By ElizabethBrooks (Healthy Vivere)
October 27, 2013

Workout tips for beginners

You have tried, running, yoga, power walks, deep breathing but your weight refused to budge. And when you sought advice, most people may have recommended that you should hit the gym to shed the weight. Seems like a fair suggestion cause when all else fails, hitting the gym seems to be the quickest way to lose the weight. But where do you begin? Which exercises should you do for weight loss? And how much time should you spend on the treadmill and how do you avoid injuries while working out? Phew! Don't worry as these questions will get answered by our fitness coach, Arnav Sarkar. He sheds light on how to shed the unnecessary kilos without much fuss; here are his workout tips for beginners.

Top workout tip for beginners #1 It is a widespread belief that cardio is enough and excellent for weight loss. Arnav Sarkar believes otherwise, "To be honest, this is a belief that has been greatly promoted by exercise equipment manufacturers and retailers." Very few of us rarely question these ads, "Next time when you look at the ad for exercise equipment in a magazine or a newspaper, take a note of what equipments you see most. Invariably you will find that 80-90% of the equipment displayed will be cardio equipment. Why? This is because the cardio equipment are the high-end costly products that bring the maximum profits to the seller and thus he advertises and markets them as the most beneficial for health and fat loss."

Top workout tip for beginners #2 To burn the maximum amount of body fat in the least amount of time, it is ideal to have a good combination of diet, weight training and cardio. "So yes, cardio aids weight loss" says Arnav, "However if one is to only rely on cardio then the results will not be optimal, especially if a lot of weight is to be lost. The problem with regular cardio like running, cycling, etc. is that the body soon adapts to the relatively low intensity of these activities and thus actually burns lesser calories per minute with time."

Top workout tip for beginners #3 What are the best exercises for weight loss? Arnav shares some workout tips for you, "On the other hand, some of the more intense cardio alternatives like kickboxing, sprinting are a better choice as they involve an element of strength training and can provide long term weight loss. So if one were to only rely on intense cardio choices like kickboxing for weight loss, then it will be ideal to add also some squats, push ups, and other bodyweight exercises to get better results."

Top workout tip for beginners #4 Why you should avoid overtraining? Overtraining is a condition where your body is pushed beyond its means and is not given the adequate rest it deserves to recuperate. Not only does this take a serious toll on an individual's physical well being but it also affects his/her mental makeup as one of the biggest pitfalls of overtraining is not seeing any significant gains. And we all know how badly this can bum us out especially after the gallons of blood, sweat and tears spilt at the gym.

Top workout tip for beginners #5 Side effects of overtraining: Psychological ramifications like depression, anger, frustration soreness and muscle ache loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, headaches, a weaker immunity system, listlessness and sleeping disorders.

Top workout tip for beginners #6 What kind of exercises should you engage in to lose weight? Arnav believes that instead of spending long hours on the treadmill, you need to exercise several muscle groups in a short span of time. "The best fat burning exercises require much lesser time, and give you a lot more results. In general the exercises that use the biggest muscles groups and work a lot of the muscles at the same time will be the most beneficial. For ex., a squat uses the muscles of your lower body, core and also the upper body to some degree. Due to that it will burn a lot more calories than what just training your abs with a crunch will."

Top workout tip for beginners #7 What are some of the exercises for fast weight loss? Arnav chalks out some of the fast weight loss exercises to get you in shape. He says "Besides the regular strength training exercises like lunges, push ups, rows, etc., some athletic activities like sprinting, burpees, kickboxing, jumps, etc. too will help to burn a lot of fat. The only thing is that if you are very overweight and have severe joint issues then these dynamic exercises could be dangerous for you. In that case stick to the exercises with low joint impact like push ups, squats, overhead presses, rows, etc. along with a good diet to see results."

Top workout tip for beginners #8 How important is diet for fast weight loss? "The first thing to do in order to lose weight rapidly is to stop eating foods that are making you fat in the first place!" says Arnav, our strength and conditioning coach. He continues, "You know, the sugary, salty and refined goodies that you maybe enjoying a bit too regularly. And yes, eating moderate amounts is also important so that your body is forced to burn stored body fat for fuel. Once that is taken care of, you can move on to planning your training."

