At Ninth Wave Fitness (NWF), everyone is exposed to coaching on a weekly basis and we have a lot of experience in helping beginners lift successfully and safely. Here are some tips that would help anyone, not just our clients, make more progress when they are inexperienced:
- Tip one: Get lean early with no risk. Go hard and smart with nutrition from day 1 and see body fat drop off without having to smash yourself in the gym. Have protein at every meal and double (by weight) the amount of vegetables (e.g. 150 grams of meat + 300 grams of veg). Do this for every meal. Ditch all carbs that come out of a packet or that are refined, this includes: breads, pastas, and anything else grain based.
- Tip two: play the long game. Most people want a result and want it fast – though this increases the risk of trying too hard and early injuries. Nothing will stop you faster than hurting yourself or losing confidence. Give yourself plenty of time to learn how to lift and lift well. Think about 6 months not six weeks! You will be looking fab anyway as you lean out – so you can be patient with training.
- Tip three. Initially, use a slow eccentric tempo (4 and 5 seconds) on most exercises. Slow eccentrics build muscle and give you time to ensure you hold good form. They are difficult and naturally reduce the weight you can use – allowing you to hold more time under tension and so build muscle and burn energy. The eccentric part of the exercise is when the weight is moving in the direction of gravity (down on a squat, down on a dead-lift, away from you on a seated cable row). For a full description of lifting tempo simply Google Tempo and the person that brought it to the attention of most trainers, Charles R Poliquin.
- Tip four. Focus all your attention on how well you lift (perfectly being your aim) rather than how much. Take enough rest to ensure each set can be executed with high quality.
- Tip five. We like using a linear progression program to start people off. Pick your exercises. Do 3 workouts with weights you can easily handle for 12 reps. Use the same exercises for 3 more workouts, this time for 10 reps and slightly more weight. Repeat twice more (total of 12 workouts, dropping reps and increasing weight) ending up doing just 6 reps with a significantly heavier weight. This gives you a lot of practice with those exercises, keeps the program interesting as the weights change often, and builds confidence over a large range of weights and reps.
These are just some of the tips and protocols we implement in our programming for clients to make maximal progress with minimal risk. If you would like to benefit from high quality coaching – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org