Welcome!

Beginning an exercise program can be a little intimidating. There is so much information out there. It is hard to figure out where to begin. It may seem like everything you read is geared towards advanced training techniques. Many people walk through the gym doors. Some become fitness enthusiasts and some, again after a week, are never seen. There are multiple reasons why some people adhere to an exercise program and why some do not. The main factor is a lack of guidance in the beginning. If you have no clue where to begin, you have a greater chance of getting discouraged before you ever give yourself a chance to see results. It is my hope that I can give you a head start by sharing ideas I have learned over the years through normal education and personal training experiences.

In this program, I will give you the information necessary to take you from a beginner all the way up to an advanced athlete in training or, somewhere in between! You will learn about the various aspects of a successful exercise program and be able to follow a step-by-step guide helping you achieve your personal health and fitness goals. If you have the desire, I will provide you with the necessary information.

Getting Started

I am glad you decided to take the first steps to improve your health and physique. The benefits you will receive are too countless to mention but you have made a great choice. I am looking forward to helping you get started on the road to improving your body, health, and mind!

Over the next several months, you will be able to follow a step-by-step guide including workout schedules as well as the other important components of a successful exercise program. This will give you the tools to go from a beginning to an advanced exercise level one phase at a time.

It is not necessary to have a goal of being a competitive bodybuilder. Each individual has his or her own ‘best physique’ and can create it with the right approach. I am sure you have a vision of how you want to look or in what kind of shape you want your body to be and you may just need a little push in the right direction. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part when you have no idea of where to begin.

You must have some basic understandings about the body and training in general. This will make your time in the gym more productive and enjoyable. If you have some valid, general knowledge before you ever set foot in a gym you will have a great head start. When you are learning to drive you do not just jump behind the wheel and step on the gas. We will start by getting acquainted with what you are going to do.

When you stop and think about what you are trying to achieve with your physique, two things may come to mind: (1) build muscle and (2) lose fat. In order to accomplish this, you are going to need a combination of weight training, nutritional/supplementation planning, and cardiovascular training. Here is a look at the role each of these plays in your physique development.

Types of Training

The organs attached to bones are called muscles. Any time you move, you know that there is a muscle at work. Muscles that you can control are called skeletal muscles or voluntary muscles. We have over 600 skeletal muscles in our bodies. In the joints, the muscle work as a team. One muscle shrinks or contracts while the other relaxes or lengthens. When one muscle relaxes, the other contracts and pulls on the bone.

Your muscles know when to contract, because your brain sends a signal through a nerve called a motor neuron. This signal triggers a chemical reaction involving a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Using the energy from this reaction, the muscle tightens. When all of the cells in the muscle shrink, the muscle contracts. Weight training is the stimulus for developing muscle!

Do not be fooled, because your physique development does not begin and end with weight training. This is only the first step in a chain of events you must complete in order to maximize your results.

Aerobic training is a mandatory component of your program. It does not matter if you are trying to lean out or build more muscle. Cardio is a must! New lean tissue is supported by oxygen and nutrients provided by the vascular system. The vascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients, removes waste products, transports hormones to receptor sites, maintains body temperature and blood pH and prevents dehydration and infection. Our bodies actually require a continuous supply of oxygen to utilize fat as energy. As you can see, cardio is a most important component to overall health.

The right combination of all these (weight training, cardiovascular training and proper nutrition) will make for a fabulous end product! Creating your physique will be a combination of these elements done consistently and intelligently over a period of time. It is really as simple as that.

Nutritional & Supplementation Planning

Nutritional/supplementation planning is extremely important and often overlooked when getting started. This is the backbone to your success.

You must think about nutrition like fuel. You can have the finest performance automobile but if you do not have any fuel, it will not do you any good. The same is true with your physique development. You can have the most intense workouts in the world but if you do not follow sound nutritional planning, you will only receive a small fraction of the results you could otherwise receive with the proper planning. Remember that working out is only one step in that chain of events. Nutritional planning will ensure that you are supplying your body with the fuel it needs to respond from the stimulus of weight training. It is also very important when it comes to staying healthy and fit.

The organs attached to bones are called muscles. Any time you move, you know that there is a muscle at work. Muscles that you can control are called skeletal muscles or voluntary muscles. We have over 600 skeletal muscles in our bodies. In the joints, the muscle work as a team. One muscle shrinks or contracts while the other relaxes or lengthens. When one muscle relaxes, the other contracts and pulls on the bone.

