Today I thought I’d give you a brief overview of my gym routine. And in case you’re wondering… Yes, I will be working out today, the day after Thanksgiving, feeling a little guilty about stuffing myself yesterday. (Just like you, I’ll bet) Since I’m out of town I’ll be in a strange gym too. Which is always interesting!
I’ll give you a rundown of the weight training machines I use and elaborate on the proper way to use each of them over the next two articles. This is important since these machines are designed to isolate the muscle groups and prevent injury and strain.
Before you start make sure you’re actually wearing workout clothes. No blue jean cutoffs or street clothes. Ya know, loose fitting cotton shorts and tops or the cotton blended long pants that are popular. And good solid sneakers with socks so you’re comfortable and ready to sweat. You might want to buy some Neoprene weight lifting gloves too. You’ll find that your grip will improve greatly with the non slip padded palms in these finger-less gloves.
I begin with some simple stretching of my arms, legs and mid section and get on my first machine:
1.) Back Machine… Mainly for stretching and warming up my lower back/spine.
Note: I see many people starting off first thing on the Bicep and Tricep machines.
This never made sense to me! I’ve even seen certified training instructors do this with their trainees. You NEED your arms to do every other upper body exercise in your routine. Therefore,
SAVE your arm strength and do Biceps and Triceps LAST! Why jeopardize good technique on those upper body machines by wearing out your arms too early?
2.) Abdominal Machine… to work the mid section, stomach muscles - front and obliques.
3.) Stationary Bicycle… overall warmup and aerobic exercise. Gets the heart rate up for 30 minutes. Then I switch to the…
4.) Elliptical CrossTrainer… with the “floating” foot pedals.(easier on the knees) For additional aerobic exercise for 15 minutes.
5.) Chest Fly Machine… For the Pectorals (and for a women’s breast support)
6.) Chest Press… For the area around the Pecks, including muscles connecting chest to shoulders and shoulder area
7.) Multigym Chest Pull… For upper back and backside of shoulders (Deltoids)
8. ) Rowing Machine with stationary seat… For upper back and lower neck area
9.) Multigym Shoulder Pulldown… For upper back and shoulders but different muscles here
10.) Overhead Shoulder Press Machine… Deltoids, Trapezius (Traps) between neck and deltoids
11.) Shoulder Extension Machine… For extreme ends of deltoids
12.) Tricep Extension Machine … For Isolating Triceps
13.) Bicep Extension Machine… For isolating Biceps
Note: I also use a few dumbbells to work my triceps and biceps in various ways in conjunction with the weight machines. You’ll notice I do not use any leg machines in my routine such as the thigh, quad and calf machines. Nor lower abdomen machines. This is due to an old hernia repair and the care of keeping any strain off my lower abdomen area.
After my last machine, I head into the shower to knock the sweat off and help me cool down.
I feel great and very relaxed afterwards! Then I drink a protein shake on my quick drive home and eat a light dinner when I get there.
As I said before, this routine works for me and will probably work as a basis for your own routine. Make your own adjustments. From start to finish, including my shower, I’m out the gym door in about 2 hours at around 7:30 pm.
See ya’ next time for the next Friday Fitness Tip.