You’ve joined the gym – and you are unsure where to start. Beginning at the gym can be daunting; how do you know what to do, how to do it and how often you need to turn up to get results?
As a cardio workout for beginners, you need to start by picking an activity that both gets your heart racing – and that you actually enjoy. There’s nothing worse than slugging out a 5 kilometre run and hating every minute of it. Dedicate 2-3 days a week for your chosen cardio activity, leaving a rest day between workouts.
When you think you can handle more, gradually up the ante by increasing your time and your resistance levels and avoid shallow breathing. This indicates that you haven’t found a suitable breathing pattern for your activity.
For beginners in the weight-lifting space, start by doing one set of exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups, using a weight that allows you to comfortably perform the exercise eight to 12 times in a set.
Strength training should be done at least three times per week to maximise benefits - but don’t work the same body part two days in a row. Once the bulk of your workout is done, be sure to work on your flexibility with slow, sustained static stretches, 3-7 days per week. Each stretch should last 10-30 seconds.
Push yourself but don’t go overboard – delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be enough to deter even the most determined gym goer. Until you get used to your new workout environment, avoid peak gym times (mid-morning, mid-afternoons or after around 7pm will usually ensure you beat the crowd).