What exercises cardio/weights should I be doing?(19 Posts)
Hi I'm currently not working so i want to use this time at home to improve myself. I'm lucky enough to be able to visit the gym every day.
What I would like to know is what should I be doing Monday to Friday?
At present I do 2 spin classes per week 30 mins each.
Go on tread mill 25 mins burn about 200 calories.
Then free weights 4/5 kg doing squats, lunges, arms then sit ups, Russian twists.
I've been doing the above for about two months now and I've seen slight progress but I've no idea how many calories I should be aiming to burn etc, how much weight training etc. I tend to go on the treadmill as compared to bike and cross trainer I burn up more calories.
What is your aim - Losing weight? Toning up? Improving your aerobic capacity? Improving your aerobic endurance? Getting stronger? Increasing your muscle mass? Improve flexibility?
If it’s to lose wright then most of it is diet. You need to cut calories in. The other things your doing sound ok to get fit and tone up.
If you go heavier you will burn fat quicker. Go for big compound movements. Leg press (a quick set of 10 with a light weight to warm up the muscle, then 4 sets of 10 with weights getting heavier). Weighted squats on the smith machine. Roman chair with weights. Sit ups aren't great. Burpees, planks (and the million variations), mountain climbers are all far more effective and work various muscle groups at the same time.
Would be useful to speak to someone at the gym to give you a workout guide. I see a PT weekly, and other than my 5 minute warm up which is always the same, every week is different, which I think is good to keep the muscles on their toes . I do circuits and various other exercises in between my PT sessions, but I always come away aching after a session at the PT.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
TeeBee I've had to google all of your suggestions and unfortunately my gym doesn't have any of the pieces of equipment that you mention. However I do weighted squats with kettle bell and there are some other leg machines that I'll take a look at.
I had no idea that sit ups weren't very good - thanks. I'll try mountain climbers instead.
What type of gym are you going to? Doesn’t sound great if it’s not got a squat rack or a smith machine and no leg press. I’d be looking elsewhere to train.
But sometimes it’s just easier to use somewhere your familiar with. So for squats you could hold two kettle bell at shoulders and squat or hold a much heavier kettle bell whilst stood on two steps or benches hold bell by handle between legs.
Don’t forget your upper body you don’t want super strong legs and twigs for arms
I know the gym hasn’t been updated for years. However it’s £14 pm and 2 mins from home so I’ve got no excuse not to go.
Is it a commercial gym or private owned?
Can you tell us what weight machines it does have?
Also, does it have any dumbbells?
Hi Jonnycomelately1. It does have dumbbells, barbells, lat machine, leg adductor.
I'm afraid I don't know the names of the other machines, but there's one that you sit on and lean back that works your back, one where you lift your legs up to work front of thighs.
There's also a high up chair thing where you hoist yourself up onto forearms and then bring your knees to stomach. Sorry for not knowing the names.
I’d rather not say as there are only a handful in the country as far as I know. Their main focus is on recreation sport for kids. The gym side of things has been put on the back burner due to financial difficulties I think.
It’s hardly a commercial gym if there’s only a handful dotted about. I can pretty much guess it’s more of a health club probably overpriced if sport is directed at kids it wouldn’t be a great place gym wise. Lord knows why you won’t say the name though it’s not likely to out you
I did say earlier its 2 mins from my house and costs £14 a month. It's definitely not a health club.
Remember that the biggest thing at the moment is this programme designed by a guy who got jacked while spending 23 hours a day in a jail cell, so fear not, the gym will be more than adequate. You just need to know what to do with what you have, and there, google is your friend. From what you've said
- Quad machine: Good. Set the weight so that the 10th rep is hard, and do, say, 3 sets of 10 with a 90 second break in between. Make sure you adjust it so that the pad is just above your ankle and so the seat ends where your knees bend (you can normally adjust the back pad and the ankle pad). For glutes, you're already doing squats, so you can add lunges, split squats etc pretty easily. Animal walks are great for strength and flexibility and don't need any equipment.
- Chair thing: does this also have a set of short parallel bars on it? If so, those are dip bars (look on Youtube for how to do them). If you can't do a dip, you can do progressions where you control your weight on the way down and then just reset. If you look round the back of the chair thing, there might also be a set of pull up handles. Again, you can do progressions. Just look on Youtube. Re. the knee raises, it's a good exercise but just do the reps slowly so you're not just using momentum. Hold for a few seconds at the top.
If you have DBs and KBs then there are tonnes of things you can do (KB swings, shoulder press (strict/ one arm/ push press), snatches, flies, turkish get ups, etc). Just google "how to do a dumbbell snatch" or whatever). If there's a bench you can do Dumbbell bench press.
If you have a barbell with plates you can do deadlifts (you can also do these with DB/KB. You said no smith machine so I'll assume also no rack. It's not 100% necessary but hard to squat heavy if you dont have one as then the limiting factor becomes how much weight you can get off the floor and overhead, rather than how much you can squat.
Also, I quite often video myself on my phone doing things so I can see what my form is looking like. It really helps you see where you're not getting it quite right.
Thanks Jonny. I shall be googling and working on your suggestions today.
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