Top workout tip for beginners #9 Is weight loss through cardio a long term solution? Arnav Sarkar explains what really happens, "Pure weight loss maybe, but pure fat loss not likely. A lot of folks who lose a ton of weight through cardio alone end up becoming what is called "skinny fat". This means that they are slim in terms of weight but do not have any muscle tone whatsoever and are still soft and shapeless as they were before. The reason for this is that they also lose a lot of precious lean muscle tissue with the fat that they lose. Thus that belly still bulges, arms still lack any toning even though a lot of weight maybe lost."

Top workout tip for beginners #10 What is Interval Training? Arnav explains the simplicity of what constitutes Interval Training, "Interval training refers to any type of training in which either one alternates between different speeds, or the activity is done in a start-stop type of nature. For ex; if you run while changing speeds every minute, then that is interval training. Even weight training is a type of interval training since it has a start-stop type of nature, where you do a set and then rest till the next set." Difference in cardio and interval training- Cardio breaks down muscle tissue to produce energy. Interval training benefits aerobic and anaerobic fitness, while cardio also maximizes aerobic fitness.

Top workout tip for beginners #11 Can Interval Training help you lose weight? Arnav gets to the main question that is plaguing our lives, 'how to lose weight'. Can Interval Training help you burn calories? He continues to explain how a start-stop exercise helps you shed the embarrassing kilos, "Such types of interval training allow you to go at a higher intensity, and also do not allow your body to adjust to a steady speed. These two factors make interval training a far greater fat burner when compared to any regular steady speed activity. Interval training has been shown to burn more fat, preserve lean muscle, and increase cardiovascular fitness. So overall interval training is a better choice when weight loss and overall health improvement is the goal." A double whammy! To name a few, you can apply Interval Training to: Running, Swimming, Cycling, Walking and Weight Training.

Top workout tip for beginners #12 What is Strength Training? Starting strength training as the name suggests, is ideal for newcomers who are looking at improving their strength and making significant muscular gains. This is why the program concentrates on compound lifts rather than isolated ones. In case you're new to the terminology, compound exercises are those that target multiple body parts at one shot like the bench press, the deadlift or the squat. Also keep in my mind that because this routine is geared primarily towards newcomers, it places a heavy emphasis on free weights and lower reps by which the trainee can improve form and strength at the same time. The routine is fairly simple and is divided into two separate workouts: Workout example- 3×5 Squats (3 sets of 5 reps) 3×5 Bench Press (3 sets of 5 reps) 1×5 Deadlift (1 sets of 5 reps) 2×8 Dips (2 sets of 8 reps). Strength training is a great way to get toned after you lose the weight.

Top workout tip for beginners #13 What are the injuries to avoid while in the gym: Leave your ego at home. Watching the big dude near you bench 300 pounds should be motivating but not a direct challenge to your manliness. He's been working out for a long time and knows what he's doing. You may not be as experienced or as strong as him so please do not compare yourself to anyone in the gym – especially veterans.

Top workout tip for beginners #14 What to avoid while gymming: Learn the right form. I've seen guys jerk their bodies in all sorts of weird ways in order to lift heavy weights. Not only is this horrific movement detrimental to your body but it's not helping muscle development one bit as the strain falls on all the undesired parts. Take a lesser weight but learn the perfect form.

Top workout tip for beginners #15 What to avoid while gymming: Make sure you warm up and stretch before every workout Most people ignore a warm-up and go straight for the weight rack either due to time constraints or out of pure laziness. Whatever the reason be, NEVER avoid a warm up as it helps your body prepare itself for the wear and tear to come. Even a 15 minute jog on the treadmill followed by some basic stretches will suffice.

Top workout tip for beginners #16 What  to avoid while gymming: Don't feel shy. Asking people for help doesn't make you weak or stupid. If you're new to the gym and don't understand something, or are lifting heavy weights and need a spotter do not feel shy to take help from the coach or other members.

Top workout tip for beginners #17 Avoid these workout mistakes: Expensive, hi- tech workout machines- While working out on hi tech machines may neither be dangerous nor completely worthless, they may not always be necessary. Strength training with poor form- This one is truly dangerous, as not only will it not give you the desired results but over time it can result in injury or strain. Spot training for weight loss In order to get rid of the fat, you will have to do workouts that burn fat overall, build core strength, and most important, take care of your diet. Working out one muscle group at a time To build strength and burn fat, you need to workouts that take care of more muscle groups than one, and increase metabolism.

Top workout tip for beginners #18 Gym manners: Calls should be taken outside the gym, don't stick to the treadmill. Ask for help, don't be shy. Respect other gym member's space. Don't  be loud.

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