Gym guide ideas
What is gym
. Gym is slang for gymnasium and gymnastic services such as in schools and colleges and is attributed to compounds such as gym shoes. Gymnasia are open air and covered locations for gymnastics and athletics. Gymnasia apparatus such as bar bells, parallel bars, jumping board, running path, tennis balls, cricket field, fencing gallery, and so forth are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conductive to health. Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included Gymnastica militraria or self defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and gymnastica athletica for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dance. The gyms had halls and colonnades with statues and pictures.
. You are probably familiar with this weightlifting room staple, but dumbbells are very versatile and great for isolation exercises. If you are looking to build strength in specific muscles or muscle groups, dumbbells are your best choice.
. These were originally designed to be put on the ends of barbells covered below. However, weight plates are also great for making bodyweight exercises more difficult. For example placing a plate on your back while holding a plank position, or holding a plate overhead during lunges.
. There are a few variations of barbells, and you should choose wisely depending on your goals.
. An Olympic barbell is 7 feet long and 45 pounds. It can hold up to 800 pounds of weight. This barbell is the choice for Olympic Lifts. Check out this Olympic Lifting Starter Plan for how to video tutorials on barbell lifts.
Fixed weight barbell
. These are barbells shorter in length, and of a fixed weight. Theoretically, you can use them exactly the same as non fixed weight barbells. However, it is less common to use fixed weight barbells for Olympic lifts.
Ez curl bar
. This is the funny, wiggly shaped bar at the gym. Like the name implies, it is designed specifically for curling exercises mostly biceps. The funny shape actually allows for a more natural hand grip when curling, and some say they can curl more weight with an EZ Curl bar than with a straight barbell. Ez Curls come as bar only, and as fixed weight.
Barbell collar clips
. If you are going to add plates to your barbell, you must use barbell clips to hold them in place, otherwise they will fall of the ends once you start moving the barbell around.
. These will probably be scattered throughout the free weights section and have a plethora of uses. There are flat benches, incline benches, and decline benches. Olympic style benches mean that there is a barbell rack attached to the bench.
. These benches are the most versatile, and can be used to support you in a huge variety of exercises.To give you a few ideas, flat benches can be used for Bulgarian split squats, bench triceps dips, decline push ups, chest presses, dumbbell rows, and more.
. These benches are for performing exercises while you sit, the advantage being back support.Exercises you can do on the incline bench includes shoulder presses, incline bench presses, and dumbbell flys.
. These are benches for performing exercises during which your head is below your feet.Exercises include decline sit ups and decline triceps extensions.
. These are most commonly used for bench presses. However, some Olympic benches are adjustable to be incline and decline, as well as flat. On those Olympic benches you have more choices for exercises, such as incline military presses or decline bench presses.
Hyper Extension Bench aka Roman Chair
. This confusing looking bench is for strengthening your core & back muscles. Use this bench by hooking your feet around the rollers, and resting your thighs on the padding, so that your torso hangs off the bench here is a picture of how to sit on the roman chair.
. This is a bench with an angled pad for you to rest your upper arms on for stability during bicep exercises. You can use either dumbbells or a barbell for bicep curls on the preacher bench.
. This section covers exercise racks, which are different from weight storage racks not covered in this post.
. The squat rack is for squatting, obviously. The basic squat rack will have pegs on the side for holding plates, hooks for storing the barbell, and two spotter arms. The spotter arms are there the catch the weight in case you fail on a squat.
. The power rack is probably the single most versatile piece of equipment at the gym. A good power rack will include a pull up bar, dip bars, and spotter armshooks that are adjustable. This is a big deal because unlike the fixed spotters of the squat rack, spotters that are adjustable to any height for any exercise means you can safely do almost every heavy lift alone.
. The Smith machine is a cross between a machine and a free weight barbell. It is a barbell that slides on a fixed rail, and can lock into certain places on the track. there is a simple J hook locking mechanism that acts as a spotter. The Smith machine is good for exercises in which the barbell moves only along the vertical plane. For instance, this would be a horrible choice for practicing snatches, but a good choice for bench presses.
. These are great for working on dips, pull ups, or any hanging exercise such as L hangs or toes to bar. They come in a variety of arrangements, but if you see a big, tall piece of equipment with zero gears, pulleys, cords, or weights its probably a power tower.
