How to train yourself at the gym

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Published: July 5, 2019

Working out has become more complicated than ever with all the information overload. It’s more confusing than it actually is if you see how much information is out there. But at the same time, it’s hard to know what really works and what doesn’t. what exercises you should be doing and how often you should train. For some people, it is easier to just hire a personal trainer who would create a workout for them. But if you want to try working out on your own – either because you like a challenge or because you want the freedom of doing your own thing – we have all the tips for you. Everything you need to know to train yourself at the gym is in the following guidelines. Get ready to become your own trainer and elevate your workouts to the next level. 

If you want to train yourself at the gym first you need to set a goal for yourself

The power of setting a goal for yourself is not in reaching it. Actually, it’s power lies in having an end line that keeps you on track. A bullseye to aim at. If you want to train yourself at the gym, pick a goal that is specific first of all. There are many different ways to do that but why not take advantage of the best workout apps of our era? Start with defining exactly what you want to achieve, whether it is appearance related or performing a difficult pyramid workout. Then you need the goal to be measurable if you want to keep track of your progress. Next point goes without saying: make your goal achievable. Don’t choose something so ambitious that you can’t do it in the end. Pick a practical goal that is also fun.

Keeping yourself motivated

If you are already comfortable with a steady routine you should definitely be proud of it. But when you have to train yourself at the gym and stay on that cardio grind every day, you might need some help. Maybe you are preparing to start looking at personal trainer jobs in Dubai, or you just want ready to change things up in your routine. Keeping yourself motivated when you workout alone can be challenging at times. So, we say it’s time for some strength training.

How to train yourself at the gym
Of course, cardio is a very popular and important part of fitness, but strength training takes the cake when it comes to health and muscle tone benefits.

Strength training helps build muscle quickly! Also, this type of training is better at burning calories even when the body is resting. That is a great benefit if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it. It also helps with strengthening your joints and bones which prevents injury. Your endurance will improve greatly and you will be able to feel that during your other workouts. Isn’t that motivation enough?

1. You can start with just your bodyweight

Strength training uses resistance to make your muscles work. So you don’t have to jump straight to those heavy-duty machines and massive weights, especially if you have never lifted weights in your life. There are a lot of great and practical ways to create resistance for your muscles. Some will require minimal equipment. But most of these can be done by simply using your bodyweight! You already know many of the exercises that make great strength training. Squats and push-ups are your best friends. Lunges and burpees will go a long way. You can also use equipment like lighter weights, resistance bands, dumbbells, or slider disks. But if that sounds too complicated for now, keep it simple and focus on routines that just use your bodyweight first.

Man doing plank combined with lifting weiths.
Bodyweight workouts can be an incredibly effective way to strength train yourself at the gym.

How many times per week can you train yourself at the gym?

Ideally, you should strength train yourself at the gym three to five days per week, but it is mandatory that you work your way up. Start off at 2 days a week, then when you feel comfortable, add a third day. Train yourself at the gym for 20-minutes when you first start, then gradually add on time until you’re training for 45 to 60 minutes. And never skip cardio! Aerobic exercises warm up your muscles before strength training and energized them after it. You should do 150 minutes of cardio per week.

2. Prep your muscles before you start to train yourself at the gym

A proper warm-up is crucial in preventing injuries, it preps your muscles for the work and helps increase your flexibility. Increasing your range of motion allows you to go deeper into squats or lunges. When you can fully extend those bicep curls, it will mean the muscles are working more and you’ll get better results. A five-minute warm-up is all it takes when you are just starting to train yourself at the gym. Do jumping Jack’s and high knees or combine them with mountain climbers. Don’t forget to stretch.

3. Pair an upper-body move with a lower-body move.

Full-body workouts maximize the caloric burn by working all of the muscles in the body. The best way to activate your whole body and melt the fat is to always combine one upper body exercise with one lower body exercises. That way, while the upper body works, the lower body has time to recover. This is an example of what we are talking about:

  1. Squats + push-ups
  2. Walking lunges + lat pulldowns
  3. Romanian deadlifts + overhead press
  4. Mountain climber + bench row 

Also, in the beginning, you don’t have to do too many repetitions. Performing 15 repetitions three times is a good place to start. You can then add more variations and repetitions as you get more comfortable with your strength and balance.

So, for example, the moves above would a full workout session. Do 15 squats followed by 15 push-ups. Then take a 1-minute break then repeat that two more times. After each section, you can take a 2-minutes pause. Then you continue with walking lunges and lat pull-downs: 15 reps times three, and so on.

Girl in gym on a machine working out her legs
When you are just starting to train yourself at the gym, don’t focus on just one part of the body. Always do a full-body workout instead of making a training session into a “leg day”.

4. Take rest days

Your muscles might feel sore the day after a tough training session. What happens when you strength train is microscopic damage to the tissue caused by weight lifting. However, that will be repaired, so don’t panic. That’s how you build stronger and more beautiful lean muscle. That’s why rest days are important. Because if you constantly break down muscle without a recovery period, you will never give the muscle fibers a chance to repair and you’ll be fatigued all the time.

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