The 'GYM 64' gym group is the Best Gym in Scotland. It contains articles, tips on workout, health, wight loss and gym.This 24 hour gym provide the best facilities, top quality gym equipment, and a fitness first attitude to support your health and fitness goals.
Its gym time! We arrive, we get changed, then we enter. Where do we start? What am I training today? Why am I doing this? What does this work? What will I eat after my workout?
All these questions should have been answered before you set foot in the gym, even before you went to bed the night before. Creating an effective training schedule isn’t just a case of going to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You must know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, why you are doing it, where its going to lead, how you’re going to fuel it and how you’re going to recover from it. I’m going to show you 10 steps to creating an effective training schedule.
Step 1 – Targets
Its important to know where you want your training to take you. What are your objectives? Your long term goals? Do you want to lose body fat, train for a body building show, run a 5k or simply be fitter? Its very important to make these realistic. For example, if you are only able to put 3 days a week into your training, body building probably isn’t a realistic goal. Write your objectives down, or print it off and put it somewhere in view (on the fridge is a great place).
Next is to break down your long term objectives into small chunks. These short term goals will act like stepping stones towards your final objective. Once this is in place, its time for the next step.
Step 2 – Planning/Preparation
How are you going to get there? What training methods will you use? When will you train? Duration of each session? Frequency of sessions? Intensity of sessions? All these things are essential for planning your week. So, invest in a weekly planner, either a diary or there are many great apps you can download to help with this. Things to include in your weekly plan:
Training days & times
What you are training? e.g. Cardio? Leg day?
Duration of session
Nutrition is also a very important part of the planning equation. What, when and how much to eat? If there is one thing you take away from this post, please make it this, plan and prepare your food in advance. This makes a massive difference in any plan!
A few things I would suggest to do:
Calculate and record your recommended calorie intake (this will differ depending on weight, gender, objectives and lifestyle).
Stick to foods you are used to.
Weigh your food to get familiar with portion size and kcal’s.
Think 3 or 4 days in advance, and make up lunches, dinners and snacks to keep in the fridge.
Leave the sugary and processed foods in shop. If you don’t buy, you wont eat.
You’ve all heard the saying-”Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. This is so true!
Step 3 – Record/Track
Record everything. Workouts, nutrition, how you feel, your progress. Again, there are many apps available to allow you to do this – my own for starters (get in touch to sign up for free), My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, so there is really no excuse. All these apps allow you to track workouts, calorie and macro intake and progressions. My own app allows you take tracking a step further by giving you the ability to track exercises, weight lifted, number of sets and reps, and also helps you plan your progressions workout by workout.
Now we have went through targets, planning/preparation and record/track, its time to move on to step for which starts to home in on things to include or look out for in your training sessions. How are you going to utilise this time to its full potential.
Step 4 – Power On With The Barbell
The all round best exercises to use in every fitness program are the common compound exercises. These are Squats, Deadlifts, Clean & Press, Bench Press, Pull – Ups and Dips. All variations of the afore mentioned exercises are valid (as there are so many). Big exercises, big muscle groups and big energy output. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. Strength, hypertrophy, toning, fat loss and general health are all benefited by incorporating these in to your weekly training schedule. So don’t be shy and use the power rack. Be sure to keep them safe, don’t sacrifice form for weight, and if you are unsure, seek advice from an instructor.
Step 5 – Use The Treadmill/Get Out!
Every gym has them, and even if they don’t, we all have access to the free version – the great outdoors. So get your trainers on and walk, jog or run your way to your fitness goal. Whether its lose weight, burn fat, get fit, improve your performance or simply maintain health, there is always a place for racking up the miles in your favourite trainers. Everyone can do it – push hard with interval training or go easier with walking. Its a great calorie burner – remember, you will burn the same amount of calories whether you run a mile, or walk a mile (it’ll just take longer if you walk).