. Any good gym should have at least two of these. A captains chair will have a pull up bar, dip bars, and back & arm padding the chair part for leg raises. Here is a picture of how to use the captains chair for leg raises.
Pull up dip station
. These are less common in gyms, as there are usually multiple other pieces of equipment with pull up and dip bars attached. However, if you see an object like this, it is for pull ups and dips.
. Men & women with a beginner to intermediate level of fitness, looking to build overall strength that will improve their quality of life through increased functional fitness & strength capability.
Not ideal for
. Men & women looking for a weight loss plan, or bodybuilding.
. One barbell, and additional weight plates.
Hire a personal trainer
. Even if it is short term, a personal trainer can help you become familiar with how to use the equipment or provide direction in creating a workout routine. Many gyms have trainers on staff. Not only is it helpful to have that guidance, but sometimes just having someone there can relieve some of the negative feelings or thoughts. This brings me to my next suggestion.
Bring a buddy
. Having someone there while exploring and becoming more familiar with the gym may be all the support and motivation you need to get through the first few days. Many gyms will give you passes to share with friends or family. Use that as an opportunity to invite someone as you begin to adjust to your schedule or routine and become familiar with the gym.
Find the right gym for you
. Some women are intimidated going to a unisex gym and would feel more comfortable exercising in a gym with other women. Maybe you prefer a smaller gym because the bigger gyms overwhelm you. Or you might want variety in your exercise routine and enjoy what bigger gyms offer. If your work hours allow you to only exercise early in the morning or late at night, then a 24 hour gym may be right for you. You may also be interested in a community center where you can bring your family like a YMCA that offers a pool and a variety of activities. These are a few things to think about when searching for a gym that fits your needs. So before you sign up for a gym think about your lifestyle and what motivates you.
. These you can rent from your library, video store, download it or take advantage of your on demand options at home. The types of exercise DVDs can range from strength training to yoga. You can even read reviews online to help you in your purchasing decision.
Personal trainer at home
. Having a personal trainer allows you to have someone there to guide and motivate you.
. Are you unfamiliar with the equipment or where to begin? Its important to know that everyone at one point is new to exercise, nor is there any reason to be embarrassed about being overweight. If thats you here are some suggestions that may help.
Use those clips
. Nothing gets my mom heart racing more than seeing these young kids put up more weight than they should be lifting on the bench press without using clips clampscollars, they have a number of names. If you lose your balance, even temporarily, a plate could come crashing off. As a result, now your entire bar is uneven and you will likely start dropping plates off the other side as well. Its a terrible domino effect, and incredibly dangerous.
Rerack your weights
. If you take dumbbells off of the rack, please put them back where you found them. where you found them, in other words, dont put the 10 lb dumbbells in the 25 lb dumbbell slot on the rack. *note if you found them on the floor because someone else was too lazy to put them away, then dont put them back exactly where you found them, put them back where they belong. You know, common sense and stuff. If you use a machine, bench, or bar that requires weight plates, please remove them when you are done. This is required for two reasons. One, it keeps the place neat and clean. But more importantly is reason number two not everyone can lift as much weight as you can. Leaving hundreds of pounds of weights on a machine may prohibit the next person from being able to use the machine because they simply cant take all of that weight off on their own. So please, when you are done, leave the bar empty.
Wipe down the machine after you use it
. Im a mother with a science degree. In other words, Ive cleaned up explosive poop, projectile vomit, and Ive dissected things such as sheep eyes and sharks with rotting herring in their guts. Not much grosses me out. But sitting down on the leg press only to nearly slip right out of it because of the previous users butt sweat is disgusting. Further, gyms are similar to airports and daycare centers there are germs everywhere and you touch EVERYTHING. So do your fellow members a favor, and wipe down machines you use when you are done using them. It doesnt have to be a full scrub, but a quick wipe with the likely provided towels and sanitizing spray on the machine seat *and* handlebars should be sufficient. Basically, if your body touched it, wipe down that part.
Put back what you use
. Brought the ab roller into the stretching room? Awesome! Put it back where you found it when you are done. Brought a stretching mat over to the free weight section so you could super set some situps between your squats? Thats great! Please put the mat back when you are done. Stack of magazines accompanied you to the treadmill? Please make sure they find their way back to the magazine rack when you are done.
