So you’ve paid the gym membership, watched Rocky / Lara Croft 4 times, bought protein supplements and changed your Whatsapp status to “At the gym”. Now what? Today, I’m listing some Do’s and Don’ts of gymming which will ensure a good workout for you (and others). Let’s get cracking!
- Get a Good Pair of Running Shoes
Carry these shoes to the gym and change there. The point being, the gym must be a dustless environment and besides, no one wants to see that chewing gum on your sole while you are busy doing leg extensions.
- Don’t Repeat Gym Clothes
So you’ve had a strenuous workout and got drenched in sweat. You go home and dry that tshirt and there is no odour next day. DO NOT WEAR THAT TSHIRT TO THE GYM! As soon as you sweat for a second time, you will become a weapon of mass destruction.
- Powder your Feet and Change your Socks Before Every Workout. Enough said.
- Stay Hydrated
Have water in the breaks between sets. First things first, staying hydrated is important. During workout, your body needs energy and there will be times when your body will start burning muscle for energy. Having water will prevent that to an extent.
- Pop a Mint Whenever your Mouth is Dry
After a serious workout, you are dehydrated and your mouth is dry. At this point, you WILL have bad breath. Save yourself the embarrassment and others the torment, and have a mint.
- Always Maintain Proper Form
Remember that it’s about how you lift, than how much you lift. A bench press with 10 pounds and proper form will give you more gains than lifting 40 pounds with an improper posture. Always ask your trainer to demonstrate the correct form before you try anything.
- Don’t Work Out for More Than an Hour in One Session
Anabolic (muscle building/toning) = good and catabolic (muscle destruction) = bad. Our body is designed to work at an extreme (anabolic state) for an hour, beyond which the body goes into catabolic mode and starts burning muscle instead of carbohydrates and that is definitely not what you want.
- Supplement your Diet with Fibres and Vitamins
It’s not only about egg whites and chicken breasts (read ‘proteins’); your body needs roughage and fibres for proper functioning of the digestive system. Also, when your body is burning those carbohydrates, it creates “pollutants” which have a muscle-diminishing effect. Vitamins counter these pollutants.
- Get Rest
Remember, it’s not during the workout but during the rest that your body tones/builds muscles. The pump that you see during the workout is just lactic acid produced during workout. But the actual muscle density increases when your body repairs your muscles during sleep.
These are the commandments that every beginner should follow to make their gymming experience a pleasant one. Proper hygiene, diet, form and rest will definitely give you the gains for which you decided to work out in the first place. And if you wondered why the list ended at an awkward number 9, the 10th commandment is the most important.
- Stay Motivated!