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Fitness Insider: Getting To The Gym

Fitness Insider: Getting To The Gym

Back in 2016, when you were a safe distance from actually having to act on your resolutions, it seemed totally viable that you would suddenly morph into a super committed gym frequenter that pumped iron five times a week. We’re not sure about you, but as we edge into the new year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the enthusiasm to go to the gym when the days are dark, nights are long, and there’s a tube strike on. That’s where a really great gym comes in, with really great trainers manning it. Cue Twist Studios. Founded by Adam Double back in 2009, it’s been voted one of the best Personal Training studios in London by the Evening Standard, and Adam and his team know a thing or two about having the resolve to stick to your goals. January is a month made for fresh starts, so whether you’ve been a couch potato for the past 20 years, or consider yourself a dab hand in the athletics department, a little insider knowledge from the professionals never goes amiss. Here, Adam talks us through getting yourself to the gym and staying there. No excuses.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR GYM



It completely depends on the individual’s goals, experience and level of fitness. For a beginner, I would suggest three main points:

Join a mixed gender gym.
Reason: This will make you feel more comfortable and hopefully prevent you from making any negative comparisons to the person next to you lifting heavier weights, who’s been going to the gym their entire life. Mixed gender gyms are also more friendly in my experience.

Join somewhere that seems quite busy. Not so packed that you can't get on the machines – unless it’s January. Most gyms will have an influx of new members and this generally thistles out in a few weeks so persevere.
Reason: If the gym is too quiet it will lack character. Over a period of time most individuals will find this demotivating and it can end up having an adverse effect on your training.

Join somewhere with a lot of machines.
Reason: If you've managed to pluck up the courage to join a gym, the last thing you want to then worry about is whether or not you are doing the exercises completely wrong. Machines will help ensure you do them correctly and won’t injure yourself.

For a more seasoned gym-goer and more advanced fitness level I would suggest a gym with more free weights, functional equipment, and a large matted area for kettle bells, battling ropes, tyres, plyometric box, sandbags and pull up bars.
Reason: You will achieve a lot more from your workout, training and movement patterns when you have to engage your core to stabilise yourself throughout the movement. Also, it will allow you to keep the workouts fun, interesting, and challenging.

It is vital that the gym has character. Here at Twist we pride ourselves on our “Twist Community", where everyone feels welcome and always says hello to one another. This will help motivate you and make you comfortable enough to ask for help and advice from other members, whether that be to 'spot' (assist) you with a lift or to explain why they did a particular exercise. Everyone learns from one another.

HOW TO MAINTAIN DISCIPLINE



Keep the workouts interesting and varied. There are ‘core’ exercises you will want to put into your training regularly, depending on your goals. However, it can get boring and there are thousands of exercises out there so change it up. Not only will this help maintain high levels of motivation, but means you will avoid plateauing. Building on this, it is important to set SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for the short, medium and long term, as well as multiple smaller goals that will help you to reach the dominant ones along the way.

For example: If you’re trying to lose weight, set ideal time scales but also set performance goals. Say you have set a goal to run one kilometre, one mile, five kilometres. Once you have achieved the distances, then add times to each distance. Do the same for other exercises – for instance squats. Set a goal to lift 60kg, 30 squats in a minute, one pistol (single legged) squat. This will all add to you achieving your main goal of losing weight, and hopefully reduce the chances of you getting on the scales every day. It’s not good to be hung up on that single focus, and smaller goals will help you achieve your primary one whilst keeping you motivated.

EASY EXERCISES YOU CAN DO DAILY



There of lots of exercises you can do in short bursts on a daily basis to help with your fitness. My favourites in particular are squat variations. Remember that as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the muscle group/s you’re targeting, the more calories you will burn.

Another option is hill walking – hills burn a lot more calories, increase the heart rate, get the lungs working and are great for strengthening and toning the leg muscles, whilst having minimal impact on the joints. Most of my clients do a hill walk to warm up and prepare their body for the session ahead.

Invest in a Thera-Band (resistance band), especially if you work at a desk. You can do a huge number of quick exercises that focus on reducing the tightness in your chest and keep the muscles in your back switched on and strong. It’s a great way to avoid backache and back problems in the future, something that a lot of people have issues with.

WHAT TO WEAR



Keep it simple. Shorts and t-shirt or vest. This allows you to move, breath and gives you an extra boost if you manage to catch a glance in the mirror 'accidentally' as you walk past after just working that muscle group or coming off the cardio machines.

SIMPLE ATHLETICISM