If you’re new to the gym, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve cut through all the BS and put together a routine to help you guys and girls make the most of your first few months.

The focus of this time in the gym should be ingraining proper technique in your mind and muscles; most importantly for compound lifts. You will see great gains in your size and strength (girls; you won’t grow massive muscles from this, but you will become a lot more toned and firm!) in the first 6-9 months in the gym – more so if you work your entire body evenly. There’s no worse look than being out of proportion!

Important points to note:

  • Complete a light 5 minute warm up on the cross trainer or rowing machine
  • The first set of each exercise should be very light, do not go above 8 reps but focus on technique every rep. This set is not meant to be a challenge!
  • The second set of the exercise should be heavier than the first, but still not heavy –8 reps should not be difficult. Focus on perfect technique with each rep!
  • The third set should be as heavy as you can manage for around 6 reps before you can no longer push the weight. This is called going to failure. Try to keep your technique as impeccable as it has been for the previous sets!
  • For exercises with 4 sets; set four should be performed to failure. Set three should not be to failure, rather slightly heavier than set two. Again focusing on technique.
  • Rest intervals for 3 set exercises: 30-45 seconds between sets one and two, 60 seconds between sets two and three.
  • Rest intervals for 4 set exercises: 30-45 seconds between sets one and two, 60 seconds between sets two and three, 60 seconds between sets three and 4
  • Exercises in bold are compound lifts – these are the focus of the work out. Make sure you are fully switched on for all of these reps.
  • Never be afraid to ask gym instructors to give you pointers on your technique – they would rather see someone lifting properly than injuring themselves!

Monday: Legs and calves

4 sets of 6-8 reps of barbell squats

3 sets of 8 reps of leg extensions

3 sets of 8 reps of dumbbell straight leg deadlifts

3 sets of 20 steps of weighted walking lunges

3 sets of 10 reps of calf extensions

Wednesday: Chest and triceps

4 sets of 6-8 reps of flat barbell bench press

4 sets of 6-8 reps of dumbbell shoulder press

3 sets of 8 reps of 15 degree incline dumbbell flyes

3 sets of 8 reps of seated shoulder lateral raises

3 sets of 8 reps of skull crushers

3 sets of tricep dips to failure

Friday: Back and biceps

4 sets of 6-8 reps of deadlifts

4 sets of 6-8reps of wide grip lat pull down

3 sets of 8 reps of seated cable rows

3 sets of 8 reps of reverse flyes

3 sets of 8 reps of preacher bench EZ bar curls

3 sets of 8 reps of seated bicep curls

 

Lifting weights isn’t for everyone, but combine this plan for 4-6 weeks with one or two High Intensity Interval Training sessions a week (explained here https://www.ldnmuscle.com/hiit-or-miss/) and proper nutrition, and you will starts to notice great changes in your physique. Good luck and stick with it!