If you are a newbie, you are in luck! You have an opportunity to experience substantial strength gains in the gym. It is not uncommon for someone who is brand new to strength training to experience strength gains on a weekly basis. This phenomenon can be credited to your brain’s ability to communicate efficiently with your muscle neuron. This is due to the fact that when stress is applied to the body it creates a disturbance. In other words your body is very efficient and prefers a stable environment so it doesn’t like change. When you train your body is disrupted and it takes time and energy to return back to normal. Each time this disruption occurs your body will rebuild itself a little bit stronger to prepare for future stresses.
For example, take a seasoned athlete and someone off the streets who has never stepped foot into a gym. The inexperienced individual has a greater opportunity for growth when compared to the professional athlete. This is because that inexperienced individual has not yet come close to tapping into their full potential. However, the professional athlete will be close to their full potential, if they have not already surpassed it. When this happens, the professional athlete will have to systematically formulate a long term plan to accumulate enough stress over the long period to experience even minimal positive results. Meanwhile, the untrained individual can pretty much walk into a weight room and look at a dumbbell and they will get stronger. It may sound crazy, but it’s not as far off as you may think. Let me put it this way: Take an experienced lifter who has been training or competing at an elite level and has a 1RM squat of a respectable 700 lbs. On the other hand, take a novice who squats 100 lbs. The untrained individual will be able to make improvements on a weekly basis with minimal effort. Novice athletes have the ability to train frequently because they typically recover within a 24-48 hour period. This is due to the fact that they are not handling heavy enough weights which would force a longer recovery process. At the same time, the seasoned individual may need as much as 12 months to see significant improvement in their lifts. By performing at their full potential for some time, their body has become resilient to stress. As a result, what one session or one week of training used to accomplish is no longer adequate stress to push past adaptation.
So, what are you waiting for?
Today is the perfect opportunity to work towards reaching your full physical potential. We all know that having strong muscles are good for us, both physically as well as mentally. The only things that may be holding you back are fear, old habits, and comfort level. Although I’m not a huge fan of machines, they are fairly safe and easy to use. In fact, most gyms can even arrange to have someone teach you how to use the machines properly. “I don’t know what to do,” can no longer be an excuse. If you can fit it into your budget, I always recommend hiring a personal trainer to teach you how to safely train with free weights. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars sharpening our minds through education and have no problem blowing a few hundred dollars every month on dining out and drinking booze. It’s time to spend that money on what really counts: our health.