Step 6 – Keep Safe
I hit on this slightly in the previous step. technique is everything. Remember, you are at the gym to work on your fitness, not your ego. Do not sacrifice form for an extra few kg’s.
Great technique, first and foremost, will reduce your chance of injury. There is nothing worse than starting your fitness journey only to injure yourself in the opening few weeks. There is always a chance of injury, but I think you will agree its important to reduce that chance as much as possible.
Secondly, when form goes out the window, when the back arches, when we start swinging the barbell or when the shoulders become hunched, you will be taking a lot of the work away from the correct muscle groups and bringing in help from others. Thus, reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.
Lastly, long-term use of unsafe technique can lead to posture problems, and then as a result, back pain and other ailments. So lets leave our egos at home, work hard but work safely!
“If you can’t lift it with good form, then you can’t lift it.”
Step 7 – Embrace The Hated
The natural thing to do when you hate something is to avoid it. But when it comes to fitness, we need to do the opposite. If there are certain exercises we hate, its because those particular exercises are hard. If they are hard, it normally means they need worked on. The exercises we love are the ones we do all the time, the ones we have practised, so they are the ones we are good at (there maybe a link here). So embrace and just get them done. Get your game face on, and kill it.
Step 8 – Cool-down & Stretch
After all that hard work your body needs to wind down slowly, flush out all the toxins and lactic acid from your tired muscle, so a short 3-4 minute cool-down is great for this. It also helps blood pooling which is caused by stopping high intensity exercise to quickly. Blood pooling is when the heart rate slows dramatically, therefore reducing blood flow to the brain too quickly and can cause fainting. We obviously don’t want this, so don’t skip the cool-down.
To help maintain flexibility in the muscles and mobility in the joints, stretching after every workout is essential. So spend 10 – 15 mins, just you and a mat, and stretch. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Step 9 – Recover
Recovery meals, rest days and sleep. All very important. Believe it or not, your improvements, your strength gains and your muscle size, don’t happen in the gym. All these wonderful things we all train hard for actually happen when we rest. During our workouts, we stress our body, we create free-radicals, we tear muscle fibres and we deplete our glycogen stores. All these things are dealt with, replenished and repaired when we provide the correct recovery process.
So make sure you have a small meal consisting of protein and complex carbohydrate. Protein to help build and repair muscles, complex carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores.
Have at least one full day of rest. You must give the body time to repair. Over-training is definitely a thing, I’ve done it many times before and I wouldn’t recommend it. Ever felt drained and fatigued? Keep getting small injuries over nothing? Become ill often? Have trouble concentrating? The chances are you have been over-training. This is your body telling us to stop. It needs to recover.
We all know how we feel when we don’t get enough sleep. This should be reason enough to ensure you get a full nights sleep every night. Fact: Your body needs it!
Step 10 – Stop Reading, Go!
Why are you still reading? Go ahead – Set those targets and plan your next fitness journey! Start today.
Kieran came down to our Dunfermline club a few months ago, he was wanting to join a private gym and was impressed with what gym64 had to offer. This 22 year old Paralympian was looking to get back into his serious training. Kieran competed at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016 and has represented his country between 2010 and 2017. His priorities have changed a little bit these days as he is now looking to lose weight and gain muscle for his wedding in 2019.
Kieran suffers from HMS Type 1 which motor sensory neuropathy. Which means that below his knees and wrists he has no function.
He is now working towards competing in club throw. This is an athletic sport which your throw a 300g club as far as you can, quite similar to the discus and javelin. His next event will be in the summer of 2018. Gym 64 are looking forward to seeing what this man can do. So Good Luck Kieran, all the best!!
