It happens every day: people join a gym and have no idea what exercises to start doing. Many start reading fitness magazines and/or watch competitive physique athletes/bodybuilders and try to mimic their routines and lifestyles. Many follow the routines other gym members are doing not knowing if the exercises they’re doing is beneficial or a waste of time.
Firstly, let me state that it is highly impractical to try and follow the diets and regimens of professional bodybuilders and/or physique/fitness athletes. Professional bodybuilding and fitness and figure competitions requires strict dieting and the use of AAS(anabolic steroids). When I first began weight training 20 years ago I made the mistake of thinking that if I followed the bodybuilder routines and used the supplements advertised in the magazines I’d get the six pack, vascular physique, and extreme definition. Unfortunately I see the same mistake being made every day by fellow gym goers. Most gym goers, men and women, need to focus on compound movements/exercises. Compound movements/exercises can be defined as: any exercise that engages two or more different joints to fully stimulate entire muscle groups. Muscles don’t work in isolation therefore unless one is a professional bodybuilder/physique athlete, it isn’t practical to do so-called ‘isolation’ exercises. For example, when we lift a box, carry a bag, walk, run, or any other physical activity we are utilizing more than one muscle or muscle group. Although they’re many exercises one can do in a gym, the ones I recommend are efficient and contribute to a healthier body over a period of time. They’re basic, but effective.
My recommended workout regimen:
- Biceps/Back Workout: Lat Pulldowns, Machine Rows, Dumbbell or Barbell Curls, Cable Rope Curls, Hexagonal Bar/Trap Bar Deadlifts
- Chest/Shoulders/Triceps Workout: Shoulder Press/Military Press, Lateral Raises, Flat Bench Press, Machine Flyes, Dips
- Leg Workout: Leg Curls, Machine Front Squats, Standing Calf Raises, Seated Calf Raises
- Abdominals Workout: Weighted Crunch Machine or Cable Crunches
- **See weight training exercises illustrated **
The preceding listed exercises, basic and effective, would be done on separate days. For example, biceps and back on Monday, chest/shoulders/triceps on Tuesday, and legs on Wednesday. Thursday would be an off day and Friday one would restart the routine. Begin each gym session with a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill or elliptical trainer. After warming up do four to five sets of twelve repetitions for each exercise. Begin with a weight that’s challenging, not damaging. As one progresses weekly, getting stronger, gradually increase weight.