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Hi dear fitness lovers, I am making this post because I see far too many people coming on the site and asking where do they start, how do they start and what they need to do to get fit. So I'm going to try and make a step by step guide of what you should do when you join this site and link some useful articles from the site. Hopefully this will help some people get started working out. (I used bench press in all of my examples because it's an exercise I think everyone knows) Also anyone have any ideas, corrections to add please say so and I will add them in. The best thing as in most in general is to keep things basic and simple. You're just starting there's no need to do complicated exercises or complicated diets. If you want to that's fine, you'll work a lot harder and most people just lose motivation and quit. So just take things slowly this is a lifestyle change not a quick fix. Step 1) Choose a routine If you are a beginner or you have taken a break from working out (more than a year pause) you should start with a beginner routine. Even if you had been working out for 2 years before that or however long, it doesn't matter start with a beginner routine because you're muscles aren't used to it... then move up to a different routine. For more information, www.fitlive.info is a great start for you. Step 2) Learn how to do the exercises in the routine correctly To do this it's pretty simple start with low weights. Leave your ego at the door, you're not trying to impress anybody. If you lift heavier weights than you should be you're only making a fool of yourself by looking like a wannabe. So start very light, get the form down to a tee and start moving up the weight week by week. Ideally you should be increasing the difficulty of the exercise every week. This can be done in several ways: Increasing weights Increasing repetitions (number of times you lift the weight) Slowing down your repetitions Exercises: Www.fitlive.info is a great way for you to find exercises. You can also youtube them or google them. Just type in the name of the exercise you're looking for and technique or how to do (whatever exercise it is) Step 3) Basic techniques for all exercises Breathing Breathe out when you're exerting force, breathe in when you're not. Simple? Yes, but yet so many people forget to breathe when they're lifting. Timing A good timing for your repetitions is the 2-1-2. It means that in the exercise you are performing you should be lowering the weight for 2 secs, pausing and contracting whichever muscle you are working for 1 second and then lift it for 2 seconds. Sometimes you should be contracting the muscle at the bottom of your exercise sometimes it will be at the top, pretty much common sense will answer when you are capable of contracting. Like in the bench press at the bottom of the movement you can't contract (try it I can't explain why you can't) but at the top of the movement you can contract the chest. This is also known as the mind-muscle connection and you will eventually be able to contract whatever muscle you think of without contracting the others. www.fitlive.info Locking out In no exercise should you lock out your joints, for example if you are benchpressing you shouldn't completely extend your arms because this will put unnecessary strain on the joints and take away weight from your muscles taking pressure off of them. (build muscles slower, possible injury) Warm up You must do a 5 minute warmup before you start lifting. Lots of people don't but I think it's a really bad idea to start lifting weights cold. Also recommend doing a light warm up set of whatever exercise it is youre going to do. So lets say you bench 130 pounds normally, do one set of 60 pounds. (A set is just doing a certain number of repetitions) Stretching Stretching the muscles you are about to work out for about 5 minutes and in between exercises if they feel sore I think is necessary. Rest Between each exercise, and between the different sets of each exercise you should rest around a minute to a minute and a half. www.fitlive.info Step 4) Diet Again here we're going to be wanting to keep things simple. So if you're eating junk food all the time and nothing else eat less junk food. If you eat junk food every once in a while eat it even less. Pretty much establish were you're at in terms of eating healthy foods and eat healthier than you were before. Of course the healthier you eat compared to how you were eating before the better results you will get. One thing most people don't know is that a big percentage of the population has an intolerance for wheat. So try not eating any wheat prodcuts for two weeks or three (it's easier in USA since there's so many more non-wheat prodcuts there) and then take wheat one day. If you feel like crap or have an upset stomach it means you have an intolerance for it. Same thing happens when you get rid of junk food and then try it again. Pretty much your body hates being mistreated but it will adapt, so don't make it adapt and treat it right. Step 5) Set goals To do this get a journal, and write down how much you're lifting each session, how long you're session lasts and give it a grade. And next session try and beat your last personal record in any of the ways stated in step 2. Those would be your short term goals, and you can make other short term goals like in 3 weeks I want to have increased my bench press by 10 pounds. Long term goals are more complicated and will need more reading to learn how to set them, we that is an excellent article that pretty much explains everything you have to do. Another great article on learning how to set goals we have great information at www.fitlive.info Step 6) Supplements If you are starting to work out the only supplement you should really take is whey