Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Best 'Beginner' Training Programme in the World...Ever

Exercise newbies are bombarded with information on optimised fitness protocols to maximise their 'gains', whether that be in terms of fat loss or muscle growth. As a beginner, the Internet is both your best friend and your enemy, with endless opinions based on the latest research which ultimately winds up just posing more questions than real answers anyway.

But, for the novice trainee with little experience and perhaps a history of struggling with motivation, there is one fitness programme that far outperforms the rest.

In my experience, there are 4 main barriers that stand in the way of health and fitness progression: lack of knowledge, lack of support, lack of time, lack of drive. These are outlined in some detail in my blog post called Why are you not improving?

I want to empower and motivate those who are new to exercise, simplifying wherever possible and putting together actionable plans to work towards reasonable targets.

At this point, I'd like to let you into a little secret. This is the secret that most fitness professionals and health gurus hold close to their chest: it's all bullshit.

We dress up the process of becoming fitter and losing body fat with scientific language which, in most cases, just confuses our clients. We reference cutting edge studies from prestigious American universities and harp on about fringe supplements that claim to give Olympic athletes a 3% advantage.

But why should you care?

If, as you read this, you identify yourself as a recreational exerciser without designs on involving yourself in professional sport, you can probably ignore 99% of what you read on the subject of exercise.

The best training plan is, and always will be, the one that you enjoy and can consistently stick to. Afterall, you could have the most complicated and research-based plan written for you but if you can't motivate yourself to actually do it, it's not even worth the paper it's written on.

There are, of course, a few general principles that should ideally be incorporated if you can:

1) Lift heavy things - don't worry too much about how many reps or sets to start with. Just lift heavy things.

2) Move all day long - you can burn a very meaningful number of calories just by incorporating more low level movement into your day.

3) Sprint as fast as you can - not necessarily running, but find a way to move your body quickly, whether that be on a bike, rowing machine or just 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks in your living room.

4) Stretch - 5 minutes of stretching works wonders for stiff joints and sore muscles.

Most people will see huge improvements in their progress when they free themselves from the expectations that come hand in hand with exercise. Find any way that you can to enjoy the gym. Or better yet, quit the gym, take a Kettlebell to an empty field and train like you're in a computer game!

So, as much as articles are useful in keeping yourself motivated and giving you health and fitness ideas, take them with a pinch of salt and find a programme that works for you.


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