Your muscles know when to contract, because your brain sends a signal through a nerve called a motor neuron. This signal triggers a chemical reaction involving a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Using the energy from this reaction, the muscle tightens. When all of the cells in the muscle shrink, the muscle contracts. Weight training is the stimulus for developing muscle!

Macronutrients are another name for proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These are all important and responsible for specific functions in the body. You need to understand what each nutrient does so that you can apply them in the right quantities for maximum results! Diet is at least 85% of the whole picture.

Aerobic training is a mandatory component of your program. It does not matter if you are trying to lean out or build more muscle. Cardio is a must! New lean tissue is supported by oxygen and nutrients provided by the vascular system. The vascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients, removes waste products, transports hormones to receptor sites, maintains body temperature and blood pH and prevents dehydration and infection. Our bodies actually require a continuous supply of oxygen to utilize fat as energy. As you can see, cardio is a most important component to overall health.

Proteins are ‘building blocks.’ The primary function is to rebuild and create new tissue. Protein is not an energy source. It does not help you run on the treadmill or lift weights. When you weight train, your body tears down the muscle tissue. It is when you eat protein that your muscle tissue is able to rebuild and become stronger.

Concentrate on eating the leaner types of proteins. Many proteins are full of fat. Quality proteins include chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, egg whites, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Consuming lean proteins is important because they are easily broken down into amino acids and sent into the bloodstream so that your body can start rebuilding tissue right away. There is nothing wrong with the protein in a piece of prime rib, but it is a very fatty piece of meat. Fats take your body much longer to break down. This delays the process of rebuilding tissue.

You must eat your protein efficiently. The amount of protein an individual can digest varies. A woman, on average will digest about 20 to 30 grams of protein in one sitting but a man can often digest about 30 to 40 grams at once. Keep in mind that everyone is different. The numbers I have just given you are averages. A sitting is defined as every 3 hours. If you need 100 grams of protein a day, you must consume it throughout the day (that is about 20gms per meal if you eat 5 meals.) If you do not consume it all day and then wait until night and eat 100 grams, your body will not digest all of it. Too much protein in one sitting will either pass right through the body and be excreted (and remember protein is NOT cheap) or it could possibly be stored as body fat. It is also extremely unhealthy.

Carbohydrates are just different forms of sugars. Carbohydrates fuel your body. As you must put fuel into your car for it to run, you must put carbohydrates into your body for it to perform. Carbohydrates give you energy to lift weights and run on the treadmill. There are two major types of carbs. There are simple carbs and complex carbs. This refers to the size of the sugar molecule. Simple carbs are small sugar molecules. Because they are so small, they are broken down and sent out into the bloodstream rather quickly. Simple carbs include foods such as table sugar, candy, syrup, and honey. Complex carbs are larger molecules and since they are bigger, they take longer to break down. Therefore, they are released gradually into the bloodstream. Complex carbs include foods such as grains, beans, oats, rice, corn, wheat, pastas, breads, potatoes, and yams. Fibrous carbs have minimal quantity calories but are high in fiber helps increase metabolism.
Fats are very important, as we need them in achieving optimal health. However, we do not need a lot of fat. Most Americans get about 30-50% of their daily calories from fat. This is why we have the greatest development of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and obesity in the U.S. It is from our high saturated fat intake. We only need 10% of our daily calories to come from fat. It is not hard to do. First, you must choose leaner proteins such as chicken breast and turkey breast rather than beef and pork. Secondly, do not grease or deep fry your food and smother them in butter and cream sauces. It is as simple as that! If you adhere to the above, it will come out to 10% or less fat each time.

You have probably heard of the good fat/bad fat controversy. Bad fats refer to all of the saturated fat (animal fats). These are unhealthy because, not only will they make you fat, but this type of fat will get into your arteries, clog them up and possibly give you a heart attack or stroke at the age of 50. The good fats refer to oils, which are unsaturated. These will not get into your arteries and give you a heart attack but they could collect on your stomach or on your thighs if you eat too much of them.

It is important to reduce your fat intake at this point in your program, because we are trying to reduce your fat stores. It is not possible to reduce the amount of fat cells you have, but it is possible to reduce the size of the fat cells. When you eat fat, your body breaks it down as a triglyceride and sends it out into the bloodstream. That triglyceride will circulate around the bloodstream and become available for extra energy, if your body requires it. At the end of the day, if your body did not use it for energy, it will attach to a fat cell and become more stored energy. The problem is this: when your body starts looking for extra energy, we want it to come from your fat stores rather than the fat that you keep putting in your mouth. The only way we can change your body composition is to reduce those fat stores.