by Hugh Roid
So you’re still going to the gym after the warm-up period. You’ve seen the rest of the resolution crowd burn out.
Good. Now get off the treadmill, that’s for grandma. Let’s get ripped.
There are two typical methods of strength training in any gym: the machines and freeweights.
The overriding rules for both are to use proper form. Using poor form is analogous to using wingdings for a font. Why bother? A good rule of form is to match your breathing with your repetitions at a comfortable rhythm.
The load displayed by machines is affected by friction, mechanical advantage in the pulleys, and orientation. The machines do a great job of isolating particular muscles and come with instructions.
Freeweights are more accurate in their labeled weight, act on multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and are more versatile than machines. You only make the mistake of being crushed to death under the barbell once, so try to have a spotter.
A spotter is a friend you drag to the gym to watch you for mistakes/poor form, assist when you try to go too heavy, and shout demeaning motivation.
Here’s an old workout regimen of mine that worked well for a while:
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back & Shoulders
Day3: Arms (Biceps, Triceps, Forearms)
Day 4: Legs & Abs
Day 5: Chest (Again)
Day 6: Arms (Again) & Cardio
Day 7: Rest
I’m going to assign looking up exercises for these groups as homework. (Google: Tricep exercises, etc.)
Don’t do your sets of exercises in the same order, otherwise you’ll start to acquire muscle memory and your gains plummet. This principle is known as “Muscle Confusion.” I keep track of my workouts and the orders of the sets with a notebook.
Now that you’re through at the gym, you’re craving some White Castle and Natty to reward yourself, right?
Wrong! You’re not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food.
20% of fitness is working out, 80% is eating right. Eat meat, drink milk, gobble veggies. Red, white, and green makes lean. Make sure you get at least 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight every day.
Work out! Push hard! Eat right!