So many people are clueless as to what to do at the gym, what rep range they need to be following, how many sets they have to do… I was the same before I qualified as a trainer! We all need that little extra bit of help. Everybody’s goal is different and therefore to achieve your goal, you need to train in a way that will drive you there.
I’ve split this up into three categories, just to make it easy to follow and you can adapt to suit you!
You’re a beginner at the gym and want to work yourself into weights and building up some strength and fitness:
Start with a high rep range of 15+ reps on a fairly low weight or body weight. I would suggest doing as many reps as you can until failure to get your body going.
I would aim to take 30 seconds rest in between each set. This way you’re keeping your heart rate high.
Start off doing some body weight movements such as squat jumps, burpees and push ups and work your way up adding weight and then using the machines and free weights.
You’re already familiar with working out and want to tone up and develop lean muscle… then you want to be concentrating on hypertrophy:
10-15 reps at a moderate weight. I would personally advise to use a weight that you begin to struggle at the last three reps and continue to add weight each workout session if possible to create progressive overload. (Results!)
3-5 sets with 20-40 seconds rest in between each set to keep it intense. If you rest for too long you are using a different method of training and your body will begin to rest.
Using advanced techniques such as super sets (barbell squats straight into body weight jump squats), pyramid training etc.… will help bust any plateau you may have hit.
Mixing this style of training with strength training will really show results as it allows all sorts of muscle fibres to be recruited. I always for example, have one strength leg day per week and one hypertrophy to really give my legs and butt the best shape.
Your goal is to gain size and huge muscles mass… then you need strength training:
1-6 reps at a high weight. The weight should increase each time, or you should be able to lift the same weight for more reps each time you train that exercise.
Each rep should be difficult and your last rep should be to failure… do not be afraid to fail!
Each rep needs to be performed with the correct form… do not substitute form for weight.
4-6 sets of strength training recommended.
1-2 minutes of full rest is recommended to allow you to regain energy to perform the next set
Again, adding in some advanced techniques works wonders. Exhaust those muscles!
In my next article I will explain advanced techniques that can be used in more detail and some of my favourite super sets! I will also share my opinion on cardio and how to use cardio in the best way possible to achieve your goals.