Advice for beginners (what advice I'd give myself)

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    Advice for beginners (what advice I'd give myself)

    Like probably the most, I was confused and struggled to find the right exercise and stick with it in the beginning. Luckily I came across Darebee which was a tremendous help. Now I had so many different types of programs, workouts and challenges to chose from. Plus there is decent amount of information here with nutrition and recipes included and it's still expanding.


    I'm still rather new to fitness but here is some advice in the BEGINNINGS I'd give myself for best results:


    1. DIET, DIET and DIET. Healthy and nutrient-rich diet is the most important ingredient if you aiming at seeing physical results. Whether you want to lose weight or bulk up there is no exercise in the world that will do it for you alone. DIET is the most important ingredient of fitness for a reason. Our food fuels our bodies. The better quality ingredients we provide our bodies with the quicker and better the results. So if you lacking energy or results that's the first thing to focus on.

    2. Exercising needs to be fun. At least most of it. If you're not enjoying your routine then you are more likely to stop. So make sure you choose one that is challenging but is also somewhat fun.


    3. REASONS to exercise. Write down reasoning why you are exercising. Try to memorise it or read it out loud every few days. It will help you stay focused and motivated. Also remember that we all needed to start somewhere. Even most of the people we may admire or want to look/be like had to work hard to achieve their goals as well. If you want it you'll need to (want to) work for it to get it. Be realistic with your time limitations and your goals. Sometimes it's better to start small.

    Include any reasoning that is important to you.


    4. Keep EXERCISE/DIET diary/journal. It will enable you to see your real progress and it will highlight challenges and things to work on. Looking back you may notice how once you struggled to do certain numbers of reps for push-ups or lunges and how your rep numbers have increased. Remember that if you stop exercising after a while you'd have to start all over again.
    Here is an example of my daily exercise diary/journal

    Click image for larger version  Name:	123.jpg Views:	0 Size:	251.1 KB ID:	624830

    5. ALWAYS perform a WARM-UP first. It's another thing you can do to help you perform exercises to the best of your ability and to avoid injury. Please always do them.

    Warm-ups & Stretches

    6. EXERCISE LEVEL. Choosing exercise level and appropriate programs is, I think, a struggle for everyone. I love Darebee programs because they incorporate all the necessary and varied exercises that beginners usually don't think about. I have learned to trust these programs as they were design to involve all muscle groups and varied with intensity and style of workouts in it giving muscles enough time to rest. I have also leaned that some workouts and exercises that I thought were too easy actually were challenging once I started doing them.

    Most of us in the beginning are solely focused on progress and physical results whether bulking up or losing weight. I personally suggest previewing last 7-4 days in Programs to see if it is likely achievable for us and on our fitness level. Programs progress in difficulty every few days really.

    Before you decide to upgrade to a more challenging program stick with the one you're doing and try to do double or triple the sets you're doing in one go if a single set is to easy first. You can also increase numbers of reps or add on some extra weight.

    If the exercise is too difficult you could probably modify it here:
    Exercise Modifications


    7. QUALITY over QUANTITY - ALWAYS. Like most people I've learned that the hard way. Once I started paying attention on proper form and performing exercises properly and slowly I have notice the response of my muscles was quicker, I could see results quicker and I were progressing faster to next level of exercise. In fitness less (but proper and challenging) is usually more.


    8. REPS and SETS on DAREBEE.

    These are all usually provided on most of workouts and programs on Darebee.
    Make yourself familiar with all the exercises before starting your workout. Videos of how to perform majority of exercises are here

    DAREBEE Video Exercise Library There are typically 3 difficulty levels (I, II and III) which usually require number of sets to repeat
    Sets usually consists of different exercises with varied reps numbers depending on difficulty level and typically need to be perform without a break one after another. Don't be put off if you need to take a little extra breaks between exercises when starting out as it's completely normal while you're body is getting used to being so active. Reps for exercises on both sides are a total reps for both sides therefore it's half of the reps.
    There is usually time up to 2 minutes between sets
    Sometimes there are two parts to the workout then it's good to finish all the sets in one before moving to the second part.
    DAREBEE Workout / Program Manual


    9. FOUNDATION first. Whether you are starting or your coming back foundation should be your primary focus. During the beginning our whole bodies have to learn to respond to exercise and most of us will lack most if not all of these: balance, strength, endurance and over-all foundation. These are essential before moving to work on a specific part of body. These protect us from any sport injury and help us perform exercises efficiently and correctly. In fact months in I'm still working on these.

