How to Start Your Student Fitness Journey – with Rakin

Are you an active student starting university for the first time? Want some help on setting up a workout routine as a fresher? You’ve come to the right place. Starting off university life isn’t easy but that’s where one of our gym members, Rakin from Xercise4Less Hull, comes in. He wants to share some fitness advice that he wished he knew as a student. Over to Rakin!

I know how just challenging your student fitness journey can be, having done the transition from university life to full-time employment. Whether it’s the stress of studying or living on a tight budget while cooking your own meals and doing your own washing, it’s tough to cope at first… we haven’t even talked about dealing with hangovers! It’s all part of the student experience but sometimes your new student life can be a real block when you want to get fit.

Getting Fit as a Fresher

I’ve built up my fitness through training at Xercise4Less gym in Hull 7 days a week. My sessions consist of a mix of free weights, bodyweight training, HIIT and finish off with some bag kicking. My local gym has really helped with that; I never have to wait for any equipment as there’s always an alternative. I can fire through my sessions without waiting around for a weight machine or bench. And that’s invaluable when you’re a student under time pressure and needing to release some stress.

Equipment is just part of what makes a good gym for students though. The atmosphere of a gym can accelerate your progress or set you up for stagnation and that’s really driven by the people around you. I really like the atmosphere at Xercise4Less Hull as the staff are very friendly and helpful, but the gym members are great too. You end up seeing the same faces in the gym which helps you feel comfortable and enables you to ask for advice or a spot whenever you need it.

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Working Out the Right Way to Exercise as a Student

You can be into bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit, running, it’s up to you. Whatever exercise you prefer, the key is to set your own personal goals as this is your unique student fitness journey. Here are some exercise lessons that I’ve found useful as a student:

  • Set short, medium and long-term goals to give yourself something to aim for. Breaking down a long-term goal into smaller pieces helps with motivation and hitting those milestones is such a satisfying feeling. I personally try to walk 8,000 steps a day as my short-term goal!
  • Routine is important with student exercise and the key to routine is preparation. Get your gym clothes ready the day before. Know what time of the day you’ll be training and how you’ll be working out. It doesn’t matter whether you want to follow a precise fitness programme or decide on a group exercise class the evening after a lecture. The main thing is you prepare before you go to the gym.
  • We all have our own internal motivation, so find the right fitness spark for you. What area of the gym do you most enjoy? If you’re dreading your sessions after a tough day in the library, it’s hard to find a positive workout attitude.

Eating Your Way Right Through College

Eating the right foods for your body is just as important as sticking to your fitness programme. Thankfully it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune there’s always a student budget to stick to.

Use your freezer to make sure you eat enough protein a day (I stick to 1-1.2g per pound of body weight). Buy packets of raw chicken and turkey and freeze them or grab frozen fish supermarket bargains for incredible sources of protein. Tinned fish like mackerel, tuna, and sardines have always been a good option for me. Other really affordable proteins are eggs, Greek yoghurt, Skyr, and Quark. Just make sure it has around 20g protein per 100g. If you’re a student who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, then cheap beans and legumes are your best friend. My cupboards are filled with cans of chickpeas and lentils!

Don’t forget about affordable carbohydrates either like oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and wholegrain pasta. Ensure that your student life gets a healthy dose of essential fats too through olive oil, nuts, and avocados.

Draw the Right Student Lessons

When you’re a new student it can be hard to find a college community that fits but don’t worry. When you join Xercise4Less gyms, you’ll find a real community of friendly fitness enthusiasts like Rakin to keep you on the right fitness track. Join Xercise4Less Gyms and start your student education with the right lesson!

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