You live, you learn, you upgrade.

Here’s my guide to get you started on your fitness journey 🙂

Listen to this as you read

Exercise

Stretching & Warm-up

Resistance Training

Get on a lifting program like Greyskull or give the program picker a shot.

If you are just looking for a simple no frills program that you can easily do at your neighbourhood park’s fitness corner, the beginner’s template over at /r/bodyweightfitness is an excellent place to start. You might also want to check out the beginner dumbbell program.

Pressed for time and but still want to get your fitness on? Give Chad Waterbury’s PLP challenge a look, which IMO is also a great way to cultivate the habit of exercise.

Rainy day alternatives

Raining or you just don’t feel like leaving the house? You can always skip rope, climb stairs or do bodyweight circuits (eg. burpees, push ups etc). Be creative!

Example: Climb 1 flight of stairs, do 1 set of burpees per landing  

Couple of resources to get your creative juices going:  

Mobility and pre-covery routines

 

Diet

Calories/Macros

These are min. recommendations, you can exceed them as long as you remain within your calorie allowance

  • Use 14-15kcal/lb of bodyweight to calculate maintenance.
  • For weight loss – 10-12kcal/lb
  • For weight gain – 15-18kcal/lb
  • 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight
  • 0.35g of fat per lb of bodyweight (~25% of total caloric intake)
  • Fill the rest of your calories with any amounts of fat/protein/carbs. I generally top up on carbs based on my recovery, eg. feeling sluggish, tired, worn out.

Notes:

  • Recent research has shown that higher protein intake leads to greater satiety. Plus if you are exercising (eg. running, weight lifting), the extra protein will help with recovery and strength building.
  • Maintain calories for 2 weeks and adjust accordingly.
  • Calculator – The values given by the calculator slightly underestimates the target calories, to give you more allowance to play with as you adjust to your new diet

Further reading:

Troubleshooting

Weight loss

  • If weight is moving downwards, maintain calorie intake.

Grocery shopping guide

Are you active or sedentary?

You can roughly gauge the activity factor (eg. sedentary, light active etc) by the number of steps you take outside the gym.

From this study: How many steps are enough?

<5000 – sedentary  
5000-7499 – lightly active  
7500-9999 – moderately active  
>
9999 – active

Try downloading a free app like moves to track your activity/steps. You might also want to consider tracking calories for the first few weeks just to get a rough idea of your calorie intake and eyeball it from there. Myfitnesspal is awesome for this. You can just use the app and scan barcodes to get nutritional info.

A couple of suggestions  

  • Download a movement tracker app on your smartphone. Aim to hit 6-10k steps a day.
  • Be honest about your food intake. If it enters your mouth, count it towards your daily caloric goals.
  • Try to eat, not drink your calories. I.e. Cut down on fruit juice and canned drinks.
  • When transitioning to a new diet, reduce the variety of food initially. This makes adherence easier.
  • Exercising to lose weight is the wrong way to go about it.
  • Set goals (eg. lift 20kg overhead, run 2.4km in under ten minutes) and work towards them.
  • Make smart food choices

 

Questions, comments, feedback? Tweet me @guavarilla

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3 thoughts on “You live, you learn, you upgrade.

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