5 Things I Wish I’d Known About Fitness 5 Years Ago

We love to hear from our members and we have interviewed Pieter Jooste that has been part of our Body Works West community since 2013.
 
With the health and wellness industry progressing rapidly it is a minefield for Joe blogs out there. From Keeto to food intolerance, intermitted fasting, no cardio, only cardio, hot yoga and everything in between, no wonder the industry has become very confusing and overwhelming for a lot of us.
 
As the years go on and our careers get more demanding with more time in front of computers, travelling a lot and slowing metabolisms, waistlines change, or at least it did for me. So about 5 years ago I decided, change is needed, the only problem was that I had no clue what I was doing.
 
I signed up for a gym membership at BWW and almost killed myself within 60 minutes on the treadmill followed by trying to bench press way too much weight.
 
What started back then as a quest for becoming a more recognisable version of me turned into a five-year odyssey of mishaps, a lot of wasted effort, hours listening and taking to heart diet advice and exercise tips from “influencers” and “experts” online.
Looking back, here are the 5 biggest lessons I wish I had known back then.
 
1 Diet is King
 
This one lesson alone would have made the struggle a lot less painful had I have known; it is just THAT important
 
No amount of exercise you can do will balance out a crappy diet. Read that again. If you are trying to lose weight, what you eat is 70% – 80% of your battle and the same with trying to gain weight and build muscle. It all starts in the kitchen!
 
If you want to look and live better, you need to clean up your diet.
 
2 Don’t believe everything you get told
 
I remember my first few months at BodyWorksWest, wandering without much luck and any structure to my workouts. I sadly took to the internet and social media and was takin in by many influencers with miracle crash diets for “bigger arms now” and “Six pack in 6 days” the list goes on.
 
Because I didn’t know better, I wasted time and not doing exercises correctly could have done some serious damage to my body.
 
Once I got to a perpetual state of despair, I decided to start taking my advice from one of the BWW fitness instructors. Finally, some solid advice was given and a picture painted that was realistic and attainable at the same time.
 
Question everything, and do your research is my best advice, don’t believe so-called experts and the hordes of nutrition experts out there. If something doesn’t make sense to you, do your research, speak to others and avoid “bro-science”
If you are overweight and trying to lose weight, find others that have similar body types that have had success. If you are skinny and trying to bulk up, make use of the community of awesome members and trainers right here at BWW that you can share your path with and listen to advise that has been tried and tested.
 
3 More is just more, not better
 
I used to spend hours doing clusters of bicep curls, calf raises, leg extensions, leg curls, different kind of bench presses, and three or different triceps exercises, isolating each muscle group for “maximum impact”. No wonder I failed time and time again as the commitment and time and complexity all together is overwhelming, to say the least.
 
Unless you are an elite bodybuilder and need to sculpt your muscles doing these isolation exercises is not a good use of time.
 
My workouts are now full-body routines using a lot of my body weight to do and complete the exercises.
 
I lift less weight now, but the repetitions I do is more full range of motion and have reduced my workout time to around 45 minutes that leaves me time for a sauna and or steam to recharge.
 
4 Warm-up before, stretch after
 
Walk-in and start your routine immediately, after the workout is done, pack up and get out.
 
I never used to warm up and no stretching after.
Luckily now I wiser, [ better looking, funnier,] and most importantly of all more modest.
 
Warming up before exercising is one of the most important aspects taught to me by my trainer at the time. A dynamic warm-up with jumping jacks, push-ups, body squats, lunges, and rope jumps.
 
Again, good use of your time and getting the most out of your work out is taking 5-10 minutes after you finish with a g stretching routine can help the muscle rebuilding and recovery process. If you are clever and have some extra time on your hand you can do a yoga class after your workout or incorporate some yoga stretches you have picked up at the classes given at BWW.
 
5 It’s all about FUN FUN FUN
 
I now know that there are approximately 800 million (give or take) ways to get in shape and do something that you ENJOY doing.
 
Maybe you LOVE running and hate weight training, hate sports but love reformer Pilates, love yoga, hate running but love a HITT class – it is endless. Whenever you do not enjoy exercise that is when you are probably not going to want to be doing that particular set of motions for the long run. Find what you like or love and stick with that. For too long too many of doing things that make us unhappy because that is what we think we are meant to do to be successful in the gym – FAKE NEWS. If you do what you enjoy and you take care of your nutrition, you are bound to see results.
 
It is quite easy, find exercises that will raise your heart rate, challenges you to be better and healthier, and makes you happy. SIMPLES