There is significant research to that shows to get fit you have to do more than just turn up at the gym. This is the starting point to your fitness journey, and I’m going to make it simple for you. Many of you may have heard of the acronym SPORT, specificity, progression, overload, reversibility and tedium. I’m going to use it to relate to the physical fitness basics I used when starting out and that I use to this day.
I’m going to be talking about goal setting, progression, overload, consistency and alternating workouts. Furthermore, I’ll mention the basics that have helped me when outside the gym that contribute to my constant improvement such as sleep, yes you heard right sleep.
By the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have a very good idea of what your needs are and some starter goals to aim for. You’ll also know to do the things that help muscle growth outside the gym. You’ll have a cornerstone for your fitness success.
Physical Fitness Basics
Set Goals (specificity)
Every successful person ranging from an accountant to an actor has reached their level of success from setting clear goals. It is the same with fitness. Which is why specificity is important. An individual like yourself whether you’re slim or stocky or somewhere in between will require a different type of activity to meet his or hers ability level.
Setting goals will give you greater control and a greater focus on your training. It’s vital you know what you want and do your research so that your training gives you the best results.
Add some weight, gradually! (progression)
You’ll see a lot of guys in the gym lifting heavy weights and you’ll want to lift as much as you can too, so the other guys don’t think you are weak. But the key thing to remember is that everyone in the gym was at the point you are right now, and don’t feel worried that all eyes are on you when lifting the lightest weight on the weight rack because I can assure you that if you do go too heavy for your ability, then the eyes will be on you, dropping the weight!
You may feel self-conscious at first, I did too, but there’s nothing to worry about and you’ll soon realise that you can increase the weights you lift, across all muscle groups. Also, a key point to remember is by adding weight gradually you will minimize your risk of injury.
Increase intensity (overload)
You must work hard if you want results and it’s important to overload your muscles. If you’re already active by running for example and you are not happy with your results, then you may need alter your training so that you are doing more, or resting less.
You can do this by training more frequently, training for longer or by increasing the intensity of your training. This will help your body to adapt and improve as time goes on, and you will see more results.
Stay consistent (reversibility)
Possibly one of the hardest things to do with anything is to stay consistent! With your training you must keep your discipline if you want long term results. I wasted a lot of time by giving up with either by training or by diet and reaching my goals seemed impossible. I stuck with it and you will have to do the same.
If you stop training, your endurance will start to deteriorate after a week or two and your muscle mass will take around two weeks to begin to deteriorate, but this is different from person to person, that is just a general guide.
Change things up (tedium)
After a few weeks of doing the same workout routine you could get bored and lose confidence. It is natural to feel this way and you shouldn’t worry too much or let it overwhelm you.
Instead, to stay motivated and consistent it’s good to change your workouts by altering the exercises you do, for example by using a barbell as opposed to dumbbells. You can find ideas of how to do this across this site.
Alternatively, by increasing the intensity of your workouts, you can challenge yourself more and push yourself to levels you never thought you could reach. This worked well for me and many people I know. My knowledge of different movements and the quality of my training improved and so did my confidence, yours will too!
Outside the gym – just as important
Diet is vital for your physical improvement. If you’re looking to build muscle then increase your protein intake, if you’re looking to lose fat, stop eating pizza, simple as that.
Sleep is very important for fitness because that’s where your muscles are doing most of the growing. Ensuring you rest means your muscles have enough time to rest and as a result you are less likely to get an injury.
Drinking water hydrates you before a workout (obviously) but without getting into the boring science part, water gets protein to the muscles and assists growth. Furthermore, vitamins can help add to an already balanced diet for additional gains.
Finally, training has the potential to be a big part of your life, for those long hours you spend in the gym you want to have some interest, whether it’s by going with a friend or including an activity that you love.
Today is a good day to start
This is just the start, you have a base for your fitness journey by doing the little things that are going to help long term gains. There will be posts to follow that will give you an idea of how to isolate your muscles if you are looking at weightlifting, bodybuilding and cross fitness.
As far as I’m concerned, these tips are essential to your improvement. Athletes stay disciplined with training and diet and you must too.
You have made a good start to your fitness journey. However, if you are still unsure about something or anything mentioned above, feel free to leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively follow my social accounts which are linked below!
Hi, I’m Nick and the creator of thefitnessfeeling.com. I have a passion for health and fitness, and I want to share my knowledge and experience with you. I’m here to help you with any questions you have.