Updated: May 18
SO YOU HAVE STARTED AT THE GYM BUT DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Gyms can be intimidating places. Grunting thugs, mean girls, gym weirdos (yes they exist), ego maniacs, equipment hogs, an abundance of fit bodies and over enthusiastic trainers. These are just a few of the people you may encounter at the gym. So going to a gym and not knowing where to start can make things feel even more intimidating. But gyms can provide a convenient social-health-shelter for many of us and are a necessary part of the daily routine. If you are unsure of what to do and how to train or you haven't signed up for fear of the unknown, here is a simple program to get you started.
I have only included the most common exercises and exercise machines in order to cater to most gym or studio layouts. This program can be for weight loss, fitness or strength. What determines the purpose of this program is- the actual weight lifted, frequency of training, duration, sets, repetitions and diet, but it is general enough to help anyone gain results. I have directed this particular program towards 'general fitness', but as I said, this program can be manipulated to suit other goals.
Here we go
BASIC GYM PROGRAM
Warm up- Stretch- Cardio-Weights-Core
Warm up- 10 minutes
Stretch- 10-20 Minutes
Cardio- 10-30 minutes ( Cardio can include- treadmills, crosstrainers, rowers, bikes, elliptical)
Weights- When choosing a weight to lift, start light and test to ensure that 10 lifts/repetitions is challenging, but doable.
3 sets of 10 repetitions ( a total of 30 lifts done in lots of 10. This may also look like this, 3x10, in a program)
Use the above (3x10) Set and Repetition range for all weight exercises.
Chest Press 3x10 (3x10 for all weights)
Bicep Curl- (use Dumbells for this exercise if there isnt a machine)
Shoulder press (machine)
For Core/ Abdominal
Sit ups/ crunches- on a swissball if possible
Plank ( plank has to be timed, so 3 x 30 seconds may be a good starting point) Avoid doing plank until failure, instead do 80% of what you can handle.
TIPS and other important points
1. By no means are these the 'best' exercises or the only exercises out there. They are simple and safe starting exercises
2. If you have any injuries or prior health conditions whatsoever, consult your Doctor before starting any training program including this one. This includes people with High Blood Pressure.
3. Most of these exercises can be found online. Some Resources include- Spark people, bodybuilding.com and many more. There are also numerous apps such as, Fitness Buddy.
4. Don't just copy the movements of other people in the gym. Even the biggest most muscular guys get it wrong, which brings me to my next point.
5. Lose the Ego. Training with too much Ego will likely lead you to an injury. Forget what others might be saying or thinking and do what you can according to your own strength and fitness level. (This point is mostly aimed at the guys)
6. Technique is KING. If your technique starts to change during an exercise because you are struggling, STOP or have someone spot your last repetitions. Good Technique is the most important aspect of training.
7. Seek help from a professional if you are unsure of an exercise.
8. This particular program will take over an hour to complete, if you do every exercise. However, its ok to be flexible. If you have 30 minutes, simply pick what you want to do and do the rest on another day. If you have longer, do the whole thing. Its up to you.
9. The average training session should usually last between 45 minutes and 90 minutes, depending on how social you are;.)
10. If an exercise causes any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and ask for assistance/ advice.
11. This is for the Girls- The chance of you getting really bulky from lifting weights is extremely minimal. So minimal in fact, that you can be almost certain that it wont happen. To gain any serious muscle mass, it takes serious effort, patience, consistency, planning and a specific diet plan.
12. Yes, Warm up and Stretching are important. They can be time consuming, but they are both necessary to prepare your body for further training and to reduce the likelihood of injury.