    In the beginning don't expect that you'll be able to do all the exercises perfectly and that's normal. So don't be discouraged if your legs are bit shaky the first time you're doing squats or that you need extra mini breaks between reps in a set. This will show you your bodies limitations and what to work on next.


    10. Choosing PROGRAMS, WORKOUTS and CHALLENGES.

    There's a great variety of exercises available on the site but I don't recommend doing more than two different programs at the same time as to avoid burning out, and to allow muscle groups to rest and not to have to do exercises for the same muscle groups on the same day from different programs.
    I recommend Daily Dares or Themed Weeks (for more advanced) to add to your daily routine.

    If you still want to challenge your body I suggest going for different types of exercises and making sure that exercises for the same muscle groups don't fall on the same day in both and if they do perhaps start them 2 days apart etc.

    P.S. Try to pick a time in the day which is the best for your exercise as most likely this will become your routine.And then you don't have to 'find' the time for it as it will already be allocated for fitness.

    How to pick a program

    Choosing programs:
    Darebee Programs
    Darebee Challnges
    Darebee Workouts


    11. CHALLENGE YOUR BODY. If a workout is too easy to perform then it is not challenging for your body and will not activate all the muscles etc. Therefore you're probably not burning enough calories, you're most likely to be bored with exercise and you won't see any results. If exercise is not challenging don't waste your time and upgrade to program/workout on a higher level.

    12. PATIENCE. Introduce changes slowly. Progress never happens as we think it will. Progress means both weeks with no visible physical transformation (when all the changes are taking place inside of our bodies!) and weeks of speedy muscle growth, bone strengthening that seems to come all at once. Our muscles, tendons, our bones, our blood vessels, lungs - in fact our whole body organs and systems are trying to cope and learn how to respond to a stress we provided with. So try to introduce changes into your diet and exercise regime slowly as to ease your body into it.

    Progress will always happen though so don't give up. If you don't see results yet then it means they're happening internally at the moment and you will see visible results soon.

    13. SLEEP and REST. It's important, crucial and essential. With no sufficient time of rest/ sleep muscle recovery and metabolism will be slowed and it is likely you may lack energy and motivation. It's not only our muscles that are recovering throughout the night but our brain processes, dealing with our emotions, everyday stresses and the whole systems and organs in our bodies reset, clear out and refresh.

    14. FITNESS is a lifestyle. Be in it for a long-term rather than a short-time gain. Remember that fitness will always enhance your everyday life, your relationships, perhaps even enhance your career and give you new perspective and confidence. Fitness challenges us on many levels and teaches us that it is possible to change our habits and our bodies. So may fitness lifestyle be an extension of you and try to be compassionate and helpful to others trying reach their goals.
    After a while you'll realise that you probably be more conscious what you sleep, how long you sleep, how you use your time best to fit in all your workout in it.


    15. PROTEIN and food. I try to incorporate organic produce where I can and I invest time to cook batches of home-made food for a week ahead and freeze it. To top up my protein amount I usually use hemp protein powder which is organic, unprocessed and incredibly easy to digest which is unusual for protein powders. I would suggest researching online about animal vs plant and natural vs processed protein shekes online.