Share the equipment
. Everyone is entitled to use all of the equipment at the gym. Dont ever, ever, EVER let a regular grumble that you are using their machine. Its not theirs, its everyones. But that said, no one, beginners or regulars alike, should be monopolizing a piece of equipment.
. follow the rules posted. Many gyms will set a 20 30 minute time limit on machines WHEN the club is busy. Please keep this in mind. When you reach that time limit, if people are waiting, move to another piece of equipment and offer yours to someone who has been waiting often there will be a sign up sheet. If no one is waiting, then you can continue using the machine.
Take appropriate rest breaks
. Thirty seconds to a minute or two of rest between sets on a machine is standard. Sitting on your smartphone checking facebook messages for five minutes between sets on a machine is not see cell phones section below. The same goes for carrying on a conversation with friends or other gym patrons. Please be aware at all times that other people might be waiting to use the machine or bench you are on, do not unnecessarily waste time.
Taking extra long breaks
. Working in means another person will share the machine with you, and you will alternate sets. For example, you do your set of 10 reps on chest press, and when you are resting, a friend or fellow gym member will do their set, and vice versa. This works extremely well as a time saver when working out with a friend, or just as friendly gym etiquette with a stranger during busy gym hours. Working in is typically done on a machine that uses pins, versus a bar that takes weighted plates, as it is far easier and faster to change the weight between users with a pin loaded machine.
Super set courteously
. Super setting means instead of a rest break between sets of exercises, you simply alternate exercises. For example, someone may do one set of preacher curls immediately followed by a set of tricep push downs, and repeat for however many number of sets their routine calls for. This is indeed a time saving technique and also works really well at fatiguing the body our ultimate goal. The problem with super setting as far as gym etiquette goes is that you are now essentially occupying two pieces of equipment at once.
. Believe it or not, this is a huge source of tension in gyms and health clubs everywhere. Welcome to the 21st century! We are SO plugged in as a society that many of us cant make it through an hour long workout without checking our smart phones at least 50 times.
. For the love of all things, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF OTHER PEOPLE! I might chuckle if I see you taking a flexed selfie in the mirror, but the truth is you arent hurting anyone else. However, taking photos of other, unsuspecting people without their permission is absolutely intolerable. People are at the gym trying to better themselves, they dont want to have to worry about becoming the next feature on Awkward Gym Moments its like the People of Walmart, but for the gym.
Follow specific facility rules regarding cell phones
. Believe it or not, many simply dont allow them, specifically in places like the locker rooms. Im sure you arent a locker room creeper trying to take photos of unsuspecting people, but none the less, follow the rules and dont bring your phone where it isnt welcomed.
Be smell sensitive
. Lets get straight to the point here. Please dont be the smelly galguy. We all sweat, that is the point of the gym. But please wear deodorant, and dont overdo it on the cologne or perfume or strong lotion, aftershave, etc. Many people become hyper sensitive to scents when they are working hard. Try to keep your scent neutral as best as possible.
. No one expects you to strut into the gym wearing hundreds of dollars worth of lululemon yoga clothes. But please be sure your clothing is gym appropriate. Clean, workout friendly attire and clean sneakers are ideal. Leave the jeans and workboots for the street please. If nothing else, these types of clothing can ruin equipment; buttons on jeans and workpants can tear the fabric on benches, and dirty street shoes can ruin cardio equipment and floors.
. Simple enough, right? Watch your language, be polite, dont oogle or stare at others, and respect the fact that while some people are more than happy to be social at the gym, others are on fixed time schedules, or simply want alone time while they break a sweat. This isnt rocket science, this is simply being a good person with basic manners.
I hope this post didnt sound too pushy or condescending, my mom voice sometimes comes out when Im tending to the regulars that should know better than to leave their weights strewn about. The truth is, the gym really is not a scary place, it can actually be a wonderful community to be a part of.
Eat slow digesting carbs before workouts
. Researchers at Loughborough University UK discovered that when athletes ate slow digesting carbs such as whole grains for breakfast and lunch, they had lower insulin levels and burned more fat during the day. The athletes also had more endurance and burned more fat during exercise compared to those who ate fast digesting carbs such as white bread or plain bagels. Be sure that all the meals you eat before your workout, including the one immediately before, include about 40 grams of slow digesting carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruit, buckwheat see tip No. 4 or whole wheat bread.
