How To Get The Most Out Of The Gym
For us at 7R the most important thing is that our athletes get results. I mean, why else would you sign up to the gym? Everyone has different goals, whether it’s to change your body composition, improve your powerlifting, or even to maintain your health but there is one way to ensure you are on the right track to achieving them: have a plan.
If you’re a member of the CrossFit side of the gym then you’re in luck. The coaches write out blocks of programming designed to improve all aspects of your fitness and through the very nature of CrossFit your sessions are planned out for you. This isn’t to say that you can’t get more out of the gym, but we’ll cover this in another blog.
So this is for our open gym members. First step is to work out what your goal is. Strength gains, increasing muscle size, athletic prowess, the list goes on. None of the goals have to be mutually exclusive, but it helps hugely to know which aspect of fitness is your priority and work from there. This will allow you to structure your workouts in a manner that will prioritise your main goal whilst allowing sufficient emphasis to be placed on accessory or assistant work that will allow any secondary goals to be worked upon too.
I’m a huge believer in two things when it comes to the gym. First is that random training gets random results, and second is what gets measured gets managed. Let me elaborate a touch on both. If you walk in to the gym with no structured training and just make it up as you go, there is no way to ensure steady progress. One week you might randomly be working on achieving great pumps and the next you seem to be accidentally focusing on pure strength work. This leads perfectly into the second thing, that I believe it is key to measure your progress. This can be done in a multitude of ways, from tracking what reps and weights you use, your rest periods, your food intake, the list goes on. I wouldn’t encourage most people to track everything, but I firmly believe that everyone should at the very least be logging their workouts. This is key to ensuring progression, or to realise when progression isn’t happening and that something needs to be changed to get things back on track. By writing out your routine, or following a programme off the internet or from a coach, you can make sure you make the most of the time you spend in the gym.
If you’re not used to following a programme or tracking your workouts, the best place to start is by either using a notebook to write down what you currently do, or to download a workout tracking app such as Rep Count. Just start by logging what exercises you do and what weight you use. This will allow you to quickly notice which exercises are progressing fastest, if there are gaping gaps in your workouts, and to then adjust and slowly start to form a real structure to your sessions.