New to the gym or looking to freshen up your routine? Our very own PT Stewie is here to help. Find out about how simplicity in your gym routine and workout sessions can help you achieve consistency and get the most out of your time in the gym.

Finding the Perfect Gym Routine

Gyms can be a scary place for a newbie.

Not the Oriam Gym of course (unless Tom’s on the tunes), but in general the world of fitness can be a confusing and often capricious thing to navigate when you are just starting out. However this beginner phase needn’t be such a weighty matter; this one piece of advice will help you find your stride:

Keep it simple!

Gym Routine - Squats

Keep It Simple

A great philosopher once said ‘The key to a happy life is simplicity.’ and equally renowned contemporary philosopher PTStewie would paraphrase ‘The key to a successful gym routine is simplicity’. It’s tempting when we see our favourite influencer or athlete performing blindfolded, band-assisted, single-leg, bosu-ball box-jumps to try and replicate this style of training when we first set foot in the gym. But in truth, the majority of these ‘flashy’ exercises lack substance and are performed purely to grab attention on Instagram, or are very sport specific drills for a high level athlete that don’t translate over well to the majority of training goals for the general population.

It may not be sexy but the reality is, looking to progressively overload on basic movements with good form over time is what will give you the gains you seek! While there’s no harm in occasionally throwing an exercise into your routine that is slightly more on the ostentatious side, the majority of your work should focus on the basics (so pushing heavy things away from you, like in a chest press, pulling heavy things toward you, like in a row, and using your legs to drive a weight up or pick a weight off the floor such as in a squat or deadlift).

Achieving Consistency in Your Gym Routine

Being able to establish consistency is paramount to any successful workout routine. Therefore, if you are completely new to training, I would recommend literally just using a piece of cardio equipment such as a treadmill or stationary the first few times you were training. Try making it down to the gym twice a week and spending 20-40 minutes walking, jogging, cycling or rowing, at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. It may not feel like much, but if you were not doing any formal exercise before this then congratulations, you have literally infinitely increased the amount of exercise you are now incorporating into your routine.

Once you have successfully managed to keep this habit going for a 3-4 weeks, try to incorporate some resistance training work into your sessions. Resistance machines can be a great place to start with this, as not only do they label the working muscle on the machine, so you know exactly what you are training, they are generally easier to set up than free weight exercises and require less technique in their execution. Try to use a variety of machines to ensure you are targeting your full body (don’t neglect those legs!) and try to push yourself to 1 or 2 reps from failure on each exercise for 2-4 sets.

By failure, I simply mean the inability to perform a single additional rep no matter how hard you tried. You want to reach that near failure point within roughly 8-20 reps. If you can perform 70 reps before feeling that level of fatigue, chances are the weight is a little on the light side to stimulate optimal muscle growth. Likewise if you can perform only 2 reps before failure, try scale the resistance back a tad!

Workout Routine Examples

Here's a rough, bi-weekly, workout routine to get you started:

Session 1:

  • Warm Up – 10-15 minutes on the Cross Trainer
  • Chest Press Machine – 4 sets
  • Lat Pulldown Machine – 4 sets
  • Reverse Flies on Pec Dec Machine– 3 sets
  • Prone Leg Curl – 3 sets
  • Leg Extensions – 3 sets

Session 2:

  • Warm Up – 10-15 minute Walk on Inclined Treadmill
  • Plate Loaded Hip Thrust Machine – 4 sets
  • Seated Row – 3 sets
  • Shoulder Press Machine – 3 sets
  • Leg Press Machine – 3 Sets
  • Push Ups 2 sets

Ask Our Team for Help With Your Gym Routine

On a final note, it goes without saying that at Oriam we are always happy to help! As a member you are entitled to a half-hour group induction upon joining, where one of us friendly fitness folk will show you round the gym floor, laying out some of the basics of the Oriam fitness suite and taking you through a variety of the kit and services we have on offer. You are also entitled to a 30 minute complementary tailored Personal Training session, where a PT such as myself will take you through a workout based on your unique training goals. And finally, if you ever have a training related query while training in Oriam, there is usually a Fitness staff member on hand, happy to assist ad hoc!

Stuart - Gym and Fitness - Personal Trainer

About the Author

Stuart is a Personal Trainer at Oriam and has a wealth of experience supporting people with their fitness and wellbeing. He enjoys working with people to help them achieve their fitness goals. 

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