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4 Introductory Tips for the Novice Trainee
I have been at the gym with lots of teenagers starting strength training in their daily schedule. It appears that the lack of knowledge contributes to the poor results demonstrated by the majority of adolescents. And stubbornness causes new trainees to ditch chin ups for bicep curls, just to point out one example. And although there are recovery and nutritional errors that the common beginner executes, I will merely be discussing the errors involving training.
Motivation for training seems to usually stem from the desire to look aesthetically appealing to the opposite sex, which results in the training of ‘mirror muscles’ (AKA Chest, Shoulders, Biceps, and Abdominals). Solely training these muscles neglect the equally, or from a sports standpoint, more important muscles of the posterior chain. The posterior chain includes all muscles from back of the neck to the heels. A common workout one might see from these beginners would be the following. Upon entering the gym, no warm-up occurs.
The trainee walks over to the dumbbells to bust out a high repetition set of vein pumping bicep curls. After a few sets of inconsistent effort, the trainee will then do some bench press, followed by some seated shoulder press. After working the shoulders, pectorals, and biceps, it is time for some crunches. Not only is this training inefficient, due to the amount of muscle being neglected in the lower body and back, but can eventually cause injury due to muscular imbalances. An example would be when the constantly trained chest muscles over time internally rotate the shoulder. To prevent this, the upper back muscles should be trained as much, if not more, than the chest muscles.
Machines vs dumbbells
Machines surely have an appeal over dumbbells or barbells. It is mentally easy to walk around aimlessly and sit down on a machine with a pre-determined motion. Unfortunately, no muscle coordination or balance is required through machine usage, thus, the muscles do not receive the full benefit. Also, dumbbell or barbell exercises look more intense. To support my statement, look at your local gym. Do the stronger trainees there utilize mostly machines over free weights? In addition, machines usually isolate the muscles (work one muscle at a time). Compound exercises (Squats, Dead lifts, Bench Press, Chin Ups) train multiple muscles at the same time, therefore improving gym efficiency. Compound exercises also induce a higher hormonal response, encouraging overall muscular development.
Another mistake beginning lifters make is that they engage in high repetition sets. This is because higher reps generally require less mental effort due to the constant, but lower, level of effort throughout the set. Unfortunately, higher repetitions train the type of muscle fibre that is trained for endurance exercise. These fibres are not designed to grow substantially. Lower repetitions that force the trainee to train at a higher intensity train a type of muscle fibre that grows upon stress and enhances the muscles ability to produce explosive power. To make this simple, higher repetitions allow the muscle to perform for longer amounts of time (Marathon Runner), whereas lower repetitions allow the muscle to perform explosive, powerful amounts of force (Olympic Wrestlers).
Do you want mediocre results?
The previously listed concepts all contribute to mediocre results in the gym. But with substantial effort, they can be overcome. The main thing which turns weaklings into athletes is a simple concept: consistency. Although new trainees may push it hard while working out, if they are to do this simply once per week, they will not see the same results as the person who trains intensely 3-4 sessions per week. Soreness, and tiredness, can lead to lack of motivation to train. Stretching and supplements can help greatly reduce training induced pain. Also, following a proper warm up prior to exercise can prevent injury, and as all athletes would know, injury completely halts any ability to perform exercise. A 5 minute jog on the treadmill or some light stretching can be beneficial. Another option would be simply starting at a light load, then increasing the load in order to expand blood vessels and deliver nutrients to the muscles.
If you find yourself making some mistakes outlined in this article, visit my next article titled ‘Novice Strength Training Routines’ for two sample workouts that can be used to prepare your underdeveloped muscles for more challenging programs.
If you are interested in purchasing a health related franchise, please contact us today at 778-676-3808.
Author: Channing Vigier