Essential Tips to Working Out... and More

The beginner fitness-aspirant is usually greatly motivated, focusing on his objectives with admirable single-mindedness. Whatever the case may be, this initial enthusiasm never lasts for long, eventually being submerged by tedious workloads and distracting relationships. Consistent effort always leads to greater success and achievement than does obsession interspersed by periodic withdrawals, in life as in fitness. Dogged focus and supreme exertion hardly works if it fizzles out after a short time. To this end, it is recommended to follow an already established program rather than specially designing a personal workout plan – at least initially. This saves time and energy, allowing one not only to jump straight to what matters but also to become used to the routine of fitness and health.

To be sure, there is no need to plough time into strenuous daily workouts or to have sessions lasting many hours; such excessive training may be counter-productive. One should learn how to temper the proper amount of exercise with sufficient amounts of rest. Like any worthwhile endeavor, success is commensurate with the effort expended – a level of effort that must be properly tailored to individual circumstances. Too great a volume of exercise hinders recovery and may lead to injuries, and too little will be insufficient for the purposes of strengthening the body. Thus, effectual exercise routines should conform to certain general criteria, as follows:

  1. 3-6 exercise sessions should be scheduled per week, lasting between 45-90 minutes each
  2. Sessions should be based around free weight multi-joint compound movements that use barbells or dumbbells. Such exercises include the barbell squat, barbell or dumbbell bench press and barbell overhead press. Remember to incorporate these crucial components instead of being confined to utilizing machines with fixed two-dimensional ranges of movement.
  3. Do work the same muscle-groups at least twice a week if the goal is hypertrophy. Drawing from studies and anecdotal experience, twice a week seems to be the optimal frequency for results.
As a further piece of advice, one should make liberal use of the push, pull and legs (PPL) routine effective in building muscle-size or 5X5 variations to build strength. It is recommended to adhere to the same program for a few months instead of changing the workout every week, which would conduce to better results. If you hit a situation where improvement seems limited, subject your diet and means of recovery to greater scrutiny. Are you consuming an adequate amount of calories and sleeping a solid 8-10 hours a day? If you answer in the affirmative and yet find improvement negligible or unforthcoming, then you might want to consider changing the program. 


A calorie counter will be of use when regulating one's nutrition.

Nutrition is often neglected even though it is, some argue, of greater import than the training program itself. A recommended daily intake of 1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight is the norm for those intending to pursue a body-strengthening regime. To get bigger or stronger, one must eat more than one's maintenance calories, and vice versa to get leaner. I suggest eating around 200-500 calories more or less depending on whether you’re bulking or cutting, so that muscle-gain is maximised while limiting the accumulation of fat.

For example, if your maintenance calories are 2000, eat between 2200-2500 when bulking or between 1800-1500 when cutting. There is no need to weigh food and count calories exactly, especially when just starting out. Use online food calorie databases such as to get useful estimates where necessary.

When consuming supplements, it is important not to go overboard or overdose with respect to the recommended daily intake. Whey protein and creatine are easy to acquire and quite safe to utilize, but when it comes to pre-workouts, intra-workouts and post workout supplements as well as other avant-garde and overly-complex substances like nitric oxide when you’re just starting out, it is safer to err on the better side of caution, not least because many of such substances are of dubious quality and utility. Many American supplements do not go through a proper quality test (which ostensibly the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to administer); at best they might contain useless or ineffectual substances like flour, at worst they might contain health hazards. In the past I confess that I had wasted loads of money on countless useless supplements; I kept on wondering why I still remained small and weak without realizing that the main problem was my diet and poor exercise choices. The truth is that good results are predicated on wise training and dieting decisions. You cannot out-supplement a poor training program and a poor diet.

To end off...
The fact that consistency is of the utmost importance to achieving health and fitness cannot be overemphasized. Taken as a whole, fitness is as much a product of a disciplined regime as it is a result of sound mental health. If the body is ailing, the mind cannot hope but be dulled and narcoleptic. A strong body bestows sharpness and resilience to the mind, just as a resilient mind conduces to the discipline necessary to maintain the health of the body. Therefore, in training, in resting and in regulating one’s nutrition, one should do his best to utilize this resilience to meet what can be a simple task with temperance and discipline. Doubtless this will prove beneficial to the other areas in life, given the fulfillment and confidence it bestows upon the mind. 




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