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How do I plan a gym routine?

(7 Posts)
MrsBosh Sat 03-Sep-16 07:47:19

I've recently joined a gym with the aim of toning up my whole body. I've gone for the most basic gym package (no pool or classes). I had a very basic 'induction' where an instructor showed me a few bits of weird looking equipment but I didn't take much in. I've been a couple of times a week and have probably aimlessly wandered doing:

Treadmill warmup: walk on incline 3 mins, run 2 mins
Rowing machine: alternate 30 fast, 30 secs normal for 5 mins
Cross trainer: 5 mins or until I feel like I'm going to fall off (usually around 3 mins!)
Shoulder & Chest press: 2x12 reps at a pretty low weight
Leg press: 2x12 reps at pretty low weight
Kettlebell swings with squat x30

I asked yesterday about having a programme but was told I would have to pay for a PT to devise one for me hmm which I can't afford right now and in the meantime I can 'grab one of the PTs on the gym floor to ask for a couple of ideas'. Fear not, I do intend to persuade them to let me have a programme without a PT session as I think otherwise it is quite cheeky and potentially dangerous, however, in the meantime, I need some advice on my routine please!

Having done some research on gym routines, lots of people seem to work different areas on different days? Should I have a legs days and an arms day? Where does cardio come in if I use this approach? Or should I just do a 'full body' workout each time as otherwise I'll only be doing legs once a week which can't be enough?

I feel more confident with the weight machines rather than the free weights, although I'm not sure why that is. A lot of the stuff I found online in very floor focused rather than machine focused and I'd prefer to just hop on/off a machine for speed.

I am a slim but wobbly size 8, so not wanting to loose weight, just tone up everywhere. Main problem areas are probably wobbly legs/bum and no definition in tummy/abs.

I work FT so can go three times a week. I'll have about an hour there.

Sorry for the mammoth post. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

Paulat2112 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:50:43

You should do set days as you said, leg day, chest day, arms, etc. Then do about 15 minutes of cardio after your weight/resistance training.

Look online at the plan you want to do, then get a little notebook and write down the exercises in order for each day. Take your notebook with you, lots of people do. If you don't know what the exercise is then type it in to YouTube and it will bring up loads of videos showing you what to do. That's what I did smile

Bagina Sat 03-Sep-16 07:55:04

That's a bit rubbish isn't it? At my gym they just pop up and help. For the first time ever I was told to do weights first as it kickstarts fat burning (think that was the reason). I'd always done cardio first.

MrsBosh Sat 03-Sep-16 08:08:33

Thank you, both.

That's a good idea about checking exercises on YT if I'm not sure, Paula Saves me looking like a fool at the gym!

Yes it is a bit rubbish, I agree, Bagina! That's interesting about doing weights first - I always do cardio first as I thought that would warm me up!

The thing I'm still struggling with is knowing exactly what exercises/machines/reps/sets to do to achieve my aim (to tone). I'm currently guessing (hence the 'routine' hmm I mentioned in my OP), but not convinced it's the best use of time.

Bagina Sat 03-Sep-16 08:20:38

I'm not an expert but I know there's loads of workouts on pinterest.

BIWI Sat 03-Sep-16 08:25:53

Get to know the gym staff - you should be able to do that if you go three times a week at the same time - and make sure you're checking in with them regularly.

The thing with any routine is that you need to make it something challenging but interesting - if you get bored, you'll give up too easily. And if it's too easy, then there's no point in you doing it!

That means that you'll need to change what you're doing as you get fitter/more toned. So more reps and/or higher weights.

The gym staff generally like being asked their opinions, IMO, as usually they're pretty bored just wandering the floor! And even if it's the company's policy to force you into PT sessions, that will be for their benefit not yours or the trainers. As an example, I used to belong to a national gym chain, and started personal training there. I was paying £35 per hour for the privilege - on top of my monthly membership - and was horrified to discover that my trainer only got £15 of that. The rest went to the company. No wonder they want to encourage personal training!

I think you'll find the gym staff more than willing to answer your questions and help you out. And as they get to know you, they'll take an interest in your progress as well.

MrsBosh Sat 03-Sep-16 08:53:55

Thanks for your post, BIWI. That's ridiculous about the cost of your PT sessions! I wonder whether mine has a similar policy/arrangement...

Yes, the PTs at my gym do also look pretty bored most of the time. Stupidly, I feel bad about disturbing and troubling them (typial Brit politeness) but I need to remind myself that's their job!

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