to do and I thought to myself : « When I come back home tonight after eating, I work on it ». And after eating, I preferred to play video games or watch a TV show until sleep. I think that situation has already happened to you.

Regret is a poison

regret

Now I realize that if I had done these projects, I would have had more fulfilling lifestyle, I would have leaned to manage my money earlier and I would have interesting contacts earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have had it all earlier but in any case a part, that’s for sure.

Discipline and productivity are important skills to create and evolve a project. I did project but these weren’t my most ambitions projects. These weren’t projects with big risks, so I dissatisfied inside of me. The problem is that all this insatisfaction transformed into frustration.

There are a lot of things I wanted to do in theory and that I never did.

As you know on my blog, I mainly talk about fitness/bodybuilding and I notice that many people enroll in a gym with a 3 months subscription and go to the gym only 2 times. This is a classic case.

Know that there is a solution because before I had very little discipline and productivity and now it’s improving more and more.

Track you progress

track progress

To have more discipline and productivity, you need to make sure that this is a long-term goal. This requires several years to have concrete results like for sport. We would like to have results right away but the best things take time because it’s an exploration in yourself.

This is not going to be Disneyland every day because there are times when you’re going to tell yourself you’re not going get there. That’s why you need to keep track of your results. It’s interesting to note why you’re less motivated to continue your project to better understand yourself. You’ll read books on personal development, follow training, meet people who have the same goal as you. With this methods you’ll build your own toolbox to improve your discipline and your productivity.

What is cool when we keep track of our results is that we can see our evolution from month to month, year by year. It’s funny to see your results 2 years ago to really realize your progress.

Increase your success

increase success

To find a way to improve my discipline and productivity, I read on internet that enrolling in a group of people who shared the same goals as me could be extremely motivating. So I looked for websites and Facebook’s groups. What is interesting in groups is that every week a person offers a challenge. Then everybody share their results and everyone shares their impressions.

It’s also possible that you find a person in your entourage who has the same goal as you. I find it really cool to put people around you into groups because the more people there are the greater the motivation.

You see, the fact of telling everyone that you are challenging, force you to be disciplined and productive to complete the project. And there were always funny punishments for people who didn’t show their project. And little by little, you improve and often you have proposals to make competitions.

I used to do this for sport at first but this concept is used in all fields such writing, photography, dancing (I like dance salsa), cooking, etc. And in all these field there are competitions several times in the year. Here is an example that astonished me, watch the paper airplane world championship .

No need to be a shaolin monk

shaolin monk

By tracking your results, you’ll find ways to boost your will without it being painful. You know, you don’t have to work to have the discipline’s level of a Shaolin monk, you just need to have a discipline’s level that allows you to make your projects a reality.

Several scientific studies have made an important discovery in order to better understand human beings. This is because the will is an element that trains as a muscle to develop. Which means that to develop your discipline, you have to train it like a muscle and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are resources, this article. Kelly McGonigal’s book « The Willpower instinct ». Viktor E. Frankl’s book «  Man’s search to meaning »  on attitude and discipline in the worst circumstances.

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

-Steph

Be Curious And Effective

curious

I watch an Olivier Roland’s video  and learned good stuff.

I personally like to learn new things in different fields. Generally these are fields that I don’t know at all. This stimulates my curiosity especially when it’s something I don’t know and I see a lot of people using that. I think it’s the same for you.

That’s right, I’m curious and I like learning but how to be curious and learn a new thing effectively to use it as quickly as possible everyday ?

How long to learn

the right time clock how long

This is something that I’m always adjusting but there are some fundamental principles for it to work.

Here is an excellent example : speaking a foreign language. I hope (and if not, I advise you to learn another language) that you’re a person who speaks a foreign language at a level that allows you to have simple conversations.

Now do a little analysis. How long did it take you to reach this level to have simple conversations (a level that allows you to understand 80 % of a conversation or a text) ?