protein for your post work out shake. And on off days take one as soon as you wake up before breakfast. I won't post reasons because it would be too long and that's not the purpose of this post. For a begginer creatine isn't as necessary as whey protein, so save the creatine for when you need that extra help to take your body to a new level. Multivitamin is also a very good supplement to take especially if you have only one diet that you follow every day since the odds of you getting all the vitamins you need from the same food source are slim especially if you're not an expert. Step 7) Rest You should be sleeping ideally between 8 to 10 hours, although most people will recommend 7 to 8 as a good goal. Another point many beginners fail to realize is that going to the gym won't help you grow faster in fact it will do just the opposite. So stick to the beginner routine and do only what it says to do in the routine don't add anything to it. Here are some of the most common beginner mistakes www.fitlive.info And some common lifting myths www.fitlive.info for more detailed information. Step 8) READ!! I have posted very few links to articles on this site but just read all you can it's what will help you the most. So here are some links to other sites that are helpful that aren't so easy to find. http://www.thedailyplate.com/ A site that tells you the nutrition information about foods and lets you keep a diet journal http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm Calculate your maximum heart rate to help you know at what intensity you are training while doing cardio. (this method uses your resting heart rate which you take as soon as you wake up www.fitlive.info I might get some hate for posting an article from that site, but just because the people on their forums are idiots doesn't mean that they aren't a good source of information with lots of useful articles too. So that's all I can think of for now any questions, suggestions, corrections feel free to add them and hope this was helpful to someone I had a good time writting it out. Alright I wanted to detail more step 4 Diet since diet is the most important aspect of transforming your body (bodybuilding :P): To some having a strict meal plan that you follow every day can be motivational and actually something they enjoy but most people won't like that lack of freedom in choosing what to eat. Which is why I'm adding this section to all those people that can't follow the same diet everyday or find it to be too much trouble and demotivational. (Since food affects mood). Alright for a begginer having a daily diet isn't vital for seeing substantial gains and you will still see great gains if you just eat healthy and regularly. However most people don't understand what eating healthy really means so I'm going to pretty much steal coregains thread explaining how to eat healthy and what foods are healthy and not and you can use common sense after that to discover which ones aren't. And I'll also add some useful links and anyone that wants to post more links feel free to do so, I will definetely add them on. Step 9 (if you want to call it that) Eating Healthy HEALTHY Small regular meals Eat regularly (5 meals a day). You want three big meals (your breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two smaller meals in between those. In spain we call them almuerzo and merienda. This type of meal structure is gaining more popularity because it's easier to do and you can lead a completely normal life while, something not so easy to do if you're eating 8 times a day. So each meal should have protein, carbs and fat. Try to make each meal have all of these three. Protein: Eggs, fish, poultry, red meats (lean is preferred since there is less fat), low fat milk, nuts (be careful though these have a high fat content don't eat too many), and proetin supplements Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes (white or red), brown rice, 100% whole wheat and whole grain products (pretty much don't eat white bread if you can and the same goes for pasta and all these grains), green vegetables (brocolli, green beans, asparragus, lettuce, etc...) You can eat as many green vegetables as you want And fruit (don't overdo it though since fruit has more sugar and too much isn't good either) Fat: You get fat from meat, fish, nuts (peanut butter yuuum). Can't think of many more sources but you shouldn't worry too much there's enough fat in your other foods that you won't have a problem getting enough fat. UNHEALTHY Okay now that I've said what you SHOULD eat I think it's equally important to say what you SHOULDN'T eat: White sugar (this is satan pretty much hahah) Asides from being unhealthy it actually steals from the good foods your eating because it actually leeches minerals from your body. Ice cream, fried foods, doughnuts and pastries, candy, chocolate, soda, fruit drinks (these are usually loaded with sugar read the nutritional information before buying), bacon, sausage, white bread, chips, nachos, sugary breakfast cereal. All those yummy delicious foods are unhealthy and you should take them very rarely (like once a week) after a while you'll notice that in fact your stomach gets upset if you take them again after avoiding them long enough. I mean your body is smarter than you are it knows what food isn't good for you but if you force it down your throat every day your body will adapt and grow intolerant to it allowing you to eat it without feeling sick. So don't try and trick your body LISTEN to it So there we go I'll be editing every once in a while to try and make it not so long and cut out unnecesary information but for now I'll leave it like that :P Please dears, if you liked this. Check www.fitlive.info for daily updates. Feel free to ask if there is anything you need. Kind regards, Don/Fitlive.Info