“From day 1 I was really impressed with how much interest the staff took to help me progress with my initial goal. It’s really motivating that they really want you too succeed! Whether it be the training programme and diet plan that Martin gave me, the random motivational chats with Iain to keep me on the right track or the push from Anne just to try and make everything I am doing in the gym just that little bit better, she even got me to try Body Combat on the new virtual reality, which is something I never thought I would do. It is definitely what sets you apart from the rest”-Kieran Steer
How many times do you hear “I wish I had her figure” or “I had his arms or abs” or “I wish I was as fit as? (Fill in the blank)”…well in the fitness industry we hear it nearly on a daily basis. What we need to do is look at it from a different point of view. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others (I myself am sometimes guilty of this) if we see a certain person from a football team, mma fighter, crossfit athlete or physique athletes who performs to a high level we instantly think why am I not looking or performing that way. When the logical thing should be looking at what I am doing in my own training and diet and adjusting it accordingly to my goals so I can achieve my goals quicker.
I’m not saying don’t be ambitious or hold yourself to a high standard…but make it a realistic standard. We don’t know what said athlete is doing or what there diet is. But the word we neglect to look at Is athlete. We are not all athletes, I am definitely not an athlete.
Most athletes get paid to perform or look a certain way this means they will look for a step ahead -they will be willing to do the small things such as going to bed early, missing out on family meals or nights out with friends to avoid the slice of cake or the dreaded hangover. They also might take performance enhancing drugs, (not all performance enhancers are illegal) pre workout , diarettics and some fat burners are legal however some people will take steroids or illegal enhancers. The point I’m getting at is when your in the gym or on instagram, Facebook or whatever your looking at don’t feel bad about how you look cause you perceive someone looks better.
The push up is arguably the ideal upper body exercise that also builds core strength. A novice can modify this movement to make it much easier, and as one becomes stronger, there are countless ways to increase the difficulty of the basic push up movement.
Lat rows are another excellent exercise that often get overlooked by the general athlete. Keeping the back strong and stable is critical for many sports, but because so many people, including recreational athletes, spend hours each day sitting, or staring at small screens, our shoulders can easily end up rounding forward with our necks angled down. The lat row can help correct some of these poor posture issues.
But what if you could combine these two simple, but highly effective, exercises into one killer exercise?
With a set of dumbbells you can get the perfect combination exercise that works both a push and a pull movement in one exercise and double your workout results in nearly the same time it would take to do either exercise alone.
How to Do the Push Up with Lat Row Safely
• Begin in a push up position with each hand on a dumbbell.
• Begin with light weights as you perfect your form.
• Keep you hands directly beneath your shoulders.
• Balance on your hands and toes with your feet spread wide for stability.
• Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe without sagging in the middle or arching your back.
• Before you begin any movement, contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
• Keep a tight core throughout the entire exercise.
• Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle.
• Exhale as you begin pushing back up to the start position.
• Once you return to the start position you will add a dumbbell row.
• Raise one dumbbell while stabilizing your body with the other arm.
• Return the dumbbell gently to the ground and repeat another push up.
• Continue the push up row motion alternating arms.
• At the top of the row motion, the dumbbell should be close to your chest and elbow pointing upward.
• Keep your hips stable; don’t rotate the torso as you perform the row.
• Repeat for as many repetitions as your workout routine require
My first bodybuilding show took place on 26th of June 2017. It’s been a dream of mine to step up on the stage and compete ever since I can remember. The preparation phase for the show took 16 weeks. This consisted of strict diet, working out twice a day, learning how to pose and presenting myself on the stage in the best possible way.
Dieting was the most difficult thing during this prep. As easy as it sounds, not being able to eat whenever I felt the hunger or add any sauces to meals was a tough challenge. Not just because I could not discipline myself but over the years everybody develops their own eating habits and you do not even realise how bad they are until you start weighing everything you eat and drink and only choosing the foods high in nutritional values.
I was eating 5 meals a day, every 2-3hours. I would weigh myself every other day and take measurements to make sure I could control my diet and make changes if needed. I was allowed 1 cheat meal a week for the first 10 weeks of my prep. Last 6 weeks, as it was getting closer to my show I was allowed no sweeties, fast foods, or even sugar in my tea.
24 hours before the show I stopped taking any fluids. I was not allowed to drink to make sure that water got out of my skin to make it look tight and bring my muscles out even more.
