A weird and wonderful place filled with interesting creatures from far and wide. People from all walks of life and backgrounds congregate for various fitness/social reasons. To help people see through the fog within the jungle, I have created an overview of the gym (Gym 101).
The weights area
This area is comprised of various heavy pieces of metal (no relation to the music), that is intended to be picked up and put down repeatedly. There are many types of weights but they can be mainly broken down into 2 categories.
- Free Weights – Free as a bird (just without the wings), these weights can be taken anywhere and used for almost anything. Free weights include dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells (nothing to do with a cup of tea, I was disappointed too).
- Resistance Machines – These contraptions are designed to work a particular muscle group and provide support during this process. As there are many different brands and types of machines, if you are ever unsure speak to the trainer in the gym. There is nothing more embarrassing than getting tangled up in a machine like some weird sex fetish club (or so I’ve heard that’s what they are like).
|Free weights||Resistance Machines|
|Can be adapted to anyone (no matter shape and size)||Not always suitable for beginners with limited stability.||Targets individuals muscles||Limited adjustments can make it difficult for everyone.|
|Exercise possibilities are endless.||Can be dangerous without a spotter.||Lots of weight adjustments||A fixed range of motion is not always the best range of motion.|
Note: You may see grown men with vests so large you can see their nipples. I have asked and apparently that’s ‘normal’……I’m not convinced.
This is not a Spanish dish at your local tapas restaurant. (This is how I was tricked into my first cardio session.) Cardio is short for cardiovascular, meaning the heart. As you guessed it, cardio works the heart. An example of cardio is running, rowing or using the cross trainer. By carrying out this type of exercise you will be getting hot and sweaty, getting out of breath and getting fitter (also much like the sex fetish club).
There are many types of cardio buzz words get thrown around as the next ‘game changer’. Words such as HIIT (High intensity Interval training) and LISS (Low impact steady state) are used to describe different types of cardio. I’m not going to go into details now, but I would recommend doing whichever one you enjoy.
Group exercise and classes are a great way to push yourself, and feel part of a community. If you struggle to motivate yourself in the gym, sign up to a few classes and you will be surprised with the result. When a workout gets tough and you feel quitting or resting, the team spirit and over excited instructor usually are enough to keep pushing through the pain.
Classes are also a way to meet like-minded individuals who are trying to get fit and have fun at the same time. I have had many of nights out with people from the gym (who all drink way too much for people that are into fitness.) Try a few out and find one that suits your style. (That’s classes, not nights out).
Now before you head in the gym don’t worry about doing the ‘right thing’. There is no right/wrong way to train (unless you are using wrong form). If you are new to the gym, just spend some time trying different things out and finding what you enjoy. Do what you enjoy, not what you have been told to enjoy.
For help with getting started in the gym, head over to www.dackattack.com and request a free consultation or fill in the form below.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.