It is important for each and every one of us to get in some sort of workout, but if you do not workout properly, it could be harmful to your health. Here are some things to remember when you are at the gym.
1. Stretch/Warm up before the Workout: It is important to stretch before working out because stretching loosens up your muscles. Stretching makes your muscles more elastic and flexible. Exercising puts a lot of stress on your muscles and you do not want to shock them, and perhaps more importantly, you don’t want to shock your heart. When you warm up before an exercise you are letting your heart know it is time to pump and get to work. If you don’t warm up, it can be a lot of stress on your heart.
2. It is not a race or a contest: I have seen it, you have seen it, we all see it. Too many people think they should throw on enormous amounts of weight and throw it up as fast as they can. You may grow muscle, but the damage you are causing to your body will ruin your workouts in the future. Take things slow, pace yourself, and be sure to squeeze your muscles at each exercise. Make sure you breathe right. Inhale prior to the movement exhale when completing the movement. For example, while benching you would inhale bringing the bar down, and exhale when pushing the bar up. The only place a race or contest can matter is in cardio.
3. Legs are more important than you think: Usually people in the gym focus on upper body and give the legs a very light workout. It is important to include legs everyday that you workout. Working out your legs floods the body with growth hormone which helps you pack on muscle. When you create this flood of hormone, it helps your whole body grow as a result of the workout. I would never focus on legs in the beginning years of hitting the gym, until a body builder at my gym talked to me about the importance of working out the legs. Plus, nobody looks good with a ripped upper body and chicken legs.
4. Focus on the full body workouts: I have tried the routine of, Monday-Back/biceps, Tuesday-Chest/Triceps, and quite frankly, it didn’t really work for me. I probably used this routine for about a year and I did see results, but not the kind you would expect from a year of working out. Instead I started to focus on pull-ups, dips, dumbbell press, shoulder press, and anything else that is full body. Instead of going to the gym everyday, I started going 3 days a week. I have seen the same results in shorter time when switching to full body workouts. I switched because I read a study online about the benefits of full body workouts. I do believe they work you harder, and make you much stronger. Also, as an added bonus, you spend less time at the gym!
5. Be your own trainer and trust yourself: You must encourage yourself every morning to get in the gym. I would say it takes 2-3 weeks before you feel obligated to go to the gym. Keep going until you hit that point. It is important to look forward to going to the gym, and not to dread it. If you want a partner, go find one. This helps with encouragement and motivation, but do not forget who motivates you the most, yourself. You understand how much you can lift more than other people. Only you understand if you are pushing yourself hard enough. It’s up to you to get into the gym, and workout harder than the day before. Learn how to push yourself at the gym and not only will you be rewarded with great health, and a ripped core, but also the knowledge that you can push yourself to do anything else you want to carry out in life.
If you haven’t hit the gym in a while, it is time to start again. Everyday you miss you will not get back. This is your health, the most important thing in the world, so don’t take it for granted.
-Written by Stephen Quinn @CaddyQuinn
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