What exercises should I do at the gym?
Exercise is a crucial aspect to becoming or staying healthy. Whether it is running or working out with weights, they are all beneficial in their own ways. Personally, running does not suit me so I opted for weight lifting at the gym as my choice of exercise. It was not easy at the beginning as I would normally get lazy and say “I'll go tomorrow” and that kept reoccurring until I decided to just go for it. People always say that they are intimidated by going to the gym because they could embarrass themselves as they do not know what to do. At first, I was in the same position but a personal trainer helped guide my training path. Perhaps not everyone is capable of doing that so I am going to share some key aspects of exercising at the gym.
Before you get started, you should know how each muscle should be trained. The main muscles are your Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Legs and Abs. You should normally target each muscle group once a week, with Abs it could be more. Searching workouts on YouTube worked great for me as you are told what exercise to do, how many times and shown exactly how it's done. There are also multiple free apps on your mobile device that do not necessarily tailor a workout routine for you, but they do show you all different kinds of workouts for the different muscle groups. One that I personally use is called “Workout: Gym Workout Planner”.
So start by getting a gym membership of course. The university gym does a great offer for students and it is right next to the Student’s Union. Let's say that you can only go to the gym 5 days a week. A typical plan I personally followed in the past was:
- Monday – Chest
- Tuesday – Back
- Wednesday – Shoulders
- Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
- Friday – Legs
The workout routine above is one that I used and showed effective results. If you would like to know more about it, google “Bro-Split Workout Routine”. Each workout should not take you longer than an hour at max.
If you do not have time to go to the gym 5 days a week, you can minimize it down to 3 days a week but the sessions will clearly be longer. Another typical routine for 3 days/week is as follows:
- Monday – Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Tuesday – Back & Biceps
- Wednesday – Legs
This routine is known as “PPL- Push, Pull and Legs”.
For the ladies, the recommended workout routine is something like this:
- Monday – Chest & Arms
- Tuesday – Back & Shoulders
- Wednesday – Cardio Circuit
- Thursday – Strength Day
- Friday – Legs
Feel free to google different exercises for each day as there are many combinations. These workouts do not take a very long time hence saving about an hour each day for the gym can give you the results that you want to see.
Remember, no workout is bad or pointless. The examples listed above are used on weekdays but can be changed to your convenience. The hardest step is actually getting yourself to the gym, after that everything changes. You will probably grow fond of training and hopefully never stop and encourage others to do so as well. Always remember, no one is judging you or making fun of you. Others are just like you, probably new to training and want to get into the atmosphere. Abs workouts can be included in any days but never skip them.
Some general tips for everyone who is willing to exercise:
- Warm-up. Extremely essential in order to help you lift better and avoid injuries
- Have some food around an hour before your gym session (Pre-workout meal or snack)
- Stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times
- Sleep is extremely important. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every day
- Try to get a friend to join you at the gym. That way you both keep each other motivated
- Keep your protein consumption high and eat your green vegetables
- Listen to your body. Do not overwork it.
- Consistency is key. If you skip a few sessions here and there, that is fine. Just do not repeat it often
- Prioritize exercising. Always make time in the day for some activity
- Make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly to maximize your potential and avoid injuries. This can be done by checking on Google or YouTube for videos of how the exercise is done.
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