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Five ways to boost your visit to the gym

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

AS SOMEONE WHO has experienced the intense, ass-kicking workouts of Nick Haince—a former personal trainer for Sports Services—I can say with authority that when it comes to whipping someone into shape, this guy knows what he’s talking about. He sat down with the Fulcrum and explained the most common mistakes that people make when starting a new workout regimen.

The Fulcrum: What is the number one thing people need to know when they’re starting a new gym regimen?  

Nick Haince: Make sure all your goals are S.M.A.R.T. When someone is going to start working out for the first time … sometimes they have goals in mind that are kind of too big or maybe not achievable. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals: make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. So maybe not trying to lose 20 pounds the first month, but maybe two or three pounds the first month, and just be consistent. Make sure that whatever you’re trying to achieve is actually achievable. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

What would you suggest to people that aren’t gym veterans, but rather are starting from scratch?

Have a plan at the gym. Follow a workout routine or a regimen, and don’t just go in there and wing it. Make sure that when you’re in there, you’re spending your time on something, you’re focusing on something, and being efficient with your time at the gym. Whether it be getting a trainer to help you work out, or finding [a regimen] in a magazine, whatever the case may be, make sure you find something you can follow just to keep you on track.

On that note, what kinds of techniques should people be implementing when they’re doing the workout itself?

People need to realize the importance of the mind and muscle connection. When you’re working out, and doing squats as an example, don’t just do them to get them over with. Think about what muscles you’re trying to work, and make sure you’re engaging the proper muscle groups that you’re attacking that day. Don’t just get through your workout, and just go through the motions. Make sure you’re connected with what you’re doing, using the right muscles, and [pushing] yourself.

What should people be doing outside the gym to maximize their results? 

Working out is really only half the battle. Just because you work out doesn’t mean the battle is won. You still have to be doing your part in the kitchen and in your lifestyle to keep up with the workouts. To promote healthy living and weight loss, you still have to be eating right. Drink lots of water. Realize that it’s not just about working out, but is a lot deeper than that.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t give up too early. If you don’t see that you’ve lost a couple pounds in the first month, [a trainer can] reevaluate what you’ve done, and how hard you’ve worked, and get back at it. Being consistent when working out is one of the most important things about it. You have to stay true to your goal and keep working at it day in and day out. Stay consistent with what goal you want to achieve.