Avoid higher fat meals for up to four hours before workouts
. A University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore study reported that a high fat meal blunts the ability of nitric oxide NO to dilate blood vessels for up to four hours. That means less blood flow to muscles and less of a muscle pump, which is even more costly if you ve invested in an NO supplement. In the four hours before your workout, avoid eating large amounts of fats, such as the obvious fast food fare and packaged foods even if you re in a mass gaining phase.
Eat a green salad with your last whole food meal before the gym
. The same University of Maryland researchers also discovered that consuming a small green salad with a high fat meal prevented the adverse effects on blood vessel dilation, likely by enhancing NO. About two hours before you hit the gym, include a green salad with low fat dressing with your meal.
Eat buckwheat as part of your preworkout carb intake
. Buckwheat, found in buckwheat pancakes and soba noodles, is a fruit seed that s often used as a substitute for grains. It digests slowly, which helps increase endurance and fat burning. Buckwheat also contains a flavonoid called chiroinositol, which mimics insulin. A cup of cooked soba noodles before workouts can help get more preworkout creatine see tip No. 5 into your muscle cells without blunting fat loss, which can occur from high insulin spikes.
Take 20 grams of whey protein
. Researchers from Victoria University Australia reported that subjects who consumed a protein and creatine supplement immediately before and after workouts over a 10 week period increased muscle mass by 87%, bench press strength by 36%, squat strength by 27% and deadlift strength by 25%, and decreased bodyfat by 3%, more than a group taking the supplement before breakfast and before bed.
Take 200 400 mg of caffeine
. Research shows that caffeine taken preworkout increases fat burning and endurance and blunts muscle pain during training, which means you can do more reps. A more recent study, from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, indicates that subjects who took a caffeine supplement before their workouts immediately increased their one rep max 1RM on the bench press by about 5 pounds. Studies show caffeine supplements work better than caffeine from coffee.
Take 3 5 grams of arginine
. One study reported in the journal Nutrition that trained subjects who took arginine supplements for eight weeks increased their 1RMs for the bench press by almost 20 pounds more than those who took a placebo.
Add 2 teaspoons of cocoa extract
. University of California, Davis, scientists discovered that a flavonol called epicathechin in cocoa boosts NO levels and blood vessel dilation. If you ve taken your NO and had a preworkout salad, this will keep NO levels higher longer.
Use forced reps on your last sets
. A Finnish study found that when subjects performed a workout with forced reps a spotter helped them get through their sticking points to get a few more reps, their growth hormone GH levels were almost 4,000% higher than without using forced reps. For the last set of each exercise after reaching failure, go for 2 3 extra forced reps, but utilize these sparingly to prevent overtraining.
Don t train to failure on every set
. Australian scientists have reported that training with one set to failure increases strength better than taking no sets to failure. However, when subjects did more than one set to failure, strength gains were lowered by almost half compared to the subjects doing just one set to failure.
Keep your focus on the muscle you re training
. British researchers discovered that subjects who focused on their biceps while doing biceps curls had significantly more muscle activity than those who thought about other things. More muscle recruitment can result in more muscle growth in the long run. Be sure that for every rep of every set during your workout you re thinking about the muscles being trained, instead of wondering where that blonde wearing the short shorts went to do her bent over rows.
Vary your rep speed
. In another Australian study, subjects performing fast repetitions one second each on the positive and the negative portions of the rep gained more strength than subjects using slow reps three seconds each on the positive and negative because fast twitch muscle fibers have the greatest potential for strength increases. But the slow rep subjects gained more muscle mass than the fast rep subjects, likely due to the muscular time under tension and increased microtrauma. A good mix of both is the best way to maximize strength and size. Try changing from your regular controlled rep speed to 2 3 weeks of fast reps followed by 2 3 weeks of slow reps. Or try one of our programs that utilizes different rep speeds such as Speed Bumps January 2007.
Train with several partners
. Research shows that when trained lifters attempt a 1RM in front of a group of people, they re stronger than when they lift in front of just one.
Use an i Pod
. A study done at the Weider Research Group found that when trained bodybuilders performed a shoulder workout while listening to music on a personal MP3 player, they were able to complete an average of 1 2 more reps per set for all sets of all exercises. So for another source of motivation, create a playlist on your MP3 player of your favorite songs that jack up your adrenaline and bring it to the gym.
