Tips For The Gym Newbie

Written By: Nadia Nguru

Getting into any new routine can be pretty hard, daunting and most times you’ll feel like quitting. Don’t. No really, I mean it. Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation coupled with some guideline to get you on the right track.

  1. DO NOT overwork your muscles

It can be really easy to get into the gym with a lot of psych and do multiple reps with weights, working out your forearms, triceps etc. if you are not yet used to how demanding the recovery process of your muscles can be..mostly because you’re a ‘newbie’ then overworking your muscles can lead to muscle spasms which are no fun at all.

  1. DO warm up before you start training

You have to treat gyming like a sport, especially when it comes to lifting or working with weights. If you don’t warm up prior to, you’re not going to have a very successful training session. Warming up ensures that your body is ready for the workout. It does so by gently increasing your heart rate and blood circulation as well as upping the blood flow to your muscles and relaxing your joints.

  1. Supplement your workouts with the right nutrition.

It’s one thing to hit the gym, but more often than not, you make a bigger impact on your body by changing your diet as well. Eating foods high in saturated fats and acid doesn’t help your body as it slows down the healing process of muscles that underwent ‘wear and tear’ at the gym.

  1. Pace yourself

This point cannot be stressed enough. You have to build up a pace and keep with it before you start skipping from lifting 15 to lifting 40 kgs. The same goes for squatting, ab-crunch machines…you get the point.

  1. Want to lose belly fat? Cardio.

To some this may sound a little unbelievable, but cardio aids the loss of belly fat to a great extent. Thus, you can try all the versions of situps and crunches known to mankind, but you must supplement them with cardio for you to start exhibiting proper fat loss. Cardio includes running, using the elliptical or a speed bike. Basically anything that gets your heart racing and makes you break a lil sweat.

  1. Know your body type.

It’s all well and good to get advice from peers who’ve been to the gym a little longer, but doing some research to know your body type goes a long way in making sure you’re getting the most out of your work out. There’s probably no other more sure-fire way of getting the gains you want, other than knowing what training regime works best for you. For Ectomorphs, a diet high in protein is necessary. Ironically enough, carbohydrates are also recommended for ectomorphs, but be careful as to which carbohydrates to consume;complex carbohydrates take long to breakdown and slow down the bulking process. For endomorphs, a diet low on carbohydrates and rich in protein and healthy fats will help with the fat-loss process.

 

 

 

7. Make it a lifestyle

A lot of experts recommend making going to the gym a habit in order to see positive improvements both mentally and physically. I argue that you should make it a lifestyle. This doesn’t mean littering your instagram feed with selfies every time you hit the gym, it just means that you should take it as seriously as you take going to work, school, eating, sleeping-as seriously as you take all parts of your lifestyle.  

 

STOP! 8 Most Annoying Habits People Have At The Gym

It’s already hard enough to hit the gym regularly so when you get to the gym and there are pet peeves all around, sometimes you just want to scream and unleash hell on them but you just decide to keep your cool.

Chances are, these peeves know how to behave on a date, or at work but for some reason, gym etiquette just doesn’t click in their D.N.A.  You may not know it, but one of your gym habits could be totally throwing off someone else’s workout game.

There are certain no-nos in the gym — things that you shouldn’t do, lest you annoy everyone around you. In case you didn’t know, read through:

Leaving weights everywhere

It’s so annoying having to spend 15 minutes of your workout time looking for a dumbbell or barbell plate just because someone was too careless to put them back in the rack. Do everyone a favor, and return things to where you found them.

Unleashing your sweat on a machine and not cleaning up afterwards

Of course you’re going to get sweaty during your workout — that’s proof that you’re working out hard but don’t leave a wet imprint of your body on every machine you use or a big puddle on the group fitness studio floor, CLEAN UP!

Hogging equipment

It’s fine to take a quick break between sets while lifting, we get it, it can be quit tiresome. But it’s completely unacceptable to sit on a machine for several minutes, chatting on your phone all in the name of getting some rest. Bounce between machines and save the rest of us time.

Proving workout advice to everyone and anyone who hasn’t even asked for it

If you are not a fitness coach, then mind your own business. Whether or not someone is working out the wrong way, it’s not your place to correct them. Just do your thing and leave. It’s as simple as that.

Taking gym selfys

It’s totally fine to appreciate your progress but taking 1000+ selfys just to capture that perfect one is just annoying especially if there is someone else waiting to use the machine you’re on. Get over yourself!

