Whether you have a specific fitness goal in the UAE or you just want to get fit starting at the gym in Dubai or Abu Dhabi can sometimes be a daunting thought. With the right advice, going to the gym and working towards your health and fitness goals can be a lot easier than you think.
- Thinking you need to lose fat before you start working out in Dubai.
Mistakes like doing abs to lose belly fat or doing countless cardio sessions will get you a great capacity to run for a long time, make you feel like you’re 20 years older, and will not get you looking like a strong individual and will not get you to your goal even if you would want to be runner, runners don’t just run they themselves also do strength training.
Losing fat is a by-product of training and dieting together, no one should be fixated on just losing fat. I have never seen it work and people who do try this approach spend years learning it doesn’t. The best approach is to combine a easy nutrition plan that you can easily repeat throughout the week and any program that you find that you can understand and stick to. To aim for fat burning as part of your personal fitness program in Dubai add a simple sprint interval on a bike, rower or running track to finish your workout. That will satisfy you, but muscle burns calories at rest too meaning for every bit of muscle you add you become better at burning fat. So why would you not do strength training in some form….
- Having no plan
Training in Dubai means having a plan or rather knowing what you’re doing before you set foot in the gym. It is THE SMART way to train.
A progressive gym plan includes what exercises you intend to do – weights and number of reps and sets and rest periods for example. This plan will ensure that you keep getting better whether your goal is physique changes, or performance based enhancement. It also ensures that you get adequate rest so that your CNS (Central Nervous System) and muscles tissue can recover and finally it helps you do everything you need to do so you don’t forget or can easily brush it off (focus)
- You are going all out or nothing at all.
Typical exercise and workout beginners go to the gym and think they need to go all out and burn out every time. Other beginners go to the gym in Dubai and do very little which defeats the object of paying a membership fee to a gym that they don’t (or rarely) use. But hey, if you like to waste money most gyms have TV’s and steam rooms to make you feel like you’re burning off fat 😉
Creating a realistic workout plan so that what you commit to yourself is actually manageable and is a key factor for any exercise beginner. For example, it’s unrealistic to expect to work out five days a week for an hour – most people just don’t have the time for this or find it hard to organise their time to commit. Now I could write another article on what is in fact optimal for Adult to train, but right now training 2 to 4 times a week is much more manageable. It really depends on your goals, schedule and background.
Beginners must stop the all or nothing way of thinking. Having a bad workout because you’re tired or even contemplating brushing it off in favour of sleep or an evening on the couch doesn’t make you a failure. These things happen and in fact can help you recover just as long as you get back on it the following day.
Remember doing something is better than doing nothing, there will be hard days which will get you your results, but the most important thing is consistency overrules all!
- Not learning proper form or copying from another
It’s always a mistake to copy from someone else as you won’t know that he or she is doing an exercise correctly! A professional personal trainer in Dubai can help show you the ropes and ensure your form and the way you exercise is correct.
So many people new to the gym fall into the trap of copying others who are often new to the gym environment too. Unfortunately this means people are training inconsistently, incorrectly and without knowledge of what they are doing.
Some benefits of learning how to train not just to be trained;
- You’ll accelerate strength development
- You’ll gain more muscle and likely lose more body fat
- You can eliminate joint pain linked to incorrect movement patterns
- You’ll do the right exercises to correct issues you have, including muscle imbalances, correct your own posture or prevent it from crippling you.
- Learn why exercises are so effective
- Learn how to effectively train without being a professional. You don’t have to be a professional to learn how to train. Some basic exercises are very easy to learn/do without having to know how to properly program or how to properly balance your body. Sometimes the terminology personal trainers use can be confusing but for basic exercises you really don’t need to know the in’s and out’s.
- Most importantly you won’t look like a buffoon in the gym!
You best option is to learn from someone, whether it is someone you are certain who has the knowledge or a professional Dubai trainer who can teach you everything from lifting techniques to how to design a basic workout plan. Prioritize learning the techniques of your main exercises to be able to get the fastest results. This includes Squats, Bench Presses, Overhead Presses, and Deadlifts. Also I would add Step-ups variations, Pull-ups, Lunges.
- Putting lifting, cardio, and mobility into the same session
It is not in your interest to fit everything into one session thinking you are going to get massive results because you are using multiple techniques. Training 4 times a week with weights, gives you roughly 40 – 45min with 10 -15 min stretch / warm down at the end, and I hope at least a 5 min dynamic warm up to start any workout.
If you have body conditioning or endurance type personal fitness goals (marathon, 5k or 10k race) I suggest trying 2 – 3, 1 hour long workouts a week and two separate intervals of cardio workouts which are 20 – 30 mins. Intervals can either be after your workouts or at separate times, you’re more likely to injure yourself trying to do everything in a 1 hour workout or burn yourself out.
The same goes for mobility. You should be working on flexibility and mobility separately from your weight training exercises. As a professional trainer I recommend doing these at home, 15 to 20 min in front of the television is something anyone can do without any excuses.
- You simply can’t out-train a bad diet
Fact, you will NOT see any progress if you’re still eating fast food and Candy bars for snacks and washing them down with a sugar filled fizzy drink or any form of flavoured drink. Often people are still under eating or still unknowingly eating junk and still seem to think they eat a lot. This confuses them and they don’t fully understand why they stay the same or continue to get more out of shape.
Simply eat REAL WHOLE foods, and by that I mean choose the food that came from a plant not the food that came from a box, plastic packet or can. As well as being much better for you it has been proven time and time again that fresh, unprepared foods are actually cheaper than their pre packaged counterparts.
If you want to put muscle to change your body physique this is actually a great way of losing weight as explained above because increasing muscle mass helps to reduce fat. Eating plenty of protein daily in the ranges of 1 -2g/kg of bodyweight is what is recommended. Many people will and should aim to get most of their protein from sources like meat, eggs, dairy and beans, and using whey protein to supplement their diets to reach the right protein amounts. A personal trainer in the UAE who has expert nutrition knowledge can do wonders when it comes to providing you with the best information about how you need to change your diet.
To Sum it up for beginners in the UAE, if you don’t know don’t just do it. Cause you can end up doing further damage to yourself. The first step towards your healthier lifestyle is to take a close look at your eating habits and make changes. If you need advice from a professional about your training or diet plan then please feel free to get in touch for a consultation.
Don’t forget – above all consistency rules.
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