The gym can be a daunting experience for many, but when you finally pluck up the courage to get your butt there; the next challenge is knowing what the hell you should do.
The easiest thing to do is to jump on the nearest cardio machine and stay there until you feel you’ve done enough minutes to qualify it as a workout; but… That can be ineffective, boring and… just boring!
I know a lot of Girlies out there, would love to try switching their gym routine up a little, but they have no idea where to start. I mean, I don’t blame you, with the amount of self-proclaimed Personal Trainers out there doing squats with bands attached to their knees a dumbbell in one arm and a kettlebell in the other, claiming to have found the new exercise to get a Kimmy K butt in minutes…*eye roll*
Using my previous 4 years of Personal Training experience, working with god knows how many clients; I’ve managed to come up with a couple of tried and tested ‘templates’ to help you to write your own programs. I have also done my research and found you an incredible website which has an exercise bible with video demos! Hopefully hand in hand, you will be strutting into that gym like a pro in no time.
So Phase 1:
If you’re new to weight training, I always recommend doing full body workouts. This will save your muscles feeling too fatigued and will ease your body into weight training nicely. I have based this on 3x training sessions per week, which I think is the perfect amount of sessions in one week.
We’re always trying to use the main muscles in the body: The back, Chest, Shoulders, Glutes, Legs, and Core. (click the body parts to be taken to a bank of exercises and demonstrations to chose from for each body part)
Lunges / Split squats work the whole legs and glutes.
Squats work the whole legs, mainly the glutes.
If you’re training properly … You should ALWAYS be working your core.
The above table demonstrates how you can break down your workouts over the 3 days. I like to use ‘Supersets’ (2 exercises back-to-back) in programs because its a great way to get the heart rate up. I recommend starting with:
10-12 reps of each exercise
and 3 sets of each with 60 seconds rest in between sets.
I also like to have a more cardio based session, To keep improving your fitness!
Begin with the more simple exercises and then build up to the bigger compound lifts.
I always suggest starting with Dumbells; holding one either side or in the goblet position for leg exercises; And start with cable machines or exercises with the bench for upper body exercises.
Once you have chosen your exercises and fitted them in with your program, you should repeat that program for 4 weeks aiming to increase the weight every week (with correct form). After the 4 weeks, use the same template but with different exercises ( hopefully slightly more challenging) for another 4 weeks. and then…
Once your body is getting more familiar with weight training, you can begin to switch it up by splitting up the body parts. This allows you to work on the selected body part with more intensity.
As you can see, we’re still using the Superset method during the workouts, apart from the final ‘Full body’ workout, we are using ‘Tri sets’ (3 exercises back-to-back without rest).
Again still with:
3 sets of each exercise with 60 seconds rest.
You can use some of the same exercises again or try out some new ones.
Complete for 4 weeks and then use the same method, with different exercises.
Using these methods of Programming could have you set for at least 20 weeks of training. Make sure you continue to challenge yourself with the weights and use different variations of exercises to switch it up.
I recommend writing your programs in a notebook and taking it along to the gym with you, so you can track your weights and keep improving.
If you’re struggling with form and technique, ask a member of staff or a trainer in your gym to give you some help- They should be more than happy to give you a hand.
I really hope this has helped some of you. It was harder than I thought to explain programming and training via a blog post… but I’ve tried.
Please hit me up on Instagram @victorianiamh if you found this handy! and tag me in your sweaty selfies!