With Christmas out the way, many people will be keen to hit the gym to shift those festive pounds and start the new year on the right foot. But simply turning up and slogging away on a treadmill may not be the best solution for your fitness goals.
If you’ve joined a gym for the first time or are looking to build on last year’s progress, developing a fitness routine is the best way to guarantee results. Balancing exercises and activities throughout the week will reduce boredom and fatigue, while ensuring a full-body workout.
Not sure where to start when it comes to planning a gym routine? We’ve got you covered with this helpful guide.
A gym routine will only work if it works for you. So, you need to think about why you’ve joined the gym and what you hope to get out of it.
Are you looking to lose some weight? Perhaps you want to tone up and build muscle? Or maybe you’ve been strong-armed by colleagues into signing up for your first 10k?
Whatever reason you have for hitting the gym in January, a structured routine will help keep you going. And when you know what you want to achieve and by when, you’ll be better placed to see it through.
Of course, when setting fitness goals, you need to be realistic. To help you get it right, here are a few things to consider:
· Age – age may be just a number, but it can dictate how quickly you’re able to build fitness and strength. Be realistic about your expectations and talk to others in your age category to get a general ballpark of the results and progress you can expect.
· General health and fitness level – if you’re a fit, active person, maintaining a gym routine should be child’s play. But if you’re starting from scratch, set goals that align with your current fitness level. Overdoing it too soon will only lead to injury, fatigue, and potential failure, so take small steps to build fitness gradually.
· Time – how much time do you have to spend at the gym each week? This will ultimately dictate your routine going forward. Our advice? Under promise. That way going to the gym won’t become a stressful chore that you need to juggle around other commitments.
· Likes and dislikes – before setting a strict gym routine, it’s worth trying all the equipment and exercises to find out what you like and dislike. It’s no good committing to hours on a rowing machine if you don’t enjoy it, so be sure your routine is tailored to your workout preferences – there’s no shame in favouring certain activities over others.
By now you should have a list of goals that you hope to achieve over the coming weeks and months. Write these down. That way you can reference them whenever you need to get your gym routine back on track.
Your next – and trickiest – task is to come up with a plan as to how you’ll meet these goals. For gym newbies, this is no mean feat, with reams of guidance and advice on building a personal gym routine that works for you.
The truth is, there’s no right or wrong way to get fit and use the gym. So long as you’re enjoying yourself, anything goes.
If, however, you want to make full use of your time at the gym to meet your fitness goals within a timeframe, you’ll need to get serious about balancing different exercises. This includes cardio and weight training, both of which are crucial to improving body composition and guaranteeing a full-body workout.
The ratio between cardio and weights will depend on your fitness goals. If you want to lose weight, cardio may be more effective for decreasing body fat. If you want to build muscle, focusing on weight training is the obvious way to go.
Regardless, we’d recommend combining elements of both into your gym routine. Cardio and weight training complement each other in a whole variety of ways, and you’ll certainly feel the benefit of targeting both as part of your regime.
How does this translate into a structured gym routine? Here are some essential tips to help you plan your time:
· Divide your days – with your fitness goals in mind, divide your gym days between key areas where you’re looking to improve. For example, Monday may be legs day, Wednesday may be cardio, and Friday may be arms and upper body. This is the best way to guarantee a complete workout while avoiding injury and fatigue.
· Choose your set-rep-rest scheme – another factor that hinges on your fitness goals is your set-rep-rest scheme. Mainly used for weight and high intensity interval training (HIIT), this is the time you spend performing an activity compared to resting. Without going into too much of the science, the shorter the rest period, the higher your heart rate and the more calories you burn – ideal for losing weight. If, however, your main goal is to build muscle, it may be better to focus on increased lift loads with a longer rest period.
· Find the best exercises for your needs – gyms are brimming with cardio and weight training equipment, but as you well know, they each target different areas and offer unique benefits. So, before you commit to specific equipment and activities, make sure the exercises you choose are tailored to your goals. In the same breath, though, it’s important to switch things up every now and again, so be open to trying new equipment and variations on your tried-and-trusted exercises.
If you want a gym experience that offers more, why not join us at The Mere Health Club? Combining cutting-edge Technogym fitness equipment with an unparalleled level of service, our gym and health suite is the perfect place to pursue your fitness goals in 2022.
Become a member of The Mere Health Club and you’ll benefit from more than just access to our state-of-the-art gym. Our luxury health suite includes a 20-metre heated swimming pool, soothing hydrotherapy pool, Thermal Zone featuring a Hammam Room, Sauna, Steam Room and Caldarium, as well as access to the Spa Lounge & Bar where you can enjoy a healthy post-workout bite.
As well as this great choice of facilities, members can also access a range of gym and fitness classes, with over 60 activities to choose from each week. So, whether you want to change up your workout routine or learn a new skill, you can do it all and more at The Mere.
Keen to learn more? Click here to visit The Mere Health Club page.
We hope this guide has inspired you to change up your workout routine and put your best foot forward as we move into the new year. If you’re looking to keep fit, relax, or enjoy a night away from it all, The Mere offers the ideal retreat for any occasion. For more information, visit the homepage or call us on 01565 830155.