Don t train too heavy for too long
. Yes, training with a heavy weight that prevents you from getting more than 4 5 reps is good for strength and overall mass when done in conjunction with lighter training that allows you to get 8 12 reps. Yet too much heavy training may work against muscle growth. Baylor University Waco, Texas scientists found that when athletes trained using their 6RMs, they had higher levels of active myostatin a protein that limits muscle growth than when they did the same workout using their 18RMs. Keep to your heavy rep ranges for no longer than 6 8 weeks, then switch to a lighter weight, higher rep scheme to keep your myostatin levels in check.
Stay off the exercise balls
. Canadian scientists reported that doing dumbbell chest presses on an exercise ball resulted in a 40% decrease in strength compared to doing the exercise on a bench. And a study from Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina found that when athletes performed squats on instability discs, they had less force production and muscle activity of the quadriceps compared to when they did squats on firm ground. Since any marked increase in strength or muscle mass is going to come through moving progressively heavier weights on key lifts, you might want to avoid exercise balls and instability boards. Plant yourself for better gains.
Save cardio for after your weight workout
. Researchers from Japan found that when subjects did cardio before weights, their GH response to the weight workout was blunted by about 1,100% compared to when they lifted first and ended with cardio. Try to do your cardio either after weights or on a different day.
Use wrist straps for your pulling exercises
. A study conducted at the Weider Research Group found that when trained bodybuilders performed a back workout while using wrist straps, they completed an average of 1 2 more reps per set for all sets of all exercises in the routine.
Drink a shake with 20 grams
. Researchers from Baylor University Waco, Texas reported that subjects taking a whey plus casein protein powder immediately postworkout for 10 weeks increased muscle mass significantly more than those taking whey without casein.
Stretch only after training
. Stretching right before weightlifting can actually make you weaker during training. Researchers from the University of Texas Austin reported that athletes who stretched after their workouts were more flexible than when they stretched beforehand. Plus, it s easier as well as safer to stretch a muscle that s already warm and pliable.
Take 3 5 grams of creatine with 50 100 grams
. A study from the University of Saskatchewan Canada found that subjects who took ALA, creatine and sucrose right after a workout increased muscle creatine levels significantly more than those taking creatine and sucrose or creatine only.
Don t drop dietary cholesterol too low
. We know cholesterol is important for maintaining testosterone levels, but Kent State University Ohio scientists reported at the 2005 Experimental Biology Conference that older adults eating a diet higher in cholesterol while weight training for 12 weeks gained 55% more strength and had more than five times the muscle growth as those following a diet lower in cholesterol. Keep some cholesterol in your diet by eating at least 1 2 egg yolks with your egg whites at breakfast and at least one meal of lean red meat each day. Liver, shellfish and duck are other good sources of healthy cholesterol.
If your schedule allows lift in the evening
. Researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg discovered that when subjects worked out after 6 p.m. for 10 weeks, they gained more muscle and lost more bodyfat than a group that trained before 10 a.m.
Relax in a sauna or hot tub every day
. Japanese researchers reported that rats exposed to a heat chamber set at 105 degrees F for two weeks increased muscle mass by 13% compared to those that weren t exposed to the heat. They concluded the results are likely due to the effect of heat shock proteins specific proteins in the body that get released when exposed to heat on cellular mechanisms of muscle growth.
Drink four cups of tea during the day
. Researchers from University College London found that when test subjects were faced with a stressful task, those who drank 4 cups of black tea each day for six weeks had cortisol levels that were almost half of those who drank a placebo. Since exercise is a stressor that increases your cortisol levels, drinking tea can help keep this catabolic hormone lower after workouts, clearing the path to greater growth.
. When you begin training, keep Pareto s Principle in mind 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of the causes. In other words, out of your entire exercise program, only 20 percent of the movements will produce results. Unless you re in a very early stage of your training journey, the other 80 percent won t likely help much.
. Ask almost any pro, and they ll tell you that regardless of your training goals, healthy eating is the backbone.Food is what fuels your body to reach your goals. Without proper nutrition through quality foods, you re likely to stall.Stick to whole foods?organic whenever possible?that offer a balanced blend of complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, and fats.Supplement your diet where necessary, but avoid processed and packaged foods devoid of multiple nutrients.
