Personal trainer Bryan Romano Farani
During these hard times of quarantine and uncertainty in the future, I believe we can all agree how much we miss our gyms, right? For at least a decade now, fitness has been exponentially growing worldwide, and it’s no different in our beloved Estonia. And thinking about how many of us miss the gym, and how many will join a gym after this quarantine is over, here is a quick guide for you, whether you will join the gym for the first time or if you’re returning to training from the quarantine (and I’m considering that you kept yourself active somehow during it).
Step 1: consider putting strength training in first place. I know some people are still a bit scared of it, shy, or even afraid to try to push some barbells and dumbbells. Don’t worry, strength training is the safest and most efficient kind of training a person can do, and most people in the gyms don’t really pay attention to what you are doing. The amount of benefits one can get from lifting weights (especially women) is extremely worth it. When it comes to your quality of life, being stronger means living longer and healthier. And that’s where the step 2 comes in.
Step 2: talk to a trainer. That’s always the easiest and fastest way of making things right. We trainers are always eager to help you find the most suitable training program according to your objectives and capabilities.
Now considering that you got the 2 first steps right, let’s move on.
Step 3: free weights are the way to go, especially in the beginning. And I know some might be worried of not doing the movements right, or getting hurt, etc. I will tell you right now, if you stick to the basics of training and do not try something crazy like lifting 100kg on your first week of training, you will hardly get hurt. Plus, using free weights you will do movements naturally adapted to your anatomy and limitations, meanwhile on a machine you are stuck in one pattern of movement that might not be the healthiest for your body. Another benefit from free weights is all the extra work your body gets to stabilize those weights in time and space. You will be a much stronger person overall, way less prone to injury in silly movements that happen on our daily lives.
Step 4: do not exaggerate. Believe me, I’m not the kind of guy who is going to tell you to train easy, but science has been showing lately that you can get many benefits from even 1 session per week only (depending on how trained you are, obviously). A huge mistake I see people making every day in the gyms is training for too long with too low effort. From the moment you put more effort in your training, your sessions will become shorter and more efficient, consequently allowing you to spend more time doing other things you love. For most people, I recommend 3 to 4 sessions per week, 1 hour each. Putting in the correct amount of intensity, that’s more than enough to have a wide range of benefits from your training, and you’ll still have 164 hours left in your week. You can do a lot with them.
Step 5: stick to basic compound movements like squats, deadlifts and their variations. You will see a lot in social media all the time, the most creative exercises a person can come up with. They are there for a reason: they attract likes, clicks and make those IG celebrities earn a lot of money selling products and getting sponsored. The problem is that they are not necessary, mostly they will take a lot of space in the gym disturbing other users, and they will do little to no benefit to your body/health. The best and highest level athletes in the world have pretty simple training routines, so why shouldn’t you? Instead of having to use 2 benches, 3 rubber bands, 1 dumbbell and 1 bosu ball, why not to use just a barbell and do a good deadlift or squat session?It will be faster to setup, more efficient, and you won’t disturb any other gym goers with the amount of equipment needed to do the exercise the fitness celebrity told you to do (and they don’t do it either mostly). For beginners, rep ranges around 12-15 repetitions will be very suitable for 2 reasons: 1 – you won’t be able to go too heavy, and 2 – you will repeat the movement more times in one session, which will allow you to learn the technique faster.
Step 6: leave cardio in second place. Don’t get me wrong, it would be extremely irresponsible from my side to say cardiovascular training is not important, indeed it is. What I’m saying is that when you do weight training, you can also have cardiovascular benefits besides being stronger. Doing exclusively cardio, you won’t have strength benefits. I’m thinking about your health when you are 70 years old. Cardiovascular conditioning won’t do much for you when you have to get up from the toilet alone, but strength will. There are countless researches stating the direct relation between strength and quality of life/longevity. Do your strength training first and your cardiovascular training later, or even on a different day.
Taking care of our bodies is our duty exclusively. We are in general extremely careful when choosing the gas we put in our cars, the clothes we wear, the shoes we buy, but when it comes to training it seems like the “I’ll just stay active” mentality still reigns. If you are going to offer your body something, why not offer it the best you can offer? MyFitness has plenty of training styles like MyStrong Body or the Studio X for example, where you will get a unique, intense and well planned experience. We also have high quality gyms in any of our units where you can get a pretty good weight lifting session, with qualified trainers all over the place who are eager to help you. As you see, there are absolutey no excuses to not offer your body and mind the best you can.
To sum this up, whatever else I say in terms of “what and how” to do would be irresponsible simply because I don’t know who is reading this, what kind of limitations, past injuries, family historical, sports historical you might have and etc. What I can say is: get to the gym, go real hard, enjoy your time and the process of building yourself. The gym is the most democratic place in the world, and the weights will always be there for you not caring if you’re black, white, man, woman, gay or hetero. Put the whole picture together and there is nothing more rewarding than that. You will not regret!