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Beginners Workout - Winter Blues in the fitness world

As we creep up to 'Blue Monday' this is the time of the year not only work life feels tough but so does fitness commitments. Don't be the person who starts January with all the best intentions to end up confused, demotivated and stuck in the gym. Today I will show you a quick workout which will give you everything you need for the next 6 months, at a minimum.

The major muscles you should be training on a regular basis

New to the gym?

No need to worry! Machines are a great tool to progress in the gym without the fear of looking unsure what you are doing. Below are the major muscles and exercises I would suggest doing as a beginner:

Legs (Quads) - Leg Press Machine or Leg Extension

Legs (Hamstring) - Lying leg curl or seated leg curl

Chest - Seated chest press machine

Back - Seated row machine

Shoulder - Shoulder press machine

Abs - Plank

All of the above are on a machine, they will guide the movement and 9/10 have diagrams to assist you in the movement. Diagrams of each exercise below:

From left to right (top to bottom) Leg press, leg extension, seated leg curl, lying leg curl, chest press, seated row, shoulder press and plank.

How many and how often?

The beauty of this workout is you can repeat it as often as you want, frequency and consistency is key. I would suggest the following:

  • 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

  • 3 sets of 15 repetitions - each exercise (Perform 15 repetitions of full movement 3 times, with 1 minute rest between each)

  • 7-8RPE (Rate of perceived exertion)

How to progress?

Now you have your workout you will want to get stronger, fitter, leaner and move forward.

There is a fundamental rule to progression - frequency or intensity. You should only increase one at a time, as a rule I would suggest frequency before intensity:

Frequency - the amount of repetitions or sets of each exercise

Intensity - weight or time

An example of progression would be:

Month 1 - 3 sets of 15 repetitions (7-8RPE)

Month 2 - 3 sets of 20 repetitions (8-9RPE) - same weight as month 1

Month 3 - 3 sets of 12 repetitions (7-8RPE) - increase weight of exercise

Month 4 - 3 sets of 15 repetitions (8-9RPE) - same weight as month 3

Month 5 - 3 sets of 12 repetitions (7-8RPE) - increase weight of exercise again

Month 6 - 3 sets of 15 repetitions (8-9RPE) - same weight as month 5

Rate of perceived exertion - a guide to intensity of training

The general feeling is that if an exercise becomes easy to do then increase the repetitions at the same weight. If you exceed 18-20 repetitions, increase the weight and reduce the repetitions and repeat the same process.

Hopefully this helps you over the next 6 months and keep up the hard work, this is your year!

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