. The key to success in any aspect of fitness will always be nutrition. How you eat, when you eat, and what you eat will dramatically affect how you feel and look Nutrition will affect every component of your lifestyle, so it should be balanced and coordinated with your desired goals.Without the proper eating habits, say goodbye to any hope you have of building that lean, muscular, and strong body you might have in your mind.Spend quality time researching what you should be eating and why.
Jaquelyn kay kastelic
. My top tip for beginners is to lay out a plan! Plan out what days you ll be hitting the gym so you can start getting into a routine. It s important to take it slowly at first. Go to the gym three or four times per week. Go too often and you run the risk of getting burned out or injured. A great start would be to formulate a goal that says something like this My gym days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
. Many people say that achieving a healthier, better looking body is 70 percent diet and 30 percent training. I believe it is 100 percent commitment to both.Why work so hard in trying to transform your body only to feed it poor, high calorie, low nutrient food? It would be like putting regular gas in your diesel engine and hoping it runs smoothly.
. Ladies, don t be intimidated! I should know The fear of weight training paralyzed me for many years.I was only familiar with a treadmill, so I stuck to it like glue. I didn t get good results and my motivation sagged.I finally enlisted a personal trainer to teach me the proper techniques for weight training and enrolled in free fitness classes of all sorts.A trainer is a wonderful tool, but you can get a lot of information on Bodybuilding.com. The more you educate yourself, the more success you ll have with any fitness program. You can go from the wallflower to the leader of the pack.
. My most important tip for beginners is something called KISS Keep It Simple, Stupid. Stick to the big compound muscle building movements and stay away from silly little machines and trickery. You have to build a house by creating a foundation, and nothing builds a foundation like heavy barbell movements.
. Preparation is key to jump starting your healthy lifestyle! I know when I do not have my meals packed and my workout planned that it s much easier for me to make excuses to skip a meal or training session.
. My number one tip for beginners is to develop a plan. Everyone wants to get in shape, but because so many people don t have a plan, there is a high failure rate.
Jen rankin thompson
. Starting a new workout or nutrition program can be very exciting or very intimidating. It depends on how well you plan! If you set yourself up the right way, by making attainable goals, then you should feel more excited than nervous.On the other hand, if you make your goals a little too far fetched, you ll feel like you re about to walk over the edge of a huge cliff.To begin, find a picture of your goal body. BodySpace is great for this, and so are Fitness 360s. Then, follow in your role model s footsteps.Finding success in fitness requires a healthy nutrition plan, a regimented workout plan, a handful of nutritional supplements, and a community of like minded people who can help you be accountable and can offer you support.
Waiting for equipment
. Gym lines are bound to form during peak hours. The best option is to head to the gym during off hours either early in the morning or after 7 p.m., once the post work crowds have finished. But no matter how busy the gym is, you shouldnt have to stall your routine in order to wait for equipment.To get around this obstacle, always have alternative options in the back of your mind in case your preferred equipment is taken?for example a squat rack may be the best place for you to get in a heavy set of back squats, but as a swap, dumbbell goblet squats can be just as challenging and add an element of core strength. Come prepared with a Plan B and youll stay moving rather than wasting your time waiting for the bench to open up.
Skipping the warmup
. Although it may save time, dodging the pre workout warmup is a surefire way to get injured when your workouts get tough. Have a dedicated warmup that involves bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, pushups, and jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate before you attack the weights head on. No matter how short of a time you have, always include this quick warmup in your workout.Make the first set of each exercise a lighter set that is higher in reps to further increase blood flow to the area and practice the movement before going heavy. If you simply dont have a ton of time to get in your lifting session, shorten rest periods and cut out a set of each exercise rather than ditching the warmup.
Not planning your routine ahead of time
. Walking into the gym without a plan in mind is a bit like heading to the grocery store without a shopping list. Youll end up wandering aimlessly back and forth, spending way more time than necessary. Your plan of attack should be well thought out in advance. Include the exercises, sets, and reps as well as the order you want to do them in so you can plan your route around the weight room floor.If youre working out with a buddy, take time to discuss the routine ahead of time so youre both on the same page. This cuts down on talking and ensures that you both get down to business.
Doing cardio before your lifting session
. Cardio is crucial to any mans workout plan, but it can be detrimental when done at the wrong time. Completing a 30 minute jog before a set of heavy squats may increase your heart rate and act as a warm up, but by the time you get under the bar youll be fatigued which can lead to poor form or worse, potential injury. Instead, get your form intensive lifting session done first, and then hit the cardio area.
