Jan 17 2013
Spotting a new gym member is easy: First on the treadmill then some wandering around aimlessly, followed by picking up dumbbells and performing three sets of bicep curls. Then, possibly a visit to the chest press machine for another three sets of ten and back to the changing room. Now…
Spotting a new gym member is easy: First on the treadmill then some wandering around aimlessly, followed by picking up dumbbells and performing three sets of bicep curls. Then, possibly a visit to the chest press machine for another three sets of ten and back to the changing room. Now this isn’t anyones fault, there’s so much workout information available that it’s hard to figure out where to start. Ultimately this confusion, added to eventual boredom of performing the same exercises with little to show for it, leads to lapsed gym memberships. So how do you go to the gym and actually look like you go to the gym?To help you, what I’ve written here is a simple template that will help you reduce fat and at the same time build a little muscle.
Now generally when I introduce a programme this way I hear my personal training clients tell me they don’t want to “get big” (whatever that means). To which I reply “I’ve never met a man who’s put on a bit of muscle and not admired his new body, nor a woman who swapped her bingo-wings for a tight pair of triceps ask for her money back!” Muscle burns fat, and the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. In fact, 5lbs of muscle will burn 200 kcal per day at rest; 5lb of fat does nothing other than look unsightly.
It’s very rare to see gym members follow a balanced programme, I mean it’s even rare to see some clients with personal trainers follow one! You must include sufficient lower body and back work. Most beginners begin their quest by focusing on the “mirror muscles.” These are the muscle groups you see when they look in the mirror (chest, shoulders, abs, biceps, triceps). Working only the mirror muscles is asking for trouble. As an office worker you need to work your back muscles to counteract poor posture from leaning over a desk all day. Whilst lower body training will not only burn more calories than upper, muscles like the glutes (bum), can protect and strengthen your lower back.
The exercises chosen are also multi-joint movements, also know technically as ‘compound exercises’. Think of your muscles as fat burning engines; the more engines that are running the more fat you’re blitzing. It’s simple maths: a bicep curl (3 muscles) versus a pull up (12 muscles), you can see which one makes better use of your valuable workout time.
Be aware that you should certainly be sore 48 hours after you initiate a new programme. This won’t last forever but you should be sore to some degree after the first two workouts. This is simply your body letting you know you’ve stressed it, and it’s a good thing. Stress is what causes biological adaptations such as toning or building.
Most importantly though, a programme is also only effective when you are seeing results, and that generally means 4-5 weeks maximum. After this time your body will have adapted fully and you shall plateau. So try this for the next month 2-3 times per week and see how you get on.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions do let us know.