The thought of starting to lift weights can be a nightmare.
You walk into the gym, take one look at the machine and free weight section and……head for the nearest cross-trainer or treadmill, and who could blame you?
Some of the weights machines look like a PHD is needed to operate them.
But, for the majority of you, weights are actually what you should be doing in order to achieve what 99% of gym-goers want – to get ‘toned’.
When you refer to muscle ‘tone’, what you actually want is to drop body fat and maintain or develop muscle mass. No, you are not going to end up looking like a bodybuilder, unless that is what you want.
As a beginner it is important to start with a proper foundation. This should be based on large muscle groups and each exercise should work more than one muscle per time…….say what now???
Don’t worry; I am going to lay down a few ways for even the newest member of a gym to get started.
Everyone has body parts that they want to focus on.
For men, it is usually chest and biceps.
For women, it is usually arms, hips and thighs.
When people dip their toes into the weight training waters, these parts are what most beginners usually work on and they end up neglecting everything else.
I advise new gym-users to work on the full body and do it 3 days per week……..Yep! 3 days per week!
The way it works is as follows.
A session should include:
• one or two exercise for the quads (front of the thighs)
• one or two exercise for the hamstrings(back of the thighs),
• one or two for the back,
• one or two for the chest and
• one or two for the abs.
Altogether this gives us 5 or 10 exercises to put together to make up a full routine.
Complete beginners can do the 5 x exercise routine. Those with some experience of exercise can do the 10 x exercise routine.
At the start, the exercise will be the same for all 3 days, as this will allow your body to get used to the exercises and the movements.
So, it goes like this
1. Leg press ( Leg Extension is an optional no 2)
2. *Lunge (Leg Curl is an optional no 2)
3. Lat pull down (Seated Row is an optional no 2)
4. Chest press (Pec Dec or Cable Fly is an optional no 2)
5. Laying leg raise (Sit up or Weighted Sit Ups are an optional no 2)
*Lunge is technically a quad exercise, but done right it targets the hamstrings and glutes also.
On each exercise you are going to lift an appropriate weight between 8 and 12 times (Reps), take 45-60 seconds rest and you should do this 3-4 times (Sets) before moving onto the next exercise.
45-60 seconds rest,
Then move onto the next exercise.
These exercises are mainly machine based. Once you start to feel comfortable with this routine you can easily swap the machine exercises for a free weight or body weight equivalent.
These will take a bit more time to learn but are a much better exercise overall.
As with any program, please ensure that you have a qualified person show you the proper technique for each exercise.
If you have any question on starting weight training or for getting a tailored program based on your starting point, contact me through the link below.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Personal Training and Performance