If you’re new to this fitness game, there’s no denying that there’s plenty of folks out there telling you all the exercises you have to do in order to…insert goal here! But amongst all that noise, how do you see the forest for the trees?
Well your local Zap Fitness trainer is a great place to start, and if you’re over in Tassie, more importantly up Moonah way you can definitely chat to Saskia “Saxon” Lesek!
Saskia specialises in strength and muscle toning and training for fat loss and lean muscle mass and she knows just what it’s like to be a beginner. “After my own transformation and becoming who I am today, I truly believe that regular exercise and improving your fitness is important to making the most out of life, both physically and mentally. My goal is to make my clients physically and mentally strong, so they can battle any obstacle in the way.”
As someone who was always into her health and fitness, Saskia has worked really hard to transform her own life and smash fitness goals of her own. As she explains, “The things that can be achieved when you give it your all, are truly incredible. I am here to truly change and improve lives, whether you’re a beginner, train regularly or just need an extra push to achieve your goals.”
So, how exactly can Saskia help you, a humble beginner looking for guidance?
“Well, after we’ve gone through the pre-exercise questionnaire and made myself aware of any injuries or restrictions, I start with asking what you’ve done in the past, e.g.: in school, with friends.”
“And then make sure you can do the basics, e g: squat, push up, lunges. Once you have managed that and have good technique, I will add slight weight such as medicine balls, kettlebells, and dumbbells”
Saskia believes that every beginner should work towards being able correctly perform the following ‘top five’ movements, which are a Bodyweight Squat, Push ups, Plank, Deadlifts, and Row. But accordioning to Saskia, “Above all else I believe the most fundamental movement a beginner should master is Balance. It is the foundation and comes into many important movements.”
When it comes to structuring a program for a beginner, Saskia believes in a blend of body weight and machines, “I would start with pin loaded machines if they don’t have perfect technique, and they can work on building strength. I would use the smith machine for squats and possibly bench press. And use cable machines for other exercises. I would not add free weights until I was sure they could do the movement safely.”
I guess this is a perfect example of the advantages of using machine-based weights vs. free weights, “Yes,” agrees Saskia,
“Machines are better for beginners, especially when they don’t have the correct technique yet. They assist with correct form and do the movement for you.”
“Free weights are good for smaller muscle groups at light weights to isolate certain muscle groups, but most movements can be done on machines. Free weights should be incorporated as soon as safely possible.”
In fact, there’s not much that Saskia wouldn’t recommend a beginner having a go at, with the right guidance of course. With the exception of, as Saskia points out, “Big compact movements with heavy weights, if they don’t have correct form. Things such as deadlifts and back squats can damage your body if done incorrectly. Adding weights to movements is only safe once the initial movement is perfect.”
If you’re around Zap Fitness Moonah, please say hi to Saskia on the gym floor or contact her to book a free consult and session. If you’re not nearby, why not connect with Saskia over at Instagram @saxon_coaching.
See you at the gym!
– By Prue Houston