It’s the New Year. Gyms are being over run with people who’ve decided this year is the one they’ll get fit and be healthier. It can be a bit intimidating joining a gym with new surroundings, unfamiliar equipment and the lady by the weights with the perfect body looking fabulous with minimal effort as she does another set of 50 bicep curls.
It helps to have an idea of what to do when working out to enable you to achieve your required goal whether it is to improve fitness, muscle mass, tone etc. It’s not always easy to want to exercise over the colder months. Finding ways to make exercise more fun can really help with motivation.
What do you Need to Know?
It helps to learn the basics about training as that will help you not only exercise properly but also lose weight, tone, develop strength or build up where you want to. Many throw themselves into training thinking they know best and this will often result in injury which may mean they are unable to train until they heal. If you are wanting to train in a gym sometimes it can help to book yourself in with an instructor to get a programme written up for you.
Classes are a great way to train as you don’t need to think much except for making sure you follow the teachers instruction. Having a good teacher can help as they are great at providing exercises that can tone and strengthen specific areas. A good teacher will also provide alternatives for new and seasoned attendees. Attending a range of aerobic classes is a great idea as it means that it will mean different muscles are used.
Try mixing bums, tums and thighs classes, circuits, even pilates over the week to cover a good range of muscles. In the class you will learn about controlling your breathing, how to exercise safely and how to stretch properly before and after a workout.
Training In a Gym
This is more of a solo exercise unless you train with a partner. It can be much more motivating to partner up and helps pass the time faster as well as provide encouragement. Using a personal trainer can also be helpful as they can tailor training to suit your requirements.
You might want to also take a beginner’s lifting class where you will learn traditional weightlifting techniques that use the whole body. The lifts you’ll do will be compound lifts. They use the entire body which allows you to improve your strength in all your body parts at once.
Ideally a combination of both aerobic and weight bearing exercises such as those done by body builders work well. I’m not saying you need to become a body builder yourself just to use some of the exercises they often perform to help build up core strength and tone.
What are Compound Exercises?
These are exercises that work more than one muscle group at the same time. They include squats, pull ups, cable pull downs and dips. These can be done whilst training in the gym but some can be incorporated in aerobic classes too.
Bodybuilders specialise in isolating their muscles to get the best workout for singular muscles or muscle groups. They separate each muscle to target it’s weaknesses and work to strengthen them. Techniques are used in many different ways. For example, pairing a weak muscle with a strong muscle doesn’t work well. The stronger muscle then needs to work harder in an attempt to do it’s job. You see this a lot in people’s arms such as small biceps and strong triceps. Here they may look to use isolation techniques to help them strengthen where it is needed.
For Those Interested in Body Building
Looking at websites that are for bodybuilders can be helpful as they discuss different techniques. Some like Bodybuilding.com have forums where you can ask questions and learn first hand what works and what doesn’t. Of course take advice with a pinch of salt and use common sense when trying new techniques.
Love Training and Want to Turn it into a Career?
I power walk when I can and one of the mums I do this with was considering turning her training into a career. This is very popular as more and more people are hiring personal trainers to help them get fit and get into shape. This way you can train and earn at the same time! It can work out better for novices especially to hire a personal trainer as although many gyms will offer an basic induction to show clients how to use their equipment after that they are left to their own devices. Those that are not used to training can injure themselves. This results in them being unable to attend sessions due to injury. In some cases this can put them off and some will even throw in the towel altogether.
For those beginners wanting to just get a good grounding on how to train in a gym there are numerous courses available. An example of which is the OriGym course. It is varied and covers fitness principles and also personal training techniques. It’s a level 2 fitness course – one level below a personal trainer. The course can be done online or via a full time 2-week course in a classroom. You can use what you learn to improve the effectiveness of your workouts. This will develop you physique and confidence. As well as this one you can and also develop a basis from which you can build upon, continuing with further training to eventually become qualified to do personal training.
Mix It Up
Mixing classes where you do cardio training, then endurance lifting with light weights can be beneficial. This tests your overall fitness from strength, stamina and speed. Your fast twitch fibers will be activated as well as your slow twitch fibers. The more you learn about varying techniques and styles of workout the more knowledge you have to implement into your own workouts. You can take from different classes what you need. Then make a routine where you work all the muscles you want but also improve your ability to workout or exercise for longer.
With the various sources of information you can use the best from each to tailor work outs for yourself and for others (should you become qualified to do so).
Do you exercise? If so what form of training do you enjoy most?
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