Talking, Talking, Talking

We don’t go to the gym to exercise our ears, listening to you blabber on and on about whatever it is that is in between your ears. Seriously, go away!

Grunting too much

 A little grunt here and there is totally fine, and sometimes necessary when you’re trying to push past your limit but when you start sounding like you having sex, it just makes the rest of us really uncomfortable.

Competing with the person next to you

It’s not a marathon we’re competing neither did I come to the gym for you to use me to pace yourself. Focus on whatever it is that brought you to the gym. No one really cares how much weight you lift, really, we don’t!

Gyms are places where people come to put in some time, build muscle, and burn off calories.  To some, it’s more of an extension to their workplace whereas others think of it as a hangout or social club.

Whichever place you fall in, gym etiquette is something you should have in mind, not just for your sake but for everyone else’s.

Junk Food Cravings? Here’s How To Stop Them

Losing weight would be so much easier if we didn’t experience cravings. You could try sticking to a healthy diet all day long just for cravings to kick in at the end on the day.

It’s so hard to fight them (I know), but there are is a way to stop or prevent them from ruining your diet routine. Here are 5 ways to stop/prevent cravings:

Drink water

Water is a solution to so many problems especially when you are trying to lose weight. If you crave any unhealthy food, try taking a glass of water and wait a while. You will notice the craving will fade away.

Avoid getting extremely hungry

Hunger is the reason why we experience cravings in the first place. Avoid getting hungry by snacking on fruits before your next meal.

Eat more protein

Eating more protein makes you feel full and satisfied for longer. One study of overweight teenage girls showed that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings significantly.

Avoid stress

Most of us eat when we’re stressed, it feels good right? But, that’s the moment where you end up eating junk. Try and fight stress by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down.

Try and stay away from your craving

You really can’t be craving chocolate and spend all day in a chocolate factory expecting not to take a bite. Same case with fries and all that junk you crave. Distance yourself from the craving and occupy your mind with something else.

 

Fit Tuesday: 5 Not-So Obvious Gym Mistakes Preventing Your Progress

You might be new to the gym and you often get the feeling that you want to fit in with the rest. It is totally natural to feel that way but the most important thing is to make the most out of the time you spend there. 

There are some common but not so obvious mistakes people make at the gym that you should be mindful of if you need to see progress. Here are 6 of those mistakes:

Lifting too heavy too soon

You can easily get caught up in the frenzy of lifting heavy yet your body is not ready for that amount of stress. Doing too much can cause your muscle development to slow down as your muscles may become catabolic this causing your body to use the little muscle you’ve got. It is important to note that results won’t come in a couple of weeks of killing yourself at the gym.

Not making or making improper plans

It is important to know that not every exercise works for everyone. Know your body type and set plans and goals based on that. It will not only help you progress but you will also avoid wasting too much time in the gym.

Spending too much time at the gym

Many people spend too much time at the gym often because they’re either taking long breaks in between sets or chatting with buddies. For the sake of your body and schedule, have a proper plan before hitting the gym and avoid taking long breaks.

Bad form

Proper form is super essential if you want to see the changes you desire. Practicing with bad form can totally change the muscle group you are working and in worse cases injure your muscles. If you have no idea how to perform a certain exercise, don’t be afraid to ask that be sure not to be duped by the ‘know-it-alls’ in the gym.

Ignoring to keep track of progress

It is important to note down your progress so you don’t end up stagnating at one point. Once you keep a log, you will be able to know which muscles you need to work more than others, and whether or not you should be progressing to more intense exercises.

Not lifting heavy enough

Once your body gets used to the same type of routine, you end up stagnating.  If you want to see results you need to shock your muscles and fibres and promote the growth hormone production.To do this you need to focus on both strength and endurance. This means mixing both sets of 12 reps, with heavier lifts and lower reps. Lifting heavier will not make you big and bulky but instead it will promote muscle development and fat burning- when performing an all over body workout.

Fit Tuesday: How To Survive Being A Newbie At The Gym

We all remember our first day at the gym.You probably sheepishly wandered from machine to machine, doing a set of this, 10 reps of that… until in the end you just opted to quit. The strong sense that you don’t belong and the overwhelming amount of confusion all wrapped up into one would make anyone quit on the first day.

There’s really nothing wrong about being a newbie. To change your body and see incredible results, you have to start somewhere. The truth is, you’ll make many mistakes that might slow down your process but fret not. Read on for six the best ways to avoid looking like a newbie and improving your gym experience.

