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Your Goals

There is only one thing our Gym Team loves more than a challenge, and that is success. If you want help achieving your goals then you’ve come to the right place. When our Personal Trainers ask what members want to achieve at the gym the most popular responses are ‘fitness’, ‘muscle tone’, ‘strength’ or ‘weight loss’. Read on for some top tips to achieving each of these by our Assistant Gym Manager, Nick Rose.

Fitness

Our gym team often gets asked to help someone improve their general fitness. This covers strength, cardiovascular and flexibility and so our programmes are tailor-made to include all three, according to their current fitness level.

Fitness is a very broad term, which covers strength, cardiovascular levels as well as flexibility. Usually if someone comes to me and says they want to get ‘fitter’ I would devise them a programme involving all three elements above. The cardio would be based on their current fitness levels, beginners would be steady state or LSD cardio with the more advanced you will be looking to adopt the harder styles like interval or fartlek. If they are incredibly fit and want to push though where they currently are, harder versions of interval training such as tabatas can also be adopted, but only with physically fit clients.

Nick Rose

Assistant Gym Manager

Muscle tone

When people ask to improve muscle tone what they mean is muscle definition. To achieve this you need to reduce body fat and build muscle strength.

The Muscle Tone one is a tricky one to understand. When you say someone is really toned what they really mean is that their muscle is defined, which means that they have low body fat levels and that they have some muscle mass there. The real thing you look to do here is look to reduce the body fat levels of the individual whilst working to maintain the muscle mass and if possible, looking to gain muscle mass.

To decrease the body fat levels, you can look to work within the fat burning threshold whilst exercising (between 65-80% of your max BPM. Or, with more and more research coming out at the moment, more intense training for less of the time can be more beneficial for clients to drop body fat.

When doing resistance work, you will also burn a lot more calories judging by the intensity of it. If you have a really intense resistance workout, you will be able to burn calories up to 72 hours after the training as opposed to a really intense cardiovascular training session you will be able to burn calories up to 48 hours after exercise.

Combining both resistance exercises (usually compound exercises like I explained above) and cardiovascular exercises then you will be well on your way to achieve more muscle tone, or what people perceive to be muscle tone.

NICK ROSE

ASSISTANT GYM MANAGER

Strength

Resistance is key to strength training. Compound exercises, using more than one muscle over one joint, such as squats and the bench press, work particularly well. The gym offers a good floor space along with a wide range of compound weight machines, which are great for beginners. We also have a well-equipped free weight section.

For strength, I would concentrate more on the resistance side of exercise. I would try to use a rep range of 3 or 4 sets of 6-8 repetitions on big compound exercises (exercises that work more than one muscle over one joint), for example squats, bench press, etc. For beginners I would probably drop that to about 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions to get a base level as strength training can carry more risk of injury, especially if you are not used to the gym environment. For beginners, I would also recommend using the compound exercises machines (Leg Press, Chest Press, Shoulder Press and Lat Pull Down) as opposed to the free weight alternatives. The rest periods in between sets should be a bit longer than for weight loss, roughly between 90—150 seconds.

NICK ROSE

ASSISTANT GYM MANAGER

Weight loss

For effective weight loss a 60:40 split of cardio and resistance is recommended. The gym is an ideal environment for this thanks to our balance of both cardiovascular equipment and weight machines.

For weight loss, I would recommend a split of cardio and resistance, roughly a 60:40 split in favour of cardiovascular work. For beginners, the cardio style would be Long Slow Distance – a steady speed, and for more frequent gym users I would try to explore more complicated cardiovascular styles like interval and fartlek training. The resistance work should be kept to exercises that work multiple muscle groups – compound exercises. The way that resistance exercises burn body fat which ultimately leads to weight loss is that the fibres in the muscles tear and then repair. The repairing process requires energy which is what calories are a measurement of. I would use a standard rep and set range of 3 sets of 10-12 rep ranges with a rest period of around 60-90seconds.

NICK ROSE

ASSISTANT GYM MANAGER

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