    If you're vegan like myself remember about supplementing vitamin B12.
    Nutrition
    Mealplans
    Plates


    16. DRINKS. I found that the right amount and quality of daily drinks can boost our energy levels, cleanse our bodies and speed up recovery and metabolism processes. I'd recommend green or herbal teas, home-made flavoured waters and plain water. Avoid carbonated drinks, too much caffeine and alcohol which may slow your progress and quality of your workout and your rest.
    30 Day First Thing Water Challenge was an eye-opener for me on wonders of water an hydrating one's body. I highly recommend it to anyone.

    17. CHECKING PROGRESS. As I mentioned before progress will always happened with the right diet, exercise, rest and patience. However I would advise anyone to only check your weight every 2-4 weeks and not more often than that to check on an actual realistic progress and to keep motivated in meanwhile.

    18. LOVE YOURSELF AS YOU ARE NOW. Before you start your exercise, assess your struggles, weaknesses, strengths and goals. We are all flawed. Invest time in your progress but always start from the point of loving yourself first. Be your own friend and focus on upgrading yourself and being a better version of yourself rather changing completely who you are. Rely on your goals and your hard work. And get to work. You can do it!

    19. ASK a question on a forum. Bees (Darebee community) is very friendly and very supportive and will always provide some answers and suggestions for you.

    Help desk/questions

    20. DAREBEE's badges, team and community (bees) are great motivators. If you're serious about fitness being part of your life I suggest you make a profile and be part of this incredibly welcoming community - called The Hive in here and become of of the bees.

    21. More posts relating to fitness, injuries, specific exercises and working out when sick or injured here

    DAREBEE Fitness posts/articles


    22. SOME EXERCISE MYTHS:
    a. you cannot successfully target a specific area on your body and lose fat there although some companies would like you to believe it
    b. average person does not need extra protein supplements and it is recommended that protein comes from variety of foods
    c. pushing yourself too much can actually be counter-productive and can cause injury so be careful and always work-up before exercises
    d. working out for hours doesn't actually mean you are going to benefit more and gin muscle or lose fat more quickly
    e. stretching should actually be done after exercise but always warm-up before exercising
    f. strength training will give you muscles

    There are a lot of articles on the topic online. I recommend you do your research and educate yourself about.


    Happy exercising!

    Piotr / Peter



    I apologise for any errors. I've been writing and re-writing it for a while and it hasn't been the easiest task. Let me know about any errors so that I can correct them please. Thank you.

    #2
    Great post, thanks once again for sharing!

    #1 is killing me at the moment, I'm normally quite good at keeping a good diet, but lately I'm craving all sweets, October is the ''birthdays month'' in my family, therefore there was a TON of cake at home, just struggling to get back on the healthy train. But I'm slowly getting there.

    #2 and #12, Excelent advice, I will pay more attention to making sure my workouts are fun, I did some hula hoop after my workout yesterday, and now I can link that to the felling that it gives it a little something familiar and fun to do too. About the patience......... Still working on that, I can be hard on myself sometimes.

    I'll be using a lot of the advice given here, thanks again!

    Have a great day!

    Comment


      #3
      piotrmkubiak Nice breakdown, if I could add in one point it is that people when they exercise generally focus on improvements in cardio or strength. There are a lot of different aspects of fitness though, and people who are starting out exercising should also at least consider other aspects like balance, coordination and agility. The interesting part about exercises to build on these three is that they are generally more fun too, which ties into your point #2. It is more fun to try to balance on one foot for thirty seconds than doing 30 seconds of squats after all, and while a person might not see gains from balancing on one foot versus squats in terms of muscle tone, they might notice the next time they need to balance in a functional sense.

      Comment


        #4
        AlejaMeja That is good with the hula hooping. I try to put such exercises into vastly different workout programs just as a way to inject some fun into what might otherwise seem like a lot of work.

        For me I add juggling to one workout, martial arts moves to another, and some plyometrics to another workout. These additionally have the benefit of focusing on agility, balance and coordination, as hula hoop would.

        Comment


          #5
          CaptainCanuck Right! I'm with you on this one.. It's a good way to help you keep engaged

          Comment

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