Wellness & Fitness

When Exercise in a Gym Bears Little Fruit


Jotham Bielesie Kusienya, gym instructor at Muscle Health and Fitness in Nairobi CBD instructing a gym user in one of the sessions. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

It is almost midyear and a fitness review is necessary.

This helps track fitness progress allowing adjustment on the little things that might stand between you and your targets set at the start of the year.

While people workout for various reasons, the golden guiding principles remain consistency, diet and hard work.

Gym instructor Jotham Bielesie says that it is the disciplined and patient that stand to register progress in their fitness plans.

“The gym instructor offers only 25 percent while you do the remaining 75 per cent of the work,” says the instructor at Muscle Health and Fitness in Nairobi.

To avoid unnecessary frustrations, get a tailor-made workout plan to fit your individual’s goals.

There are individuals who work out to lose weight, others to gain weight, a different lot to keep fit yet others do it on doctor’s advice.

The gym-workout plan is a routine that can be followed and is packaged taking into account an individual’s needs and availability.

It incorporates aerobics, muscle training, core, flexibility and stretching exercises and is the document that will be used to monitor progress and do reviews.

The workout plan is developed from information provided by an individual at the gym including age, weight, height and medical conditions if any.

Beginners at the gym go through full body assessment to allow the gym instructor come up with a tailor made workout programme.

“Ideally, a review should be done every three months to decide whether the plan is working or if it should be dropped for something else,” says Bielesie.

He says setting unrealistic time frames is a major contributor to why people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

For instance, it is almost impossible to hit the gym only two days a week and expect to lose five kilogrammes in one month.

“We’ve heard instances where someone says she has two months to lose weight to fit in a wedding dress,” he says.

The body, Mr Bielesie says, needs time to adjust to the pressure of high-intensity workouts.

He says fluctuations in weight are normal and should not be used as an excuse for dropping off the fitness track.

“Weight stabilises with time. Do not be in a hurry to hit the target, because just like a baby going through the stages of human development to become an adult, so should you at the gym,” he says.

Getting out of your comfort zone is the first step to achieving an ideal body.

He notes that as cliché as it may sound, if one does not make time for exercise then they should be ready to be unfit.

The rule is simple; a person keen on losing 10 kilos in three months should work twice as hard as one who wants to lose three kilogrammes in the same period.

Your target should determine how hard you should workout

Aside from hard work, the kind of food you eat plays a major role in the final outcome.

“Do not starve yourself of food. Just stick to healthy snacks like fruits and avoid junk food no matter the craving,” says Bielesie.

In the initial stages, apart from the muscle pains, beginners should anticipate to battle with sleep during the day.

However, this will soon fade away as the body gets acclimatised to the changing environment.

He says warming up should be given priority before workout as this will shield from minor injuries. Do it for at least 15 minutes.