October is definitely the month of the year along with January when more people join the gym, many of them beginners. When a person joins the gym they have many questions regardless of whether they are guided by someone or trying to go on their own.
In this article we want to be that someone to help guide you through your first days and weeks at the gym. For this we are going to answer the most common questions you may have when asking yourself how many days to train, what routine to choose or how to structure the series and repetitions that you must perform per exercise.
How to choose your gym well
How many days to train a week and what routine to choose
The decision you make regarding the first will give you the answer regarding the second. By this I mean that there is no minimum or maximum number of days that you should train per week, it all depends on how many you want and can go. In an ideal world we would train between three and five days although there is nothing wrong with training two or six.
Think about your actual availability and the number of days that you know you can meet, taking into account the usual unforeseen events that you may have.
That said, the simplest thing is that depending on how many days you are going to train, you choose one type of routine or another:
What exercises to select to build my routine
When selecting some exercises or others, we must pay attention to several criteria that refer to the technical complexity of the exercise with respect to our level or the existing ratio between stimulus and fatigue.
For our part, one of the simplest ways to structure our training and select exercises is based on the basic movement patterns of the human being.
How many sets and repetitions to perform in each exercise
Once we have the chosen routine and the selected exercises, we must assign them a number of series and repetitions with certain criteria.
Scientific evidence tells us three things:
- We must perform approximately between 14 and 20 series per muscle group a week and preferably divided into two sessions
- We must move in a wide range of repetitions (between 6 and 20) if our goal is to gain muscle mass
- The series we do must be done at a high intensity (later we will see what we mean by this)
So, try to evenly divide the sets you do for each muscle group into two sessions. The routines that we have suggested above are already designed so that you do precisely two sessions for each muscle group a week.
Once you have the series assigned to each exercise, decide how many repetitions to do in each one. The best criteria he can give you is that you move through the entire rep range assigning fewer repetitions to basic multi-joint exercises such as bench press, squat, row or deadlift and more repetitions to those exercises that are performed on machines, pulleys or that are simply considered isolation. A push-up pulley crossover or quadriceps extensions would be considered isolation.
Example for pectoral
- Bench press: sets of 6-8 reps
- Flat dumbbell press: sets of 8-12 reps
- Pulley crossovers: sets of 12-20 reps
This is what we mean by moving through the full range of repetitions.
How much to rest between sets
Once we have all of the above we must make sure that each series is performed with a decent level of performance and for that we need appropriate breaks between series.
I’ll get to the point Rest at least a minute and a half between series, although surely the ideal is to rest at least two minutes. This will give you better guarantees to perform well in later series.
How much intensity to print in each series
Finally you may be wondering what weight to use for each exercise. Well, no one can tell you how much weight to use and that is going to require your experimentation and exploring your limits.
The best way to illustrate the effort that we put into each series is to think about the repetitions that we leave in the bedroom at the end of the last repetition of each series.
Imagine that you are scheduled to do 10 repetitions of an exercise. An example of good intensity in that series and therefore that you have chosen a good weight is that At the end of that tenth repetition you feel that at most you could have done two more.
If you finish the 10th rep and feel like you could have done more than four more reps, the intensity has been too low. So, try to finish your sets feeling that at most you could have done four repetitions or so.
In Vitónica | Gym training or CrossFit: which one do I choose based on my goal? What differences do they have?
In Vitónica | What are we talking about when we talk about the metabolic grave: myth or reality?
Images | iStock, Pexels