Goals: Why Train?

 First, assess yourself. Why do you want to train? What experience do you have? How much time and effort are you willing to dedicate to reach your goals? You might just want a nice body to impress girls at the beach. Maybe you want to drop a few pounds to maintain your health. Or maybe you're a competitive boxer that's looking to tune up their physical fitness for the long haul. Regardless of your motivations, it's important, to be honest about your current situation. Many
times, people overestimate their experience in the weight room. Doing bicep curls and bench presses in the weight room in high school track do not count as experience (Note: this does depend on the seriousness of a team’s lifting program. Lifting for sports can be highly beneficial if done with proper training and coaching). I strongly suggest you buy a book on flexibility and posture before considering training. Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett is good if the long option for obtaining a strong base to work off of. Remember, without a stable foundation a building will crumble when subjected to any sizable stress.


Think of your body as the same, with your central nervous system, ligaments, and tendons as your base. If they are not suitably strong and flexible, take a step back and work on them first. Don't neglect this step and assume you're above stretching and mobility! Depending on your background and prior experience it will be necessary to make goals that suit your body; if you are a beginner, weighing ~180 lbs your goal should not be to squat 300 lbs at the end of the week, as if you hurt yourself or do not reach your goals you will only discourage you
from ever stepping foot in a gym or onto a track again. It is important to note that the decision to start exercising is not a simple addition to your daily routine, but rather a radical, positive change to your lifestyle. The next step is to set up goals and record your performance. Write down what you would like to achieve in the next year or two, and take steps to reach that goal. Don't walk into a gym and start messing around with whatever machines you can find, without consistency or a plan you could develop muscular imbalances that will wreak havoc with your body later. Once you record your goals, choose a solid plan (many included at the end of the book) that you can follow, and write down the weights you use each week. Doing so will allow you to see the improvement that you make over time. The fact that you know you are improving is a big motivational boost to continue working out and eating correctly. Choosing a good workout plan (some sample plans are provided) will be covered extensively later in this book, but choose something that is sustainable for you and that is on your skill level. If you're a beginner with a single year of experience,

experience, don't choose a 6 day per week isolation split (working muscle groups in isolation). It's generally recommended to start off with either a full-body split (working your whole body at once) or an upper/lower split (working your upper body separately from your lower body) about three times per week, focusing on relatively heavy compound movements and a lot of core work.






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