Previously I have mentioned 12 components of fitness. I know it can get very confusing and overwhelming for beginners who have no background in fitness or sports. Where to start? What to do? How to do? I have been there. All I knew back then was that I wanted to be like my idols Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Didn’t know what to do but you gotta start from somewhere, right? You gotta learn how to fall before you learn to fly. To learn the basics, first, you need to empty your cup and put aside your ego.
You know, the best athletes and artists are the ones who break most of the conventional rules and then they make their own rules. That’s what masters do. They break the rules. So they could recreate. Isn’t that the only way to evolve? But to break the rules as the master, first, you gotta learn them as a beginner.
Warm Up : Warm Up is a way of elevating body temperature gradually. Skipping warm up is sheer stupidity and a sure shot way of inviting injuries. Before every workout, you should dedicate the first 10-15 minutes for warming up. There are the general warm up exercises and then there are the specific warm up exercises. Will talk about them, and their benefits, and the science behind them in the next article.
Stretching : Stretching is an extension of warm up. Warm ups increase muscle elasticity. So you can add some ballistic or dynamic stretching exercises post-warm-up. That will help your muscles to contract and relax at a faster rate without getting pulled or torn. And it also prepares you for more rigorous activities.
Form & Technique : As a beginner, you are not supposed to train with heavy weights or perform advanced movements. Your only job is to learn the right forms and techniques. You don’t become a champion on the first day. Remember the old adage – ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’
The Three Components : The only three components you need to work on as a beginner are strength endurance, basic endurance (which for a beginner is their maximum endurance), and flexibility. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the rest of the components. One step at a time.
Fatigue : Overtraining is not recommended even for elite athletes. Training beyond the point of fatigue will deteriorate and compromise your form and technique which will eventually cause injuries. Listen to your body. Don’t train to failure.
Cool Down : Just like you bring your breathing and heart rate up slowly by doing low intensity warm up exercises before moving onto more rigorous activities, in the same way, you’re supposed to bring it down to the resting levels slowly before leaving the gym. And the best way to do that is by static stretching. Also, make sure to massage your muscles with foam roller post-workout. Stretching and massaging will prevent stiffness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Rest & Recovery : Rest is just as important as working out. Even a charlatan knows the muscle hypertrophy theory. Training causes microscopic injuries to the muscles. It’s called microtrauma. It’s when you rest that the healing or repair process starts. And to avoid these injuries in the future, your body replaces the damaged tissues with stronger and bigger fibres making you stronger and faster. So the frequency of your workout sessions should be such that your body gets enough time to recover.
Nutrition : Your car might have the strongest parts and the best engine but it’s useless without fuel and so is your body.
I’m gonna talk about all of them in detail in my upcoming articles. Stay tuned.