Starting Slow is still a Start

I feel like in today’s fitness world, there can be a pressure to fit into a certain label. You feel like you have to be a “Cardio Enthusiast”, a “HIIT Advocate”, a “Strength-Trainer”, a “Crossfitter” or “Gym Class Goer”.This doesn’t have to be the way. You can be anyone and do anything you want.

Personally, for the past 18 months I’ve developed a huge passion for weight training. But I don’t limit myself to just that. I also love Cardio HIIT and bodyweight HIIT. And recently have taken up a new passion for Yoga and Pilates. Being flexible with what I love, means I don’t get bored of routine, I can use whatever resources are available to me either at home, outdoors or in the gym and just get a good sweat on.

If you take a look at my Instagram, and what over time I hope to incorporate here too, you will see there is a combination of weighted videos, such as a guides to my favourite shoulder workouts, as well as bodyweight HIIT workouts you can try out yourself in the gym or at home. And just something I want to point out before I go any further; I am in no way a professional PT. So what I do or show from my workouts, are variations of exercises I’ve researched myself or been coached on by a PT and then others are just me trying out new exercises I’ve come up with from general messing about.

But taking it back to my main passion, which is weight training. In recent weeks, I’ve had a number of people come to me not having a clue where to start when they actually step into the weights room. And another thing I know I struggled with majorly when I was starting off… the training split.

– How many days should I train legs?

– How many days should I train Upper body?

– What exercises target which areas?

– How should I split my upper body sessions?

Do these questions sound familiar?

To help with this, I’ve included below a table with a 4 day workout split that I started off with myself when I began weight training. Each session aims to target a different area. Most people, will try aim to get to the gym 3-4 times a week if they can. These are just simple exercises that can be done in most gyms even if they only have the standard machines for you to work with.

 

Session 1 – Legs and Glutes

– Squats (Rack/Dumbbell/Kettlebell/Cable)

• 20/ 20/18/15 – 4 sets

– Leg Press (Feet Wide)

• 15 x 4 sets

– Static Lunge

• 15 (Each leg) x 4 sets

– Step Ups

• 15 (Each leg) x 4 sets

– Leg Extension

• 10 x 4 sets

 

Session 2 – Shoulders/Chest

– Barbell Overhead Front Press

• 15 x 4 sets

– Side Lateral Raise

• 15 (Each side) x 4 sets

– Upright Row

• 15 x 4 Sets

– Front Raise

• 15 (Each arm) x 4 sets

– Behind the head barbell press

• 10 x 4 sets

– Cable Fly/Bench Fly

• 15 x 4 sets

 

Session 3 – Hamstrings and Legs

– Lying/Sitting Hamstring Curl

• 15 x 4 sets

– Deadlifts

• 12 x 4 sets

– Walking Lunges

• 16 x 4 sets

– Donkey Kickbacks

• 15 x 4 sets

– Hip Abductors

• 10 x 4 sets

Session 4 – Back and Arms

– Latt Pulldown

• 15 x 4 sets

– One Arm Back Row

• 15 x 4 sets

– Seated Cable Row

• 12 x 4 sets

– Tricep Rope Extensions

• 12-155 x 4 sets each

– Barbell Curls

• 12-15 x 4 sets each

– Bench Dips

• 10 x 4

 

 

So, what’s the best piece of advice I’d give someone who is setting out to incorporate weight training into their fitness routine?

Do exactly what I did before I even stepped into the weights room. I did a tonne of research. Researched correct exercise form. Watched youtube videos, studied fitness articles and blogs. Reached out for help and instruction from trusted professionals. It’s important to do so to minimise the chances of you severely hurting yourself with incorrect form.

And also, forget about your EGO when you step into the weights room. Don’t be afraid to start with the light weights or no weights at all. Make sure your form is correct, and that you are engaging the proper muscle group before you start to load on the weight. Don’t get discouraged by starting of small, those who can squat their bodyweight one day started with just a bodyweight squat, I can promise you that.

Happy Lifting,

Sophs xx

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