3 things I wish I knew when I started my fitness journey
So many lessons learned since I started training! Although I firmly believe in the value of trial and error, I definitely spent a long time doing things that clearly weren't serving me.
Here are 3 things I wish I knew when I started: 1. There is no perfect training programme: I spent way too long trying to find the 'best' exercises, training split, frequency, number of sets, reps etc. This led to a lot of programme hopping, which meant I spun my wheels and didn't see much progress. Although a training programme should meet certain principles (mainly compound exercises, sufficient volume, progressive overload etc) there is no such thing as a perfect programme. The 'best' programme depends on the individual and their goals. 2. You don't have to eat clean: We all know it's a good idea to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables but there is no reason that we have to restrict certain foods or food groups from our diets. All foods can fit! When we eat a limited range of foods we put ourselves at greater risk of nutrient deficiencies as well as making it difficult to eat out in restaurants and making us feel restricted. This approach tends to backfire leading to subsequent overconsumption of the foods we have eliminated and this can become a viscous cycle. 3. Resting is not optional: Although the grind mentality is glorified within the fitness industry (especially on social media), that doesn't mean it's an optimal approach. Rest is when our muscles grow so it's important to take both rest days as well as making sure we are getting enough sleep each night. This isn't being lazy, it's being kind to our bodies. Resting more actually helps us improve our exercise performance as we are able to recover better and go into each session feeling fresh.