When starting with the gym it’s easy to walk in and aimlessly perform exercises or doing the same thing every week week and expecting a different result. Here are my 9 essential ingredients think about when devising the perfect plan.

1. Health

In order for you to get the most out a gym routine it is essential that you build your strength from a foundation of health. Many times over I’ve been hired by people who claim they’re training and eating well but are frustrated by their lack of results. Their idea of healthy often differs to mine and they could be taking on unnecessary calories through fruit juices and sugary drinks or collecting toxins that can enter your body in many ways.

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Stress levels and sleep deprivation have become a familiar issue that hinders the ability to achieve optimal results. If you first figure out what’s weighing you down from a cellular or hormonal level you could very well see your results skyrocket.

Make sure you start to eat mindfully and not always on the go. Fuel your workouts with the right balance of nutrients. If you have a nutritional protocol stick to it as long as your program lasts for (about 4-6 weeks) every time you try something new it is data to bring onto the next block of training in terms of what worked and what should be cut from the list.

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2. Goal focus

Get yourself focused on what you want to achieve and track your results using body fat callipers rather than scales (remember muscle weighs more than fat and is metabolically active tissue).

You need to bring on the right mindset and attitude and understand exactly what you’re aiming for. Only 100% is good enough when you’re aiming to be the best shape ever. Leave your work, financial or any other stresses at the door when you wipe your feet to enter the gym. When creating a training plan or following one it is important to know why you’re doing it in the first place.

If you have an underlying motive-sitting deep inside your soul that’s itching to break out lets explore that and use it as fire to heat up your workouts. Give yourself a feasible timeframe and upgrade your program the moment you stop seeing gains or at its expiry date.

Set your training days/times and put it in your calendar, once they are set it’s a priority!

3. Order of play

Perform the most neurologically demanding/complex movements at the start of your workout. If you have Dead lifts, Squats, Olympic lifts etc they should be first on the list and then you can perform exercises that are less complex (isolated exercises or machine weights) at the tail end of the routine.

4. Dimensional movement

The body functions in three planes of motion, generally gym users programs are dominated by sagittal plane movements. Add some multi-directional movement such as side flexion, rotation whether it’s in the form of sledgehammer, lateral sled pulls or wood-chops.

5. Try out the new kit!

The fitness industry is forever evolving with new toys. If you’ve never tried kettle bells, TRX suspension training, Bulgarian bags, Battle Ropes etc start finding out how you can incorporate these into a new plan. If you are unsure how to perform movements join a class or hire a trainer to learn the basics and safety protocols before going it alone.

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6. Know you weaknesses

The human body is great at compensating. The first thing I do when I get a new client (after a health consult) is start assessing their body for imbalances. The initial training block is set to iron out these imbalances. I want to build strength and performance on a strong and stable foundation. Do the pre-requisite or prep work and then the decorating work later on. This requires fundamentals such as developing the deep core stabilises, mobility, range of motion and generally being aware of your posture outside of the gym. That way when it comes to the fancy stuff down the track your body won’t fall apart.

7. Super sets

Super sets are great additions when trying to get to the next level. You can perform a back squat and couple jump squats or bench press coupled with Plyometric Push Ups.

Other ways is to finish with negatives (be spotted up and control the eccentric phase at a slow tempo). Even by adding a cardio blast such as a rowing machine, punch bag or skipping rope to get your heart rate up is a great way to turn your workout into a fat burning metabolic blast!

8. Strain to gain

Remember you are in the gym to get results. To achieve a stimulus you must get out of your comfort zone. A great way to do this is to have a training partner or fitness professional spot you and make sure you perform to your maximum. If you perform your final set comfortably you’re not lifting heavy enough.

9. Get outside

If you have a sound gym plan like a split routine that you’re emotionally attached to and you don’t want to change it why not add a day of dynamic outdoor work. This could be modified strongman, phosphates or outdoor boot camp style training. The local parks are set up with plenty of natural and man-made objects to perform a great workout. You could do a bunch of calisthenics (body weight exercises).

Chins, leopard crawls, Burpees, push up variations and if you have access to kettle bells, hand weights or TRX take them to the park and explore some lifts you wouldn’t usually perform in the gym environment.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!

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Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans