With a new year comes resolutions, among the most popular are that of the fitness variety. While the classic cliché includes going to the gym for a week before quitting, local fitness guru Chris Kays has the recipe for strengthening gym novices’ resolve.
Regardless of the fitness resolution stereotypes, it’s an admirable stride towards living a healthier life. For the health benefits to manifest physically, however, one must first have a clear goal in mind to combat excuses to not exercise.
“You got to have a clear goal and something to work towards coming into fitness. A common one is weight loss, but I say to have a SMART goal. That stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely manner,” Kays explained. “One can lose weight at a healthy rate of about one- to two-and-a-half pounds a week. Anything more than that can cause a bunch of health issues like loss of sleep or a screwed-up metabolism.”
Whether the goal is weight loss or to look at the mirror and see Arnold Schwarzenegger, one shouldn’t go into the gym and make a beeline for the 100-pound dumbbells. Like any new endeavor, know-how is of paramount importance as is having a battle plan.
“People place quality over quantity, thinking about repetitions, sets and weights only and not about full range of motion, or light weights with controlled tempo,” said Kays. “Knowing how to exercise first is more important than anything. It’s also important to follow some regimen so you’re not overtraining a single muscle group. A standard I’d give people are having two lower body workout days and two upper body workout days a week. I would also recommend giving 48 hours of rest before hitting a muscle group again.”
Although Kays is a personal trainer himself, he gives an honest and unbiased recommendation for gym greenhorns to get a trainer. Not just to tap into their knowledge but to have them stay accountable when laziness rears its ugly head.
“It’s important to find someone who knows what they’re doing so they can show you. Personal trainers can seem pricey, but you have to understand that working with a trainer is an investment,” Kays said. “You want to be learning how to lift the rest of your life. As a personal trainer, I don’t expect to have someone work with me for over six months. They’ll have a good understanding of calories, nutrition, sleep and stretching.”
If one is intimidated by the gym culture and exercise machines, Kays maintains that the best step forward is — quite literally — a step forward.
“I’d recommend cardio and getting on an incline treadmill. The calorie expenditure is three to five times higher than regular walking,” Kays said. “Body weight stuff is good, like body weight squats — they’re incredible. Also, just listen to your body. It’s okay to get a burn going through your muscles, but a sharp, jagged pain is too much.”
Kays suggested ‘The Kneesovertoesguy” on YouTube for help on starting a fitness journey, or visit Kays’ personal Instagram account by searching @midyconnection or contact him at 530-665-3839.