gym training

Training Tips

  • Consistency is the most important factor in establishing and maintaining fitness. 2 to 3 non-consecutive workouts per week are recommended. Note: Two training sessions per week produce about 90% of the muscle and strength gains achieved in 3 weekly workouts.
  • When Strength training, movements should be slow and controlled. At the “top” of a move – when joint alignment allows for optimal muscle contraction – hold briefly (about 1 second). Then release the contraction without losing tension on the muscle until the entire set is done.
  • Master you form and technique before increasing weight, resistance or intensity. Proper technique will increase the effectiveness of the exercise and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Increase resistance or weight load by 1 to 3 kg’s when 12 reps can be performed without fatigue.

Basic Guidelines

  • Frequency 2 to 3 days per week
  • Duration Start out slowly. Aim to work up to about 60 minutes and include a few minutes for warm-up, cool-down and stretching
  • Recovery One minute between sets. 48 – 72 hours between sessions on the same muscle groups.
  • Sequence Start working larger muscles first, followed by the smaller ones (e.g. legs, chest/back and then biceps/triceps etc)
  • Sessions can include 8 to 10 seperate exercises and 8 to 12 repetitions to fatigue per exercise. A minimum of 2 resistance sessions per week are recommended and you can workout up to 5 days per week but is recommended to vary between resistance and cardiovascular exercise to minimise risk of injury. Research shows no significant gains in muscular strength or endurance by increasing the frequency of resistance training sessions of the same muscle groups per week.
  • For muscle endurance use a low to moderate resistance with higher repetitions. 1 to 2 sets of 15 – 20 repetitions to fatigue.
  • For strength training increase resistance and do fewer reps with multiple sets. 3 sets of 6 – 8 repetitions with a more than moderate weight load. Note: Muscles get stronger when you demand them to work harder than what they are used to doing. Choose a weight that fatigues the muscle you are working and aim to increase weight (not reps) gradually.
  • Finding the right weight or resistance will take some experimentation. Start with a light weight or low resistance and if at the end of 12 reps you feel that you can still perform more reps, choose a heavier weight or increase the resistance.

Exercises by Body Part


Preferred Alternatives
Flat bench press Bench press machine
Incline DB press Pec Deck
Incline DB flyes Push-ups
Incline bench press Cable cross over


Preferred Alternatives
Lat pull down Close grip lat pull down
Reverse grip lat pull down Square grip lat pull down
One arm DB rowing Low pulley row
One arm cable rowing Bent over DB row
BB bent over rows Straight-arm pull down
Pull-ups Cable bent over row
  T-bar row
  Machine row


Preferred Alternatives
Seated DB overhead press Seated military press
Standing military press Seated behind neck press
Side lateral raises Machine shoulder press
Front raises Machine shoulder flyes
BB/EZ upright rows Smith machine military press
DB upright rows Arnold press
Cable upright rows  
Cable lateral raises  


Preferred Alternatives
Standing DB curls Reverse curls
Seated DB curls EZ bar curls
BB curls Cable curls
Preacher curls Machine curls
Concentration curls Lying floor curls
Incline DB curls  
Hammer curls  


Preferred Alternatives
EZ lying triceps extension Machine dips
DB lying triceps extension Bench dips
Close grip bench press DB kickbacks
Reverse cable kickback Rope overhead extensions
Overhead DB extensions  
Triceps press downs  


Preferred Alternatives
Bench step-ups Ball squats
Squats DB squats
Leg extensions Horizontal leg press
Leg press Hack squats
BB lunges Front squats
DB lunges  
Smith machine lunges  
One leg squats  
Walking lunges  


Preferred Alternatives
Semi stiff leg deadlifts One leg bridges
Lying hamstring curls Ball hip bridges
Standing curls Hamstring Ball Curl


Preferred Alternatives
Standing calve raises 45 Toe press
Standing bar calves Standing Smith calves
Donkey calve raises
Seated calve raises
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