It always amazes me when people start off in the gym. Most people go walk on a treadmill and play with some little dumbbells or sit around on the machines seemingly just hoping for the fat to melt off. Some people actually make it to a cardio or yoga class during the week, but ignore their diet or weight training all together. Even when approached, many of these people are resistance to hear the truth... they are working without a plan, and will falter and quit the gym within the first six months of joining.
When starting out, it is hard to be sure you have a well-constructed fitness regiment. This is essential because you are only as strong as your weakest link. Many are hindered by these weaknesses in their regiment.
Here is a breakdown of Five Fundamentals of Fitness. Every well-constructed fitness plan should incorporate a balance between the following...
The Fundamentals of Fitness
Muscular Strength & Stamina-Developed through resistance-training. Important for muscular, bone, and joint health. Helps with the aging process and increases metabolism
Cardio-respiratory Endurance-Developed through moderate and high intensity activities like running, biking, and swimming. Important for organ and hormonal health.
Nutrition & Supplementation-Developed through healthy eating habits and regular analysis of one’s diet. The food you eat is the fuel for your activities and importance for maintaining a healthy body.
Rest & Recovery-Developed through developing healthy sleep patterns, taking part in relaxing activities to “decompress”, and utilizing necessary treatments to prevent and help heal injuries.
How many times have you seen the big muscly guy who just lifts weights but never does cardio? How about the gal in the yoga pants who hits the treadmill hard but never would be caught around a dumbbell. There are hundreds of thousands of people just "going through the motions" at the gym training just one or two aspects of fitness.
Okay, now I'm going to ask you five questions and I want you to answer them honestly.
1: Do you regularly train with free weights (2-3 times a week) using compound movements (Squats, Presses, Rows, etc...) a resistance that is appropriate for your goals?
2: Do you at least get 30 minutes of vigorous activity regularly (5-7 days a week)? Vigorous activity is defined as having your heart rate between 60% and 85% of your Max Heart Rate (Max HR=220-age).
3: Do you perform a stretching routine daily?
4: Do you have a regimented diet consisting of Lean Proteins, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Limited Starches, and Very Few Added Sugars?
5: Do you get enough sleep and utilize methods for recovery such as massage, contrast baths, chiropractic, etc...?
So, how did you do? Did you see any areas where you are lacking? It probably looks like unless you are lying to yourself you have seen something you can improve upon. Now that you have identified it, how are you going to strengthen that area? Are you going to try a new mode of exercise? How about getting some extra rest or working on those eating habits? A good personal trainer would be able to help you identify your needs and help get you the results you deserve.
Richard Sterling Tarleton