It happens every day: people join a gym and have no idea what weight training exercises to start doing. Many start reading fitness magazines and/or watch competitive physique athletes/bodybuilders and try to mimic their gym routines and lifestyles. Many follow the gym routines other gym members are doing not knowing if the exercises they’re doing are beneficial or a waste of time.
Firstly, let me state that it is highly impractical to try and follow the diets and gym routines 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 plus 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. I was mistaken! 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 that will strengthen and tone one’s body over a period of time.
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 the 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. Although they’re many exercises one can do in a gym, the ones I recommend are efficient and contribute to a healthier, more toned body over a period of time. They’re basic and effective.
Recommended workout regimen(Click here to see demonstrations):
- Day 1-Biceps/Back Workout: Lat Pulldowns, Machine/Cable Rows, Dumbbell or Barbell Curls, Cable Rope Curls, Hexagonal Bar/Trap Bar Deadlifts
- Day 2-Chest/Shoulders/Triceps Workout: Lateral Raises, Flat Bench Press, Machine Flyes, Dips
- Day 3-Leg Workout: Leg Curls, Machine Front Squats or squats with a Safety Squat Bar, Standing Calf Raises, Seated Calf Raises
- Day 4–Rest
- Day 5– Restart the routine beginning with Day 1’s exercises
- Abdominals Workout(To be done every other day): Weighted Crunch Machine or Cable Crunches
The preceding list of weight training exercises are demonstrated in short video clips on my YouTube channel. 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.
**Lastly, I can’t stress enough that weight training is not just for men. There’s a popular misconception that if a woman lifts weights she’ll look like a man. That is false! The recommended exercises I listed are for men AND women.