Niagara Gazette

Features

December 9, 2012

FIT FOR LIFE: Six things I wish I knew starting out

Niagara Gazette — We all make mistakes when it comes to working out, myself included, but if I can spare you from making any — hopefully, all — of these common “beginner” mistakes, then this article will be a success.

1. Train in all repetition ranges. Do some of your work in the 4-6 range, 6-10 and 12-15 rep range. Progressive overload can be made in all of those rep ranges while keeping your joints, body and mind sane from always doing the same rep range. However, avoid doing 50-100+ crunches “because it burns.” Put your hand on a hot stove and save yourself three minutes, you’ll still get “the burn!”

2. Take care of an injury at its onset. Avoiding the warning signs of tendonitis or any other injury because you are afraid of missing time, although its admirable, isn’t the smartest thing to do. Address the issue as soon as possible BEFORE it becomes chronic and you miss some REAL gym time. 

Take preventive measures and get adjusted by a chiropractor, or use a foam roll (covered in previous articles) and work on your mobility and flexibility. These are typically not fun and sexy or rewarding as running the gorge, deadlifting or flipping tires, but just as important!

3. Work on increasing your strength by doing the following:

• Horizontal Pressing (a pressing movement while you are laying down) - Common movement examples are the bench press or seated chest press.

• Rowing - Either doing a bent over row (pulling the weight to your midsection), or a seated back row machine.

• Vertical Pressing - A pressing movement overhead using dumbbells, medicine balls, barbells, etc.

• Vertical Pulling - Pull-ups, assisted pullups or pulldownsuntil adequate strength is built

• Hip Extension - BB squats, deadlifts, etc.

If you make progress on these major-multi joint compound movements, you will experience a carry-over effect to the smaller muscle groups.

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