When I first started working out I used to just do it at home, I was too scared to go to the gym because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I used to follow Fitness Blender – a couple who put out effective workouts no matter what your level of fitness was. I started following their workouts and put a calendar of workouts together so I always had something to do. And without their videos, I wouldn’t have known where to start. They are so effective, fun and worthwhile and there are hundreds of videos, so you’re bound to find at least one that works for you.
But then, after a while I couldn’t find much that challenged me. With the equipment I had at home – a kettle bell and a few light dumbbells – I was quite limited to what videos I could do of theirs. And the weights started becoming ineffective because I kind of got used to them after a while.
Then I joined a gym near home – Fit For Free, it was one of those basic gyms, but it had all you needed – especially for me as I was just starting out.
I didn’t have any special techniques or workouts planned, I just used to go and see how I felt at the time. I’d mostly end up on cardio machines like the cross trainer, again because I was too scared to go on anything else. I didn’t want people to think I didn’t know what I was doing, end up doing something wrong and I didn’t want to injur myself, most importantly. I noticed small changes but as I was mostly doing cardio, my body want really toning up.
I then started training early when the gym was at it’s quietest and it was practically empty. Then that was my opportunity to try out the machines when no one was there, no one was watching and no one was judging me. I started building up my confidence that way and when I started to get good at a machine or get my technique right, I started using them at peak times when others were around. Slowly of course but the scariest thing about using something your not familiar with or used to is having lots of people around laughing at you or judging what your doing.
Once I got bit more confident I tried using one of the workout plans from Body Building UK, although they can slightly tailor the workouts your search for by your goals and whether you are male or female. I found a lot of them unrealistic for me personally. I can’t go to the gym 5-6 days per week and do 35 minute sessions, I’d rather go 3-4 times a week and do at least a hour! Most of it were exercises and training muscles that I didn’t necessarily care too much about. Most of it was upper body, but I wanted to focus on my core and lower body.
I think I managed to do it for around 2 days their way and I just scrapped it. Now, don’t get me wrong the plans are perfect for finding exercises if you don’t know what to do or where to start. The great thing about doing exercise at the gym – for my size – is that I have access to unlimited weights. I’ll never have an ineffective workout.
Rather than sticking to a plan that works for someone else, I decided to pull apart those plans and create one that works for me and my goals.
One thing I did learn was to focus on a muscle group rather than trying full body workouts every day. The soreness you get means you stuggle to do another day and forces you into a rest day. If you focus on one area per workout, when that areas sore you can work on something else. My advise to anyone starting out is to never be afraid to get stuck in and get started.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my workout programme which focuses on each specific muscle groups. I stick to exercises that I enjoy and love to do, but also those that are effective and actually worth doing.