If you have just signed up for a gym membership but never actually trained in one you might be a little nervous about your first day there.
You’re probably wondering what all these machines and exercises are actually for and whether you really need them.
And there is all the gym lingo too that you might not be familiar with.
Like reps, sets, pull ups or pull downs.
I admit it can get a bit confusing in the beginning but the good news is that you will quickly get the hang of it.
And if you watch this video till the end you will know exactly what you train on your first day at the gym.
We will talk about what the best workout for beginners should look like.
And what the best exercises are.
I will also explain the most important terms and give you a workout plan that you can follow right away.
If this sounds good to you let’s get started.
So the first important step in figuring out how to train on your first day at the gym.
Is to set clear goals.
With so many workout plans out there you have to have a clear goal in mind to choose the right one.
For this video I will assume that your primary goal is to build muscle and maybe lose fat.
Basically you want to look and feel better.
That’s what most people are interested in and what brought me to the gym on my first day.
So I will not talk about cardio and also not about your diet.
Because they are explained in other videos and wouldn’t
make this one too long.
Assuming you want to build muscle and maybe get rid of some extra fat you will need a workout plan that helps you achieve these goals.
And one that is made especially for beginners.
This is important because you will find thousands of workout programs online and most are pretty horrible to be honest.
For example if you ever bought a bodybuilding magazine the sample workouts they sell are usually made for actual bodybuilders.
And include way too much volume and way too many isolation exercises.
I will explain what these terms mean in a minute – Don’t worry!
Such workouts sometimes last for hours and would wear out any beginner in a few days.
Instead as a beginner what you want to do is a full body workout that is built around the most effective exercises, in around 60 to 90 minutes long.
Before I go over with such a workout would look like.
I need to explain a few terms just so you know what I’m talking about.
First there are two basic types of exercises.
Compound and isolation exercises.
Compound exercises utilize multiple joints.
Whereas isolation exercises use only one.
For example the bench press is a compound movement because it uses your shoulders and elbow joints.
Whereas the bicep curl is an isolation movement because you only flex at the elbow.
You’re a beginner workout should be built around compound exercises.
Because they target several muscle groups at once.
Giving you the best muscle activation measured by the time you spent working out.
This makes them perfect for building strength and gaining muscle fast.
Next you should know what the terms reps and sets mean.
Doing one rep or repetition means doing an exercise once.
Doing six reps of the bench press for example.
Means going through the motions six times.
So lowering the weight then pushing it back up six times.
A set as a series of reps you do without rest.
So if you do six reps at the bench press and then stop.
You did one set of six reps when you get a workout plan you will often see the sets and reps listed as.
Sets times reps so all four times six is the same as saying four sets of six reps.
OK with this in mind.
What should you work out look like.
The biggest mistake beginners make is that they focus too much on isolation exercises.
And not enough on compound exercises.
They think the only way to get bigger arms or Fuller chest is by hitting the muscle directly.
So they do a million bicep curls in a row.
The problem with this mindset is simple.
Muscles grow only when they need to.
Which happens when they are put under a lot of stress.
When you go to the gym you’re trying to force your muscle to grow by overloading them.
This strategy works better the more total weight you lift and the more muscle groups you recruit during Your Workout.
Isolation movements allow you to lift only a small portion of the way that you can move when doing heavily loaded compound exercises.
That’s why a workout will be built around the four most important compound lifts:
The bench press,
And the overhead press.
They are great because all four can be considered not only compound exercises but full body exercises.
Their underlying movements mirror everyday motions.
Like picking up something heavy in the case of deadlifts and squats.
Pushing it away For bench press.
Or lifting it above your head For the overhead press.
These movements build bigger arms and legs while strengthening your core at the same time.
This means your abs and lower back get a workout too.
Now you only need a workout plan that intelligently combines these lifts.
Here’s a good example that I usually recommend to beginners.
As you can see the workout plan consists of two full body workouts.
And includes all four lifts along with the barbell roll and the leg pull down machine.
At this point you’re probably wondering when exactly you should do work on one.
And when workout 2.
This is pretty simple.
Let’s assume your first day at the gym is a Monday.
Then your workout schedule will look something like this.
Basically you train three times a week.
Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays.
While alternating through the workouts.
Pretty simple right.
Now there are two more things we need to address.
Weight and resting times.
As for weight I recommend you spend your first few weeks focusing on learning proper form.
That means you shouldn’t worry about lifting big weights during those first weeks.
For each exercise use a weight that is definitely a little too light and easy for you.
And try to get the hang of the motion.
As for resting times in between sets I recommend two to three minutes.
Most beginners will do just fine with two minutes.
But once you have some experience and want to lift heavier weights and lower rep ranges three minutes might be more appropriate.
And that’s pretty much it.
Before I wrap up this video there are two more things I want to talk about.
First what should you do after the first few weeks when you have learned good form.
Pretty much only one thing.
You continue to alternate full body workout 1 and 2.
But slightly bring down the number of reps from 8 to 10 to 6 to 8.
For my experience.
This is a really good rep range for beginners.
Next fewer reps will mean more weight.
So you should strive to lift heavy.
No not strong and heavy but enough weight that you come about one to two reps short of muscle failure on your sets.
Once you have the structure set up.
The only thing you need to do is keep adding weight to the bar.
As a beginner you should constantly strive to lift more weight.
So many beginners lift the same weight for weeks after weeks and wonder why they won’t see any results.
But remember your body only grows muscle when it has to.
So you have to create an environment that forces your muscle to grow.