A newbie’s introduction to fitness.


“Fear Time Ends now”. Part 1

“A newbie’s introduction to fitness”
by Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums, Apollo Fitness Barbados, & NarkSide Apparel.

September 2009

Virginity… We’ve all been there.

Unsure of self.

Unsure of what’s right or wrong… what’s acceptable, and what’ll have us ostracized quicker than Oprah takes to fail at a fad diet.

Unsure of what the next step is.

Heck… most of are unsure of what the *first* step is.

And, this is what today’s article is about: Starting up a fitness journey from scratch.

I’m sure you’ve noticed, the chubby chick standing in the corner of the gym staring, wide-eyed (and, some may argue, wild-eyed) at the numerous exercise stations. She, afraid to touch

anything, touches nothing.

Are you her?

Well, this article is for you.

Fear time ends now!

I repeat: Fear. Time. Ends. Now.

Getting started: Your first course of action? Choose a gym.

Logical first step?

Well, many people don’t think so.

Many people are discouraged before they even venture to start… and, as such, fail prior to even starting.

“But can’t I just buy the newest exercise video?”

Sure you can.

And then you can buy the next… and the next… and the next.

What will you have learned, ‘cept maybe how to replicate exactly what the instructor on said video shows you?

What will you have learned about adaptation and change?

I’d fathom nothing.

“But Nark… can a gym really teach me more than a video?”

Sure.

We’re creatures of habit… Creatures who are products of socialization.

Gyms provide platforms via which numerous concepts can be exposed, shared, assimilated and/or discarded.

I’ve been involved in fitness for well over a decade, and I *still* learn new things when I go to the gym.

  • Modifications to exercises to make them more effective.
  • Periodized work-out ideas.
  • Mobilization concepts.
  • Stretching concepts
  • Cardio concepts

Each of these represent dynamic, and ever-changing facets of fitness. Each of these are things which you can take away with you, and apply to your own personal fitness journey.

Join a gym.

You’ll find people who know what they’re doing… as well as people who, like you, are just learning.

Knowledge is power… and support is empowering.

To find both knowledge and the support in one place is well worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

Getting started: Step two? Get a personal trainer.

“Gatdamn Nark… Do you know how much one of those costs?”

Yea… I do.

Do you know how much knee, shoulder, back, or hip surgery costs?

Incidentally, injuries to the first three of those areas are the ones most common in newbies.

Think about it.

How many of you have pals who joined the gym only to drop out shortly after, after having hurt their back?

How many of you know people who seem to ‘tweak their shoulder’ every couple of months?

I’d guess that percentage to be around 50%.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyway…back on topic: I’d suggest that new trainees work with a personal trainer for at least the first month of working out.

And… I do mean ‘work’.

Work your ass off, assimilating all the information your trainer can provide.

This info will mean the difference between you progressing or regressing.

Two VERY common mistakes made by beginners are:

  • Performing exercises with horrible form.
  • Performing exercises with too much weight.

Not having a foundation of knowledge where proper exercise technique is concerned contributes to the former.

Having a personal trainer gives you that foundation… thus preventing injury and subsequent stagnation.

Not sure what to look for in a personal trainer?

Then check out “Certification Does Not Equate To Knowledge: How To Find A Qualified Personal Trainer” by Nicolle Sisia, research and development team member at GetNarked.net.

Getting started: Step three? Get stronger!

This section is dedicated to female readers in particular… as a common mistake most of them make, is in working out with little to no resistance.

We’ve debated the whole “weights will make me look like a man” rubbish in previous articles.

An especially good read, which I’d encourage you all to check out was: “I Lift Weights Like A Girl. Try to keep up” by Sunset Sealy, research and development consultant on getnarked.net.

http://www.getnarked.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9555

The above article’s footnotes?

  • Lifting heavy things = good.
  • Lifting heavy things turns you into a man = ridiculous myth

Think on this: Women wear high heels… Why?

Cus it makes their butt and calves look STUPENDOUS!

Let me pause for a bit, as stupendous-looking butts really do bring a tear to my eye.

*pauses*

/end moment of respectful silence.

Right.

So… What are the butt and calves?

What makes ’em so damned full and curvy?

What makes ’em desirable?

I’ll answer that: Muscle.

They’re both shapely muscles.

Muscle gives ’em their shape… Fat does not. A little fat gives ’em that succulent coating… The issue is, a lot of people have a lot of fat, and very little muscle. Fat droops… Muscle does not.

Fat dimples.

Muscle does not.

Are you following the general thought here?

More on the bubble-butt equation:

High heels force both the muscles of the butt and those of the calves into a contracted position… a perpetual contraction that whole world happens to find sexy at that.

Nobody thinks “well that is a manly pair of buttocks” when you’re strutting in those heels.

And, well, if they do… then it’s time for you to hit the squat rack!

Back on topic: Get stronger.

And I mean this in both the literal and figurative sense.

Weight-training requires both physical and personal strength… and, as such, builds both physical and personal strength.

Committing to building weight-training, is akin to committing to being a stronger person.

So… get strong.

“But Nark… HOW?!”

How?

“Yes. What exercises when? C’mon man… stop speaking in riddles already!”

Ok, I’ll break it down.

Muscles get stronger when they’re challenged and overloaded.

Overload can be accomplished via multiple forms of stimuli.

The most straight-forward?

  • Resistance: i.e. via adding more weight.
  • Volume: i.e. via adding more sets and repetitions of an exercise.

Now that we’ve examined the ‘how’, lets put things in perspective.

Which of the below lower-body exercises do you think works the most muscle?

  • The dumbbell Squat
  • The leg-extension
  • The glute blaster
  • The adductor machine
  • The abductor machine

I’ll answer that for you:

  • The squat works the muscles of the outer thigh, butt, frontal thigh, rear thigh, inner thigh, and hips.
  • The leg extension works the muscles of the front of the thighs.
  • The Glute blaster works the buttocks
  • The abductor works the muscle of the hips and outer thigh.
  • The adductor works the muscles of the inner thigh.

As the squat works more muscles, then logically, squatting results in a stronger butt and thighs than any of the other listed exercises.

If this is indeed the case, then why is it the norm to find female trainees opting to skip squats… instead, choosing to plow away at the other listed exercises endlessly?

We’ll investigate the ‘why’ further, in a follow-up article.

In the mean time, let me give you the short answers.

The short answers:

  • Fear (of becoming ‘manly’)
  • Ignorance


My challenge to you:
Step four? Get Smarter!!

There is a wealth of information out there. This isn’t just a NarkSide plug… but rather an actuality. You owe it to yourself to read, read, and read some more.

Don’t let fear and ignorance rob you of the body you desire.

Anyway, that’s it for this week.

Until next time.

Regards,

by Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The
NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel

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