It’s all in your head

You should always remember this, no one really cares about you. Everybody else is also self-conscious of how they look in the gym.  They’re way too concerned with how they look in a mirror to notice you .If you’re afraid that people are judging you because you’re out of shape, a couple of my friends at the gym have told me they love seeing someone out of weight trying their hardest. It shows effort and guess what, people will be willing to help you out when they see how hard you’re trying.

Avoid wardrobe malfunction

This is equally as important. If you want to feel comfortable at the gym, you’ve got to dress the part. Well-fitted clothing will boost your confidence and make you less self-conscious. If you’re worried about sweat stains, it’s easy, just wear all black!

Have a plan

One mistake I made on my first day at the gym was going in there without a plan. I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out where to start and what equipment to use. Draft a plan before hitting the gym. Make sure it matches what exactly you want to achieve in the long run and most importantly on that day. You can get the gym instructor to help you out in this in case you have no idea how to.

Be approachable

Be social with other gym members. It’s the easiest way to get gym buddies who will motivate you without necessarily having to ask them. However, don’t go bothering people that are already working out or inundating strangers with questions. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you d not know how to use a certain equipment or how to do a certain workout properly, simply ask. You’ve got to know the right people to ask though as some may mislead you or even put you down. Yes, there are such people at the gym too!

Work in as you workout

‘Working in’ simply means that letting someone else use a piece of equipment while you rest between sets. Not only is it a great way to make friends but also offers a sense of motivation.

 

 

 

 

How To Get A Thicker Back

WRITTEN BY JEREMIAH T SEGERO :

 My Neck                

MY BACK  

MY BICEPS  

AND  

MY LATS”  

Let’s talk fitness:   

There’s one muscle group that is so important but most of the time it’s neglected. I’m talking Back.  

To develop a big, strong, thick back you need to lift heavy weights vertically and horizontally. You’ll look impressive doing it and you sure as hell will be stronger too. 

Why most backs are small and weak: 

There are some guys at the gym who have started weird looking lifts and have forgotten about the basic compound movement to give you that luscious looking back.  ”Whether it’s under the bar or under the stress of your life”, strength is the cure. Getting stronger is important in order to lift heavier. 

Thickness and width: 

Vertical pulls like (pullup’s, pulldowns etc)  work on laterals . These exercises give your back width, horizontal pulls get your back thicker down the mid-back and traps. No need for a complex rat study on what causes back growth because there is a chance you won’t even end up building your back. 

ROWS GONE HORRIBLE   

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF GUYS: 

 

The “DRY HUMPER”: This guy uses weights he can’t handle meaning way too heavy and ends up jerking and slamming the weight into their stomach 

 

THE STRICT GUYS: 

 These guys are OCD about the amount of weight they are using and use lines like ” You’ll break you’re back if you go too heavy” 

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO GET THAT STABLE STANCE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:    PUTTING YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR HEELS:  set your weight into your heel counterbalance the weight of the barbell in front of you. 

 

2:  ACTIVATE YOUR’E UPPER BACK AND LATERALS.

What! How? Simple, turn your elbows back and depressing your scapula. This initiates the movement with your laterals and mid back  and helps with breathing and synergy movement. 

3: BREATHING: breathe into your gut and push your abs and obliques(your V’s) out. 

Make sure: 

You row the barbell to your lower abs, this is crucial. A lot of people get confused by this and end up rowing to the chest. 

 Here’s a fun poem to remember:  Weight on heels, Load the posterior chain, Elbows back to activate lats, Bar lowered directly below knees and finally Pull bar into lower abs

ROPE PULLDOWNS: 

These are unusual in gyms. Well no need to stress, not all your sessions has to be as basic as a “bandwagon Golden state fan”. 

 ” these are great because one can achieve a very strong peak contraction in the laterals”. 

What’s the correct way to this?  Well the ideal method for this would be to sit on the floor and prop your back against the seat, allow a full stretch of the laterals. For strength and development. One should train the back twice a week choose one vertical movement or either Dorian deadlifts  

 

8 Reasons To Start Pole Dancing For Fitness

When people think of working out and fitness, they hardly think of pole dancing. Hitting the gym is the first thing that comes to mind but not everyone is cut out to being a gym freak. You either get bored a few weeks in or just give up when you don’t notice any changes.

How about you try pole dancing? Yes you read that right.

Pole dancing has become quite popular these days. Gone are the days when pole dancing was considered a rauchy activity. It is a great way to keep fit and lose weight!

