After reading Skinny-Fat Beginner part 1 and 2 you should have decided on 2 crucial factors to start your transformation:
- The structure of your training routine
- The focus, whether that is gaining muscle or losing fat
Assuming you have those factors in order I want you to develop a simple routine. This routine consists of lifestyle changes that you perform on a regular basis. Also, I want to emphasize the importance of always warming up.
I assume that most of you are ALWAYS warming up before training. Warming up should be a part of your routine. It’s a thing you do every single time; just like brushing your teeth everyday. If you are always warming up with no exceptions, you can continue to tip #6.
However, if you do skip warming up once in a while, I want you to read tip #5.
5) ALWAYS Warm Up
The major reason why warming up is crucial to your success is INJURY PREVENTION. When you get injured, you will experience a setback in your training. The setback will depend on how serious your injury is, but afterall it will be a setback no matter what.
Warming up is a pain in the ass, but it’s just as important to warm up properly as it is to execute your training routine with 100% focus and dedication.
If you don’t have time to warm up, you don’t have time to train. NEVER train hard without warming up.
I’ve always warmed up before training without any exceptions. Even though I squatted and deadlifted with the worst technique ever at the beginning of my transformation, I only experienced minor joint pain that went away after 3-4 weeks of backing off. If I hadn’t warmed up properly my injuries might have been much more severe and thereby limited my training significantly.
During the last 2.5 years I haven’t had any serious injuries at all. I experienced minor joint pain in my left knee after landing on it during my first back tuck attempt and in my wrists and hands when I began partner stunting.
Unfortunately, every guy that trains hard and consistently will experience some kind of injury. However, if you warm-up every single time and back off when needed you reduce the risk of getting a serious injury.
Therefore, warming up should be part of your routine.
6) How to Develop a Simple Routine
The difficult part when it comes to transforming your body is sticking to your plan – especially as a beginner. When you’re new to the gym there are a lot of things that might sabotage your transformation, here are some that I have experienced:
- Anxiety when going to the gym because you compare your physique to guys at the gym that are fitter than you
- Cravings for sugar and junkfood
- People in your network that discourage your new lifestyle
Those things were inevitable for me in the beginning and you might experience something similar. However, by developing a routine you minimize the chances of sabotaging your progress. The tough part is getting through the first month or so. After you do something regularly for a month you will automatically feel bad if you don’t keep doing it.
If you exercise for 30 min EVERY single day for 30 days, you will feel bad if you skip day 31. This feeling will push you to stick to your routine –even moreso if you have great results from it.
In contrast, if you plan to workout everyday within the next 30 days, but you regularly skip training sessions you will form bad habits that can be difficult to revert later on. Habits take time to form, so do yourself a favor and form some good habits from the beginning.
Now that you know why sticking to your routine is crucial in the beginning phases, I will explain how you can structure your routine.
In order to structure your routine you ideally want to
- Make training convenient for you: train in a gym close to you. If you are VERY busy or if you dislike going to the gym, do bodyweight exercises in a park nearby or buy a pull up bar for your home and do bodyweight exercises at home. ALWAYS warm up before training.
- Make eating convenient for you: if you are at school or work most days of the week for long periods of time I encourage you to prepare food the day before so it’s ready when you leave in the morning. Also, if you have decided to eat meats and vegetables several times a day then cook everything you need for 1 day and put it into tupperware.
- Make tracking your progress convenient: If you don’t already have it, get a calendar for your computer. In this calendar put in 2 things: 1) One day a week where you track your hips, waist and bodyweight measurements 2) One day a month where you get someone to take progress pictures of you.
As you can see, the keyword here is convenience. I want you to develop a routine that’s convenient so you can stick to it in the long term.
complicated diets where you weigh each meal, count your macronutrients and calculate how much bodyfat you want to lose. All of this is great if you’ve been training for a long time and you want to take it to the next level, but as a beginner you just need to implement a few lifestyle changes and stick to them.
By complicating things too much you will experience higher amounts of stress, and stress is NOT good if you want to gain muscle.
Instead, a simple routine should make it easier to stick to the advice I have given you in part 1 and 2. When you simplify all of those things, you can focus all of your energy on training hard.
You can get an aesthetically pleasing physique by training hard most days of the week and eating healthy +80 % of the time. A simple routine will enable you to stick to those lifestyle changes in the LONG-TERM.
Next time I will post the final part of the Skinny-Fat Beginner Series where I will share my experiences with supplements and cardio.