Being strong at any size.
When it comes to being fit and strong most people have been “conditioned” to have a certain image of what that looks like. We’re covering how you can be strong at any size and how everyone at any level can build strength and improve. There is the perfect strength building prescription for everyone at each level and every size. We will have a few tips from our Fit Factory Fitness Directors from a few of our clubs!
For most things in life taking the first step is the hardest part and working out is no exception. With proper tools and guides you can take a daunting task and break it down into manageable steps. If you’re just getting started our Fitness Director Danilo suggests “Start off simple, learn rep schemes and rest period”. Just like with anything you must learn the basics before you can excel to the next level. Here is a list of beginner exercises you can do at home or at the gym.
1- Lunges (modify by holding onto a chair)
2- Push-ups (modify by being on your knees)
3- Dumbbell presses (modify at home with canned foods or even bottles of wine!)
4- Sit-ups (modify by adjusting how extended your legs are, the farther out the harder it is!)
5- Jumping Jax (modify by not using arms)
Danilo also recommends the 2 by 2 rule, “Every 2 weeks, 2 extra reps for 2 sets in a row. Every 2 weeks you increase your reps by 2 for 2 sets in a row. If you're struggling to get those last 2 in, then you might not be ready yet or maybe you think you could do 2 more so it is time to add those extra reps for more of a challenge. Listen to your body. Maybe you need to sleep more or eat more. Make those self-adjustments.”
Jacob, our Fitness Director in Berlin tells us to, “Increase the weight each week by a little bit, for about a month. Then take a light or “deload” week". Working with a personal trainer is a great way to get started and learn good form as well as professional practices that will help you progress in the future. Start by booking a free fitness consultation. At your consultation, you’ll sit down 1 on 1 with a Fit Factory coach and discuss a plan unique to your fitness goals.
It is crucial to make sure you understand the fundamentals and can master basic exercises before advancing. Not only will you be able to understand harder workouts but knowing and practicing proper form will help avoid injury and give you better results.
How to know when you can start to do more intermediate workouts? First, you will notice your stamina increases and the workouts are getting easier. You may also have stopped doing the modified versions and find the harder versions actually to be… not that hard! You still may struggle with some harder moves such as burpees but it’s important to recognize how far you have come. Make sure to congratulate yourself for these milestones. You have worked hard and while you still have a ways to go you have accomplished a lot and you should feel good about that.
Being in the intermediate stage can be a bit of a gray area, where you feel like the beginner workouts are too easy but you’re not quite ready for a Patriots team practice yet. A good place to start is with circuit training. Circuit training is doing a repetition of workouts for a certain amount of time with rest periods in between. Maybe you did some of this in your beginner stage but now you will start to focus more on timing and really counting your reps. Danilo says that at this level you should “know when to switch things up and when to increase intensity.” Start with the circuit routine below. Remember the weights you used and how long it took you to complete. Once you feel like what you are doing is easy, try to step it up by adding some weight or increasing reps.
Clean and Press | REPS: 10-12
Squat or Box Jump | REPS: 10-12
Dumbbell Incline Press | REPS: 12-15
Burpee | REPS: 15
Inverted Underhand Row | REPS: 10-15
Deadlift | REPS: 10-12
*Do four to seven circuits.
Alex, the Fitness Director in Colleyville tells us, “Precise action will give you precise results but random action will give you random results. Put a plan together towards your goal and execute on each small step.” So, we wanted to know more about how to make strides that will take you to the next level and advance your fitness journey. Alex dove into some detail!
“Start by booking your workouts into a calendar or planner. Don’t just book the day, but also the specific time that you’ll be able to workout. From there, have a workout routine ready for that day. Your routine should revolve around your goal. Building a good workout routine can be time consuming but is definitely worth it in the long run. If you’ve never put together a routine before it would be worth meeting with a trainer or coach for assistance. You can also take it a step further by tracking your nutrition. Tracking not just the amounts of foods and macronutrients you take in but also how you feel after eating certain foods.
Knowing that you have taken the steps to be serious about your goal will excite you and keep you motivated, especially as you begin to see results. If you don’t see the desired results, then you can look back at your workout routine and nutrition that you’ve been tracking to figure out what change to make. Don’t leave your results up to chance."
This advice can and should be implemented no matter what level you are in your fitness journey. By making a routine, it can feel less like a burden and more just part of your daily schedule.
By this stage you are feeling great. You feel confident in your form and can complete a circuit with ease. Now it’s time to hone in and focus on your training. If you are working out on an advanced level the average time spent in the gym is 4-5 days.
Danilo suggests to “Incorporate mobility work, add more accessory work that will aid your weaknesses. Give yourself an active rest day. This could even be foam rolling while watching netflix. You can watch a show for an hour and one time a week to get that stretching in. If hip flexors and shoulders are the tightest - I recommend couch stretches and try holding for 2 minutes. Rear delt flys using cables or bands and controlled lower back extensions.”
At this stage it is not uncommon for people to start assigning different days to different muscle groups such as chest, arms, legs, and back. Danilo recommends, “Try following a very specific program with percentages based on your max numbers, not aimlessly training. Incorporate mobility work and add more accessory work that will aid your weaknesses.”
You can do it!
Building strength is a marathon and not a sprint. While you may not see day to day changes, over the course of a few months if you will start to see noticeable differences and feel yourself getting stronger! Jacob reminds us of another crucial tip, “I recommend sleeping 7-9 hours. Diet, sleep and training first, then supplementation." If you're serious and committed, No excuses, make time for it".