New to the fitness lifestyle? I have some advice for you...
1. Have patience. Fitness, leanness and muscle is almost like a pregnancy: you can not rush it to month 8 no matter how much you want to. You just need to allow the whole process to take place and try to enjoy the ride even though it's tedious, painful or scary.
2. Stay away from products that promise you rapid weight loss or magic transformation in record time. They don't work in the long run and what YOU need is doing great things for the short and long run of every day life.
3. Avoid being discouraged by looking at how much weight seasoned trainers are using. Once upon a time they too were weaklings. They weren't born with dumbbells in their hands, but they worked on getting stronger every day for many years and that's what you will do too.
4. Don't overcomplicate food. You come a long way with common sense. Learn about muscle promoting nutrition and how to use food to your advantage but avoid digging so deep into nutritional philosophy and catch 22's or contradicting evidence on what's healthy or not. You will only get confused and feel like no matter what you do you won't do it 100% right.
5. Avoid working at a too advanced workout level. As a beginner you will have the luxury of getting muscle response from a lot less than do those with years of training under their belt. By using a too advanced program you can short circuit muscle protein synthesis (building muscle process). One step at a time. Another aspect is it can overwhelm you. Newbies overtrain their minds easily leading to surrendering the gym altogether.
6. Avoid competing too soon. Many coaches will rip money off you by convincing you you are buff enough to lean out. Don't let them rush you, contest prep is strenuous for body and mind.
7. Have faith that any jiggle and loose body part will tighten up with time. I know it seems strange that you will gain results from your workout you're doing today in months from now. You need to do it repeated many times. Muscle increase is like a wound. You need to peel off the skin that your body is trying to put on it to heel in order to make a scar. The scar will thicken with time. The more your peel the thicker the scar. I know it sounds gross, but muscle mass is a defense mechanism: in order to survive the stress your body will develop more muscle.
8. Pick your priorities. Training for a six pak, marathon, self-defense, muscle growth and ballet at the same time will just be a weird command for your body to interpret. Your body will think like this: "What? What does she mean? Hey, I thought you meant, oh wait a minute, ok, that is what you want? Now I'm confused, what do I do? More muscle, no, I cannot do it when you do all those other energy expending things, come on, give me a break!"
9. Don't tell your body you hate it. Don't zoom in on your flaws. It doesn't make your body happy. Yes you're working on perfecting what you've got but allow positive reinforcements! So what your belly is not 100% lean yet? So what your thighs are a bit too big? Or your back is flat and no definition? Flabby arms? See it this way: if you didn't have things to work on, you'd be bored. And you'll feel higher level of satisfaction when you go form flab to fab. Love your body because you need it to love YOU back to get what you want from it.
10. Lastly, work on making fitness your lifestyle. Find foods you love that love your leanness and muscularity back. Always work on your mindset and your discipline. See it as a privilege to work on your mentality and your strength. You learn so much about yourself when you devote your life to fitness it will color all other fields in your life which increases your success rate.
You can make it happen. Never doubt it. Start today.
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By: Pauline Nordin
Editor: Pavel Ythjall, firstname.lastname@example.org