When you start training it can be a huge learning curve. So many things to focus on it can be overwhelming. We have put our top 4 things to focus on when you start strength to help you navigate those first few weeks or even months of training.
#1. Start small and build on it:
When starting out many people jump on the accelerator and try to go from 0-100, focusing on training, nutrition, recovery, and mindset all at once and with the click of their fingers.
While the drive is admirable and we want to take advantage of that motivation, we also want to be mindful not to bite off more than we can chew as this can often lead to overwhelm and “to fall off the wagon.” We’ve all been there before, but we want to make this time different.
The goal is to start small and build momentum. We’re in this for the long game and want to make sustainable and lifelong changes that work for you.
Frequency of movement: Going from minimal or no movement, to wanting to hit 4-5x sessions per week straight off the bat may not be the answer for you. Instead, keeping in mind what you want to build up to, start with a frequency of training that feels manageable for YOU, a frequency that fits into your life and your schedule. If it is pushing you outside your means and causing you more stress than good, you won’t stick to it in the long run. There is no ideal frequency and no magical amount of sessions that you should be striving for, only what’s ideal for you. That may look like 2x sessions per week, 3x sessions, or possibly even 4x sessions.
The same approach applies to focusing on your nutrition, recovery, and mindset. We want to break it down into bite-sized chunks and build up over time at a pace that feels appropriate for you.
#2. Focus on technique and building your foundations:
We have all heard the saying You need to learn to walk before you can run… It can feel so enticing to want to dive head first into your training and sprint further ahead than where you’re currently at, however, what people often forget is that strength training is a skill set and it takes time to lay and build the foundations. Just like any other skill, let’s say learning something new in your job, for instance, you can’t expect yourself to nail it the first time it is explained and demonstrated to you. Strength training is no different.
Trust the process and take your time to learn the fundamentals of training (breath, brace, hinge, reach, and squat). It will save you the frustration of having to pull back further down the track and it will see your progress and strength flourish over time.
#3. Training is supposed to be challenging, but we’re not here to annihilate you:
For a long time there has also been the ideology that you have to be sore from your training for it to have been worthwhile. But this is definitely not the case. Sore muscles don’t equate to a good workout. Whilst training is supposed to be hard and challenging, you very much get to dictate what level and speed you feel comfortable moving at.
We’re not here to annihilate you and have you crawling out the door, we’re here to get you to where you want to go and at a pace and intensity that feels right for you. Pulling up sore after every single session isn’t a sign of success.
Muscle soreness is a side effect of the stress put on muscles when we train (commonly called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS) and whilst it’s completely normal to experience that after starting training for the first time, adding a new movement into your program or increasing the intensity of a movement through increasing the amount of weight lifted or the number of repetitions, soreness on its own is a poor indicator of muscle adaptation and growth as many factors influence how DOMS presents itself in each person.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not training hard, pushing yourself, or not progressing because you’re not crippled the next day. Remember that!
#4. Boring matters:
Training should be engaging and fun (most of the time hehe), but there are going to be some “fluffy” (boring) things in your program that you may not jump for joy about. Do not skip them!
Whilst we as coaches will do everything we can to give you variations of movements that you enjoy, there are going to be things that you don’t necessarily love. It may seem tedious, and every part of you may want to skip them, but it’s important and in there for a reason. We love it when you ask questions so if you’re unsure why you’re doing something or how it ties into the bigger picture, ask. There is always an underlying reason as to why we’ve given you something and believe it or not, that reason is not simply to torture you (lol).
It can be very easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and the pace others may be moving at, but remember why you want to do this, take it at your own pace, ask all the questions in the world, and most important of all, have fun!
Let’s get lifting ladies!
Coach Tori xx