Writer: Marwan Mohamed
Summer is sprinting towards us and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. This only means one thing… everyone is rushing to the gym to shed off those couple of kilos they’ve gained over the winter, or trying to buff up and get that tight and toned summer body! So, I’ve rounded up some tips and important points for you guys.
Choosing the right gym or workout space can be difficult. You don’t want to choose a gym too far that you would be too lazy to go to again after a couple of workouts. You also don’t want to choose a gym with uncalibrated dumbbells and plates, and rusty barbells, aka “gym balady”. Your friend may swear by this gym and that it would do wonders to you. Although a few wrongly labeled weights won’t harm you that much (UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE TRAINER) I would avoid these gyms. So, see what works for you best.
Training and recovery are only about 40% of the process, but the remaining 60% goes to the nutrition. Although I’m not a certified nutrition specialist, I can give you some ground rules from my own experience: Always have a post-workout meal. When you’re working out, you’re basically making microscopic tears in your muscles, your body needs to repair those tears. And the way this happens is that your body anabolizes the food you eat into amino acids and uses them to repair broken muscle tissues. If you didn’t eat after a workout you will feel weak, foggy and it will get in the way of your recovery. Personally, I love having one cup of oats, two tablespoons of peanut butter, two scoops of whey protein (whey isn’t necessary btw) and two bananas mixed with milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and blend them up to a shake for my post workout meal. The second thing I would say you should do is to power through your day with snacks. You’re using energy while working out, it’s important to keep compensating for that lost energy. Pack snacks (veggies, fruits and oatmeal) and eat every two hours during the day. Having a meal before working out is extremely important. If you work out without eating, you are risking using muscles for energy. Our bodies use carbohydrates for energy, but if not, they start catabolizing muscles for energy, also known as losing your hard earned muscle mass. Working out without eating will also lead to lightheadedness, low blood sugar and sometimes passing out. So, having a quick oats, milk and honey shake before working out goes big time.
If you don’t drink enough water, you will dehydrate and dehydration will lead to thirst (obviously), elevated heart rate, dizziness, heat stroke and muscle cramps. 60% of our weight is water and 75% of our muscles are water, do I really need to say more? Keep a bottle of water nearby and stay hydrated guys.
Your gym is a very disgusting place, accept it. Did you ever go to the bench press only to find out that the bench is covered in someone’s sweat? We’ve all been there and this situation applies to pretty much all of the gym’s equipment so the best thing to do regarding this is to always have one of those mini towels and wipe your equipment before and after you use it to disinfect them and protect yourself and others from infections and bacteria. Don’t walk around the gym without your shoes on or touch your face directly, and always change your gym cloths and shoes right away after working out because staying in your sweaty gym cloths will lead to body acne and inflamed hair follicles, which can appear on your back and shoulders.
5.DO YOUR CARDIO!
Don’t be that person who is always lifting and never doing cardio. Go out and have at least one run throughout your week. It would be better if you run outside especially that the weather is warmer now. Make that killer playlist and start your cardio sessions, there are multiple types of muscle which are going to be affected by cardio training not weights.
So that rounds up everything you need to look for before starting your quest for that body you’ve always wanted, just don’t forget to cool off and do your stretches after your workouts, they will help with the soreness. Also, treat yourself every once in a while, you deserve it after all.