Not only is it a great way to embrace your inner sexiness, but it also has numerous health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not yet convinced, well, here are 10 reasons why you need to start pole dancing for fitness ASAP:

It is fun and doesn’t feel like exercise

You will not realise how hard you’re working your muscles as you enjoy spinning and trying out new techniques until the next day when doing even the smallest movements will be agony. Way better than lifting weights and counting reps at the gym right?

Helps you burn calories quickly

Pole dancing could burn as many calories as you would doing aerobics! The huge array of exercises and movement involved in pole fitness makes it great cardiovascular exercise which will lead to significant weight loss in a couple of months.

Builds your self-confidence

You will feel uncomfortable and out of place for the first few classes but once you get the gist of it, you will begin to develop some serious skills and a body that makes heads turn.You’ll feel super proud of yourself when you nail those new moves. You’ll have an improved posture and naturally walk taller and more confidently. 

You’ll get toned while still having fun

The more you struggle to learn those new tricks and spins, the more your muscles get stronger and well toned from top to bottom. You will  rarely realise how many times you lift your own body weight in just one class. It’s an absolutely fantastic workout for your abs, arms, legs, shoulders – everything!

You’ll get super flexible

Ever wondered why strippers always seem to be so flexible? It’s the pole. Flexibility will come naturally over time as you try out those moves and get good at them. We all know how much flexibility comes in handy at times 😉

It’s a great stress relief

Nailing moves will give you a feeling of euphoria like you’ve never experienced before. A good pole fitness workout will cause your body to start producing endorphins which will make you feel much calmer and generally happier after your workout.

It’s the ultimate All In One workout

Pole fitness gets your entire body involved in such a way that you don’t have to focus only on one part of your body. There is no choosing which muscles you want to work. There will be floorwork, some dancing, spins, climbing and for the more advanced polers comes inverting and lifting your whole body upside down! This will make you fit all round, including your tummy if that’s what you were hoping to lose.

You’ll be all-round healthy

Say goodbye to sleepless nights, painful limbs and joints and back pains. Pole fitness will strengthen your muscles while increasing your flexibility which reduces joint problems. The hours spent in a pole fitness classes will get you sleeping like a new-born and feeling more relaxed. 

My Fitness Journey – Brian Wandera

January is here and guess what ?It’s the month to tell your fitness stories.One thing for sure is a good number of fitness enthusiasts usually don’t want to look at themselves in mirror after the festive season.Reason being majority of them slack during this period.Worry not it’s a phase in many fitness enthusiasts stories.

Many of us fitness enthusiasts or those of us just beginning our fitness journeys find ourselves looking at the seemingly perfect, toned, taught models on social media, fitness mags, or even television and think “I wish”, “must be nice”, or “if only”. Very seldom do we consider the journey and efforts it took that individual to achieve that desirable physique. I am here to share my own personal journey on how I got to where I am today.

Growing up I wasn’t the biggest kid on the block.What gave me an edge I was very athletic and I would play with boys way older than me and still be competitive.As a kid I always got fascinated with the super hero animations and always wanted to be like them.The only thing I could do back then was play soccer and that was my first shot at fitness.During one of the holidays when we visited my grandparents I remember telling my grandpa to flex his bicep and his bicep peak really amazed me.Back then it really looked ‘huge’ and I remember telling my mom “nataka mkono kama ya kuka”and my mom replied “Ukikula itakuwa kubwa”

Coincidentally my eating habits at the time were so bad. I would skip meals most of the time playing football with my friends and when I got back home I would take juice and bread or tea and bread and that was it. It was so bad that at some point my mom had to hide the bread for me to eat proper meals.My mom’s words unknowingly gave me my first ever diet advice.I started eating well but as a kid you can hardly tell if you’re making gains.It wasn’t until when I joined high school that I made some gains in terms of height and weight.I stood at 5’8 and weighed 61kgs. Another advantage was I joined rugby and the training sessions played a big part in molding me fitness-wise.

By the time I was finishing high school I had made some significant steps. I stood at 6’0 inches and weighed 80kgs. This was just the beginning.November 20th 2011 is when I first stepped into a gym.Unlike most gyms, it had very basic equipment a bench press station, a squat rack and a leg press machine and a couple of plates here and there all made out of scrap metal.Despite the gym being sub-par I still made the most out of it and by May 2012 I weighed 92kgs.


