DISCLAIMER: If you’ve never worked out before and your walking into the gym with a five day split, two hours a day, then you’re in danger of hurting yourself. You need to put that program in the bin and take another look. In my opinion, as a beginner, you do not need to be smashing the gym that hard, as you will ramp up your fatigue to heights you have never experienced and ruin your time in the gym.
You've Got Your Beginner Program: What Now?
So you’ve made it! You’ve got your program on your phone, or you’ve wrote it down in your notebook, you're ready to make some sweet gains and turn your life around for the better, and you know where you want to be in the coming months.
I know you’re probably eager as beaver, but take a second to breathe and think about what you actually need to do.This one is going to expand a bit on my last post, well would you look at that, here's a link to it if haven't read it yet.
Habit Building 101
This next three to four weeks is going to be tough. You need to develop the habit of actually going to the gym now. But it not easy. It’s a difficult habit to master and I still fall into “oh i’ll just do it tomorrow”, but you have to smash that thought right in the face and tell it “NO” - Remember the reason you signed up for this. Write it down and keep it with you at all times.
Jim Carrey wrote himself a check and kept it in his wallet for years to keep himself motivated in the times he struggled. He then went on to be a multi million dollar actor. If you struggle with finding motivation this works. I may end up writing about how energize yourself to get motivated at a later date.
Habit building is all about sticking to the process. Think about how easy it was to set your phone by the side of your bed and check it before you go to sleep and then as soon as you wake up, check it again. That’s an easy habit to develop, it’s comfortable and is super low effort.
Working out isn't the most comfortable experience in the world, you’re literally causing micro tears in your muscles to make the grow and it takes a lot of effort. So much effort that you need to eat more and sometimes causes you to sleep better.
The first month is about getting past through your past comfortable lifestyle, as well as your ego trying to pull you back down into it. Fear not, in time this will pass. You're on the path of change.
I’ve dealt with many people struggling in their first month of most things, but I tell them to remember why they’re doing it and if they can make it through the warm up and still feel like shit, then they can go home.
I use this to this very day, and I can guarantee that getting up, doing the warm up and even just moving will change your state so you can get the work done.
You don’t take a huge leap into something and expect everything to be perfect. The way the fitness industry is marketed this way. It tells you cheap lies “6 pack abs in 6 weeks” to give you a false sense of hope.
The hard reality is: IF YOU TOOK FIVE YEARS TO GET TO AN OVERWEIGHT LEVEL, IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME TO REVERSE THAT
Taking small steps to build your habit of putting your gym gear on, getting in you car, driving to the gym and completing your workout with help with your retention.
Being at the gym is all about the pay off at the end of the month. I’ll warn you now, chasing the pump doesn’t help you in the long run. My training partner and I have a friend that chases the pump and has made very little progress in the last two years. Less than me and I’ve been injured!
Your pay off is then you catch yourself in the mirror at home on a morning and you’re starting to look thick, your shoulders and broader now, your legs are thicker, and when you flex your upper back, you can see your muscles popping. Not only that, people start to notice you’ve changed and are now holding yourself better. You’re starting to come out of your shell and are attracting attention to yourself.
This pay of is better than a 5 minute flex show in the gym mirror at the end of your work out session.
Your Beginner Program
The beginner portion of your program should be challenging, but not pin you at the bottom of a squat challenging. It should facilitate this new habit buy keeping it simple for your first month to help you build this habit.
It should challenge you into new positions, for example the squat. Your program should teach you a body weight squat, into a 20kg/45 lbs barbell squat. The same with the other compounds, then start adding weight. This is so your body gets used to these new movements, while adding stress in a linear progressive overload.The reason I use barbells, is because they use the MOST muscle mass, over a greater range of motion. Barbells get you big and strong in the fastest way possible. They’re simply the best for any new person in the gym to build habits.
If you’re questioning this, then think about this: You can load up a leg press with a lot of weight and it allows you to claim ridiculous weights.
Can you do the same with a squat? In a leg press you’re training mainly your legs, with a squat your whole body is involved and it wont give you a false sense of grandeur. It will humble you to the core.
The leg press makes you think you’re strong. A squat proves you are strong
Do Your Compounds
They will facilitate this new venture you're embarking on. it’s the pay off at the end of the month that will keep you coming back. In theory, you can add 30kg to your squat in the first month on a squat three day program. Which is NOT hard.
Main Takeaways Before Starting Your Beginner Program
KISS - Keep it simple, stupid. Three day a week rotation A B compound workout is enough for a beginner.
Take small effective steps to build your new habit. It’s not going to be easy and you will face resistance. Just remember you’re doing it for you and to become a better person. One of the hardest resistances I had to take, was my parents pestering me on why I wanted to be big and strong. This is what I wanted and I was going to get it. It’s lead me to writing this for you today.
Your programme should facilitate this new habit.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in the next one.