As everyone is unique in his/her method of learning, imagine that with effective learning techniques, it took you 2-3 years to reach the 80 % level of understanding in foreign langage. How much time do you think it is necessary to move from a level of understanding of 80 % to 99.9 %?

The truth is more impressive than you think. To go from the understanding’s level of 80 % to 99.9 % (the native’s level), it’ll take you 20 years !

You know, it’s not necessary to have a 99.9 % level of understanding to be bilingual. If you understand subtile jokes, you can consider yourself a bilingual. On the other hand, if everyone around you laughs and you wonder why, you aren’t yet a bilingual.

What is effective

effective

It’s destabilizing but it’s a reality, it’s faster to go from 0 % level to 80 % level than to go from 80 % level to 99.9 % level. This is the law of diminishing returns. This law works in all fields. This law is similar to the Pareto’s principle. The Pareto’s principle is the fact that 20 % of actions brings 80 % of results, 20 % of customers brings 80 % of the company’s turnover , etc.

This means that at one time, it’s more costly to learn the little things that remain to be learned in this field than to learn something new in another field.

Let us continue with the foreign langage’s example. It took you 2-3 years to get an understanding’s level of 80 %. In the next 2 choices, what’s the most interesting for you ?:

  • To spend 20 years to reach the 99.9 % level for a foreign langage

  • To spend 20 years to learn 6-10 new foreign languages at a level of 80 %

You see the number of opportunities you can create in your life by knowing how to speak several langages, it’s cool.

But there is a difficulty in knowing when the law of diminishing returns is put into action, This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual and the field. It’s a personal expedition. We must also not confuse this with the « crossing of the desert » that everyone does when we start a new project.

The thing I do and I advise you is to track your progress to know when 20 % of your actions bring you 80 % of the results. With this tracking of your results, you can know everyday if you approach or if you move away from your goals. If you move away from your goals, it means that you have to adjust your strategy quickly.

When you have found a smart way to track you progress, it’s cool because you have an intellectual horizon, cultural horizon, tools, methods, strategies that are extremely varied and diverse that the majority of people. You have an effective toolkit that comes from an extremely varied horizon.

You can see in my blog’s articles that I speak of different field. I’m curious and I show what I learn by giving my sources because I find that being curious give me excitement to be alive. When you travel to a country where you don’t understand either language or writing, it’s exciting, right ? You can do the same thing on a daily basis by learning things in different fields.

Assemble different concepts

assemble assemblage

Now, let’s move on to the next level in curiosity. When you know extremely different fields, have fun connecting the concepts to each other. There is a type of creativity that involves linking concepts in a new way. Have fun connecting concepts that weren’t thought to be linked together and create something new. Look at how music evolves. You take 4 music’s types that nobody listen to, you mix all it and you create a new music’s type.

Today, we have the facility to have access to knowledge with books on billions of subjects. There are books on money, cooking, foreign languages, etc.

Attention, you need to learn in an efficient way with the principle of 20/80 and action (execution) everyday, no matter how difficult. If you learn all these things only to give you a good conscience and to impress your friends in discussions, you waste you time. It’s intellectual masturbation, it’s an illusion. It’s like this expression of Julien Greaux : « To be rich on Instagram, it’s like being rich in the game Monopoly ! ».

I hope that I motivated you to explore and learn new things effectively. And most important, you learn these new things to use them every day to boost your lifestyle.

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

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

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

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

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

-Steph

From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 2)

become your own personal trainer

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

If you didn’t read the Part 1 , click here 

Mastering the movement

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

what to take

Clothes

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.

Shoes

For shoes, takes shoes minimizes with a flat and hard sole. For example Classic Chuck Taylor , Vibram or Powerlifter shoes .

I use for my strength training Classic Chuck Taylor and for my cardio Puma.

Drink

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.

Notebook

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 .

Shower gel

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.

Your music

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

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.

-Steph