September 2011                                                                                                                  May  2012                                                                                                                                                   

I yo-yoed between 92 and 96kgs for almost two years owing to fact that in season rugby training had a lot of running and cardiovascular exercises thus I would lose the little weight I gained during the off season.The good thing is I also became more knowledgeable and learnt more about other aspects of fitness.

August 2014                                                                                                                         November 2014

One of the most important aspects being diet. I developed the mindset food is meant to fuel your body.Supplements also came into the picture.Whey protein gold standard and celltech my go to supplements any day. I love this metaphor ‘you wouldn’t put regular fuel in a Ferrari”. In simple words you can’t expect to have that ‘perfect’ body and function at an optimum when you’re giving it crap.Give your body the best and it will look like the best.

It would be unrealistic for me to say I don’t have moments of insecurity. At times I find myself questioning my body, my efforts but I look back where I came from and it’s been worth it so far.Ups and downs are also part of the journey and I’ve had my fair share of them.

The last two years being the worst.Late 2016 I was admitted for almost two weeks because of an infected hernia.Unfortunately only the infection was treated since the hernia was hardly traceable which automatically meant it was just a matter of time before it went full blown.For almost a year I didn’t do much since I had so much difficulty working out and I lost a lot of my gains.Late last year the sad reality finally checked in and I had to undergo surgery to repair the hernia.Surprisingly despite all this I even look bigger than my previous versions when I was healthy and  injury free.

November 2017

At the end end of the day the most important thing is I’m healthy and injury free again.Can’t wait to continue the journey.

Photos courtesy of : Moses Maweu, Ministry of Rugby,Three Quarters Podcast

DK Kwenye Beat Releases New Jam And Responds To Body Shamers

DK Kwenye Beat first came onto the public stage when his Saint P produced single ‘Sari Sari’ hit airwaves and reigned supreme on most gospel music charts.

Since then this emcee has frequented entertainment news sites, most recently and sadly thanks to fat shaming haters.

DK Kwenye Beat may have gained weight and while he’s comfortable with this, you bet KOT had a lot to say about that.

The comments kept flooding his timeline but DK seemed to take it all in stride, even re-posting some of the hateful posts on his own social media.

They included;

     

Preceding the release of his single ‘Kijana Wa Kayole’, DK Kwenye Beat appeared to respond to the body shaming comments via an IG post that implied that the comments HAD in fact been affecting him, so mush so, that he’d almost quit social media.

His post read;

The tongue has no bone, but it is strong enough to break a heart. 😔. Social media is a hostile path to walk on, especially when you are not PERFECTLY created or have a body like mine. I won’t quit social media as I had intended, I will instead share my story to inspire another. #comingsoon
#KijanaWaKayole.

Well the wait is over as DK Kwenye Beat released that video this weekend, receiving quite the reception with a twitter top trend and a Tukuza Countdown debut at number 7!

Here’s his new single.

Exercise and Men’s Sexual Health

 The month of December is here and with it comes the festivities.Our focus this month moves to how fitness affects men’s sexual health.Which brings me to the question, How many people maintain their fitness regimens throughout this month of festivities. Without a doubt only a handful will follow the routines strictly.Fitness and all it takes kind a takes a back seats and binge drinking, unhealthy eating becomes the order of the day. Let’s kick start this month with men’s sexual health and fitness.To what extent should one go with regards to fitness and ensure their sexual health is on point?Over the years a lot has been said with regards to fitness and sexual health though the positives outweigh the negatives. The biggest boost exercise can give to your sex life is to lower your risk of erectile dysfunction, says Jorge Chavarro, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. “Exercise that helps open the arteries to benefit your heart will also increase blood flow to the penis,” he says. Physically active men may also have fewer symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a common condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men with BPH often have to urinate frequently, or have a weak stream. Men with more severe BPH symptoms may also have a low libido, trouble keeping an erection, and enjoy sex less. Note that this exclusively represents those who exercise naturally by this I mean they’re not enhanced with steroids. Steroids are known to have negative side effects on men’s sexual health. When it comes to the strictly muscular aspect of sex, fit men have the advantage. Men in prime shape will find sex easier and less painful than men who don’t exercise much, says Neal Pire, a fitness consultant to pro athletes. “If you don’t exercise regularly, and especially if you never do crunches, you will feel soreness in your lower abdominals and your hip flexors after sex,” he says. If you are partial to the missionary position, you might feel soreness in your chest muscles. There you have just a few benefits to help you kick start the festive season.