How to determine your fitness level and know where to start?
It can be hard to determine the level of training if you are new to it, or even if you have been training for a while, sometime your mind can be stronger than your body and you are pushing too hard that could result injury.
Whether you are a newbie or you are the regular in the game, if you caught yourself wondering about your fitness level or the exercises you are doing are challenging enough? This article is for you girls.
In this article we are going to explore these questions:
Which fitness level I am at?
How much weight should I take for training that is challenging enough?
Am I still perform good quality reps?
How much repetition is the right amount?
Let's first, talk about fitness levels. Fitness level is determined by 5 factors which include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. There are tools and exercises test that can help you to determine your fitness level, but there is also a simpler way by just reflex on your fitness journey and see which one in the 3 levels below is more likely to be you.
Beginner: new to exercise, have no to very limited experience with weight training, or have been out of fitness routine for a long time and just get back into it.
Intermediate: some experience for completion of a training program or have been training both body weight exercises and light weight training consistently for more than 6 months.
Advanced: comfortable with body weight training, weight training and ready to take it to the next level by increasing weight while training or perform more complex movement.
Do you have any clue where your fitness level at right now?
So if you are at the beginner level, let's stick with body weight exercise to strength your core, muscle and increase your cardio endurance as well as movements before adding any weight in to make sure you perform the exercises correctly and avoid injury.
In addition, any new exercise can be performed with no added resistance to start with - meaning bodyweight only! As mentioned above, it’s important to perfect form with each exercise BEFORE adding weight.
Then if you are good with adding weight into your training, how much weight is enough? Of course in training, you always get recommended to push yourself a little bit, however, you should not sacrifice your form to hit a more impressive number carved on a set of weight training. But at the same time, you do not want to have an easy session. You should be aiming to progress by gradually increasing your weights over time.
Hard to know right? Of course, it is as we are all having different shapes, sized and fitness ability. However, there is a little guidance for you on how much weight you should take on when training. Please noted that this is only a guide, and you should apply judgment to whether a certain weight range is too much or not enough for you. The guideline here aims to provide you with a starting point, especially if you are new to weight training.
If you’re training at a gym, try to get support from a personal trainer or a more experienced friend to supervise or spot you, until you are comfortable with your weight selection.
It often takes another person to discover what you’re really capable of, or discourage you from doing something you may not be ready for as its hard to see/feel it for yourself when you are loosing form.
If you’re working on equipping a home exercise space, start with a minimum of 2 pairs of dumbbells - a light option for upper body exercise and a heavier option for lower body exercise.
Here are some simple weight guideline for you girls for upper and lower body training with weights for different fitness levels
What's about the repetition? As you might know repetition the number of times or "reps" that you do a specific exercise. It is important because it helps to stimulate muscle endurance and improve your training.
It is recommended to train each muscle group with different rep ranges throughout variety of workout sessions. This will ensures that muscles are engaged in a variety of different ways, promoting muscle growth and overall.
The table below will help you to match weight election to your rep ranges.
But not to forget rest between sets girls!
Resting correctly plays an important role in the overall intensity and effectiveness of your workout. Too much rest or get distracted by something else while training will result of both mind and body lose focus, which can lead to a less effective workout or even injuries.
It is highly recommended to stay present during your rest period, stay switched on and keep your mind focus on the training session.
In contrast, too little rest isn’t a great for your training, it can make your sweat session harder to complete and result in lacking focus on good form!
There are certain rest time recommended for different exercises depending on what type of training you are doing. It is usually from 45 seconds to 2 minutes between sets. However, if you need to take a bit longer than what it has been suggested, nothing wrong with that.
In conclusion, the key is to be mindfulness when training, research your session, pay attention to your efforts in the exercises, with the weights and reps number that you are doing to find out which amounts are enough for you. Make sure the session is a good quality session, the weight and reps keeping you engaged and challenging enough without the risk of getting injured.
Happy training girls, will blog more about connected mind and muscle while training in next entry :D