Training was my favourite part. I would do 40 minutes of fasted cardio 5 days a week. Then, later on that day I would come back and do my resistance training with weights. This would last about 60-90 minutes. As it was getting closer to the show, due to reduced calories intake, less energy the trainings sessions felt harder every day, and it felt like every machine and every dumbbell in the gym was working against me. At that time I thought I was pushing it to the maximum and gave it all I’ve got, however time has shown that I was wrong.
I would pose 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes and increasing to 7 days a week in my last 2 weeks before the show. At that point I felt like I was my own shadow, I was loaded with university exams, doing my personal training sessions with clients, working for GYM64 and training twice a day. I felt like giving up due to lack of energy, hunger, the pressure and stress as it was my first show and I did not know what I should be expecting from it.
During this prep I have learned a lot about myself. I know I have made a lot of mistakes during this prep diet, training and most important attitude wise. Now I can look back on my prep, point out what can be improved, seek help from people that are experts in that field. This sport is all in. You are either 100% in or you don’t make it. I am not put down by my failure and I will come back better than before. I’LL BE BACK.
Change doesn’t just happen overnight. It took me a long period of time to change my life. I would eat takeaways all the time, I smoked and enjoyed an alcoholic drink probably more often than I should have. I had no education on food, whatever I could grab to eat would do me.
Once I had my daughter and seen the photo on the left I knew it had to change not just for myself now but for her. I didn’t want her leading that kind of life – I wanted her to be fit and healthy and play sports and be confident in her body. So the Insanity DVD was ordered( because I couldn’t get to the gym) I done this every day and would eat healthy. Progress photos helped me a lot to see my results as looking at myself I couldn’t see it and was getting very frustrated at no change however it was apparent from the photos that the change was there!
The fitter I got the more I wanted to do, I signed up for a 10k run at Michael woods and completed it in 50 minutes which I never thought I would be able to do. I attended Zumba twice a week and would run most days. It made me feel great achieving the weight loss but to also be a good role model for my daughter. It wasn’t easy and I had bad days where I binged and second guessed myself and those days I avoided mirrors like the plague!
However I got back to it and when I started to second guess myself I looked at those photos and it reminded me that the progress I had made was worth it. I am still keeping the weight off and enjoying the fitness industry and hope to help those struggling to meet there goal!
Make (something) more complicated than necessary.
How many times have we seen these so called experts tell you how to train and by the end of the podcast, video or conversation you’re more frustrated than when you started. It’s easy to build your program but even easier to make more complicated than you need to.
For your body to react and adapt to any program it needs a stress (weights) to be placed on it and the best kind of stress is a compound exercises (bench press, squats, deadlift and overhead press etc) where it takes more than one muscle group to move a set number of reps for a heavier weight.
I’m not saying you need to lift a maximum load for 1 rep but a weight that you can maybe move for 1,2 or 3 reps will create the stress we need. Repeat that for 3 or 4 sets take a long enough break where your body is recovered but not enough where you feel 100% recovered the key here is on the last set you maybe not get that 3rd rep. That’s step one:
Have a think about what exercises you can do that will help you next time lifting that main movement (eg overhead press could be side raises, dumbbell press etc.) so pick at least 3 accessory exercises and do these for 3-4 sets change reps schemes every time you come in 5-8 reps or 10-12 or 15+ reps may look similar to:
Overhead Press 4 1-3
Side raises 4 5-8
Dumbbell Press 3 10-12
Front Raises 4 12-15
Finally we need a bit of endurance work or metabolic conditioning this can be as easy as rowing 1k or doing some press ups or kettle bell swings with the thought of still working on upper back and shoulders. You can decide how long to do this for 1 min, 90sec or for a set number of reps eg 100 press ups broken down to 5 sets of 20.
Make a note of the weights you do and try to do one more rep or set every time you train you will get stronger and better. Credit: Syatt Fitness & Iain Halkett