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Your first gym session: simplified.

So, you’ve heard that you should start doing some strength training but you have no idea where to start?

Here is the our guide to your first gym session.

Where to Start

If you’ve just stepped into the gym for the first time you will probably notice people with fake tans, stringer singlets and protein shakes everywhere. Just ignore them…

The next thing you will notice is an overwhelming amount of equipment, weight plates and gear scattered across the floor.

A good way to feel less anxious about the environment is to find a quiet corner of the room to start your warm up. This will give you a few minutes to start to feel comfortable, have a look around and get an idea of where the equipment is for the rest of the workout.

Part 1: Warm Up

The goal here is to increase your heart rate, get some blood flow to the working muscles and move through large ranges of motion at a light load. This will prepare you for the rest of the session.

Some examples include:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Reverse lunges
  • Push ups (on your knees, or elevated with your hands on a bench)
  • Calf raises

Perform 2-3 rounds of 10-12 repetitions.

Part 2: Plyometrics

This can be used as an extended warm up. If you’re in a crowded gym you don’t need any equipment or much space to get a good stimulus. These exercises are important for working on reducing our ground contact time and improving the achilles spring (find out more about this in our episode with Tom O’Halloran, out on the 29th May).

  • Penguin jumps 3 x 20
  • Drop jumps 3 x 5

Part 3: Main Compound Movements

Now it’s time to lift!

For this section of the workout it’s time to find some weights.

The squat racks and barbells can be quite confronting if it’s your first time in the gym so let’s leave those for another day.

Simply find yourself a moderately heavy kettlebell or dumbbell (6-12kg) and bring it back to your quiet corner. Perform 10 repetitions of the following exercises and repeat for 4 sets.

  • Goblet squat
  • Deadlift
  • Lunge
  • Bent over row

Now there is nothing particularly special about these movements. These 3 exercises are a good place to start but feel free to get creative. We will talk more about running-specific exercises in a future blog.

Part 4: Accessories

We are going to reduce the load slightly and focus on some single leg stability, core, and any specific rehab/prehab exercises that you might want to include, such as: 

  • Single leg sit to stand
  • Single leg deadlift
  • Russian twist
  • Side plank

Again, don’t get caught up in the exercise selection, today is all about structure.

And that’s it! It doesn’t need to be complicated!

Your first few sessions will be all about getting comfortable and familiarising yourself with the gym. If this is new for you, any stimulus is better than nothing so just get started!

We will dive into more programming specifics in a future blog, as well as how to structure a week, month and years worth of training.

If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to us on instagram @strongerstride or email strongerstride@gmail.com

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