Always using the same machines sets and reps
. Going through the same repetitive routine every single time is a quick way to get bored and stall any and all results. Your workout routine should change every few weeks either by alternating the exercises or the acute variables like sets, reps, and rest times.For optimal benefits, you should stay with a workout routine for about three to four weeks before changing it up. Use a workout log to track trends in your training and see what works best for your body.
Not timing your rest periods
. According to Jason Ferruggia, head strength coach at Renegade Strength and Conditioning, most guys should be in and out of the gym in 60 minutes, including warmup, cool down, and a good lifting session. To make that possible, avoid wasting precious moments in between sets of an exercise.Wear a stopwatch or use an app on your phone to limit yourself to under a minute. Youll be amazed at how quickly youll finish your workout.
Working your core solely at the end of your routine
. Leave your dedicated abdominal work till the end of your workout, and youre likely to cut it short. When youre tired and nearing the end of a lifting session, the last thing you will want to do is multiple sets of planks, side planks, and leg raises. Instead, get the core training out of the way early by incorporating the same moves in between exercises.Perform them during rest periods to maximize your time in the gym. Avoid incorporating core while working on heavy strength sets of total body moves like squats as they rely on your core for proper form and positioning. Instead, incorporate them alongside exercises like bench press and leg press that rely less on the midsection.
Forgetting your water bottle
. Although it may seem trivial in terms of your overall routine, leaving the thirst quencher at home forces many guys to head to the water fountain in between sets. The result ? wasted time in between exercises. To keep your workout going strong, bring your own bottle and fill it up beforehand.
Spreading out your workout
. Avoid putting a circuit together that takes over the entire gym. Not only does it inconvenience other gym goers when you traverse the entire gym floor with your superset, it also wastes precious time. Group your exercises in a way that allows you to utilize equipment in the same area. This cuts down on transit time between sets and gets you out of the gym faster.
Using balance equipment during strength exercises
. If your goal is to build strength, leave the BOSU balls and other balance accessories out of the equation. Their main purpose is to increase proprioception body awareness and you guessed it balance. For heavy strength exercises, they decrease the amount of weight you can use, therefore lowering the muscle stimulus. If you cant lay off the wobble aids entirely, use them at the end of your workout to improve coordination.
. Most trainers recommend foam rolling before a workout for good reason A study in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that rolling out for just a minute can improve your range of motion, while a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise discovered that rolling after an intense workout can relieve soreness over the next two days.
The maximum velocity challenge
. Can you be fast, explosive, and powerful even after your legs and arms are torched? Find out with this challenge from Andy Speer, C.S.C.S., creator of The Anarchy Workout and co owner of SoHo Strength.
3 tricks that will give you incredible triceps
. If you want your arms to be in permanent beast mode, than show some love to your triceps. When its well defined, the muscle forms a large horse shoe like shape that makes your arm look monstrous even when.
4 exercises you should always do barefoot
. Walk into any drug store, and youll find an aisle dedicated to foot problems inserts, insoles, foam, orthotics, toe spacers, heel liners, arch relief, arthritis relief, blister protection.
How your hands
. Want to take control of your health? Get a grip. Your ability to squeeze things tightly may be as indicative as your blood pressure when it comes to predicting death, heart disease, and stroke, suggests.
How Many Calories Does crossfit Really Burn
. Hurricanes and CrossFit workouts have one thing in common Some of the most brutal ones are named after women.When scientists at Kennesaw State University studied Cindy, one of the fitness brands benchmark.
Can You Survive Death by Burpee
. I have news for you Youre probably not working out as hard as you think you are. Honestly ask yourself, whens the last time you truly went all out and gave a fitness task everything you have?.
6 guys share how exercise
. If youre an active guy, chances are you have a war story about an exercise related injury. Most of us consider these occasional hitches the price of admission when it comes to staying fit, lean, and.
Work your core 85 percent harder
. Barbells turn men into mountains because you can load the crap out of them. Adding a single, 45 pound plate to each end takes a barbells weight up to 135. Throw on a few plates, and you suddenly.
The Genius Way to Get Rid of a Side Stitch
. Youre pounding the pavement, enjoying the cool breeze across your face as you sweat out your stress for the day. And then it hits a jabbing pain in your lower abdomen that doesnt dwindle.The dreaded.