How You Can Start Lifting Everyday
Ever since I started walking, my first goal was to kick a ball. Football had been my passion since the beginning, and I loved the adrenaline rush before every game and the pressure to perform and score goals. Coming from India, football avenues to the rest of the world or mainly Europe are relatively low or non-existent, and to add salt to the wound, my family was not very supportive of my dreams of becoming a professional footballer mainly because they didn’t want me to get hurt if I failed which in hindsight I would have.
My diet had been a big issue for me ever since I started playing competitively, a slight shoulder push or a shove would send me rolling on the grass. I was a scrawny kid; I could run, and I could shoot but being weak meant I couldn’t get past big defenders which became a very big obstacle for me later on.
Later in high school when my chances of going pro seemed bleaker than ever, I decided to do something about my body and gain a little weight and build some muscle in my body.
Obviously, I couldn’t have left football completely, so I made it a weekly occurrence with friends or cousins. Now I moved on towards lifting and becoming stronger. One thing that I have harshly come to realize after many injuries is that it does not matter how much you lift if your form and your body are not in sync.
To begin properly you need to ask yourself: Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you busting your ass in the gym while you can be resting like probably the rest of your friends? I was clear why I was doing it; I had had enough of being weak and being called names and now I wanted to change something in my life starting with my body.
When I first got to the gym, I was a bit intimidated by all the buffed up big guys, it turned out that most of them had similar insecurities as mine and were always willing to help. If you are not going to a gym because you are wondering what people are going to say then you need to think about what people have been saying till now when you are already fat or scrawny, people around you are always going to be saying shit about you or your body so might as well give them something to be jealous of. The people who support you in your journey of transformation will be your true supporters, they can be family or friends.
The only thing I can recommend for the beginning is to take guidance and correct your form. Set yourself a challenge of going to the gym for 45 straight days and take only 1 day off every week, see and feel the changes in your body. For me, I felt energized, more confident in myself and I saw that people started noticing me more wherever I went.
I began with a trainer who trained me by correcting my form and giving me all my workout routines. Having a trainer really helped me as I had never even stepped into a gym before, so he helped me form a solid habit in the initial couple of months. I was never a fan of the extreme bulked-up gym bros and I just wanted to become fitter and more active which as it turned out is the worst goal you can set for yourself.
Goals and Planning
We all know by now that most of us are naturally lazy bums and in order to accomplish something, we need to push ourselves past our mental limits. A gym like most places in life resembles a two-way street, you get what you put into it. These are a couple of lessons about planning and scheduling that I learned pretty late.
So, my goal of getting more fit and active was very arbitrary and actually hindered my progress. If I had been clearer about my goals and what I had planned to do in the initial 3 months, then it would have been easier for me to form my workout routines and plan my days and my diet accordingly. Given all of the above information, the effects on the body were only meager in comparison to the time I had put in. So I suggest before going to the gym take a piece of paper and a pen and try to write about your dream body and the exact bodyweight you desire and imagine vividly the way you want to look once you achieve your targets. During the warmup cardio, I imagined what my pump would look like when I started lifting. Really get into the flow and immerse in the process of transforming your body.
This one I’m still learning myself; The importance of the correct diet. Living in Delhi and a Punjabi household is like a two-pronged attack, you are always near mouth-watering scrumptious foods. Being a food lover and having a sweet tooth is not an advantage when you want to workout every day as unhealthy oily and buttery food literally slow your body down and don’t allow your mind and body to function at their best. Excessive intake of fatty foods, especially oil fats, disrupts the functioning of the body’s vital organs and affects the health of the body. Greasy foods are rich in calories, excess fats, and trans fats, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
It can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke accompanied by elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. When you seriously start working out, you need to maintain a healthy balance of food. I have two cheat meals throughout the week and have started making delicious food at home as well so that number is only going to go down.
How and What to Do?
Having by now established your goals, the importance of athleticism, and knowing your body, now we need to know how & what to do on your training routine or schedule. For the most part, you want to focus on always performing compound exercises and fewer isolation exercises. Some compounds that are a MUST for any person, are deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, bench press, shoulder press, power cleans, box jumps, and the list goes on and on. For learning the correct form in all these you will need guidance otherwise you can easily hurt yourself and get injured.
Importance of a good warm-up
Remember to start stretching and add it to your daily workout regimen, most people leave out stretching as it doesn’t look cool or it makes the muscles weak by elongating them, on the contrary, it makes them ready for lifting and gets your body warm and mainly it helps you avoid injuries. Your active warmup should include dynamic stretching, so you’ll technically be performing some stretches. Dynamic stretching improves the range of motion and decreases injuries by getting your muscles properly prepared for the exercise and helping them achieve full functionality. Many strains happen when the muscle is forced into a movement it’s not ready for, so an active warmup with dynamic stretching will mitigate this risk.
One last thing that I can recommend is making it as easy as possible to say yes to a workout.
If you have a bag of chips sitting next to you at your desk, you’ll probably dip into it for a handful every so often. But if that bag of chips is down a flight of stairs and in the back of a kitchen cabinet, you’re probably less like to eat them.
With fitness, do the opposite by removing barriers wherever possible.
Reducing barriers could mean switching to a gym that’s closer to your house, having a set program so that you’re never wondering what you should be doing, or preparing your gym bag in advance (also a precommitment).
Reducing barriers to activities you want to do makes you more likely to follow through.
Any one of these tips can turn you from a couch potato into a gym regular, if you use it well enough it will help you stop being lazy and help you in getting the results you want.