A Guide to Gym Training Routines

When starting your fitness journey, establishing a consistent plan with a routine is key to staying motivated and seeing results. Those who start attending the gym often stop within the first couple of months, usually because they’re unsure of what workout routine is best to do at the gym and end-up following the routine of someone else who is much more experienced with different goals. 

It can be discouraging when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like, which is why it's important to be prepared with a solid gym routine, comfortable gym clothing, and the right mentality. Deciding what to wear to the gym and what workouts you’re going to do often makes people not want to go at all, which is why we are here to give you an easy-to-follow and helpful guide on the gym training routines to give you a confident head-start when hitting the gym.

Join us as we share our top tips for working out at the gym and creating a routine that works for you so that you can stay motivated to get fit.

Why is a gym routine important? 

There are several reasons why establishing a gym training routine is important. Not only does a plan help you align your activities with your goals, but it also gives you some accountability to work towards. The benefit of a plan is not purely motivational, it can also be the best way to see your desired physical results and progress.

Although sticking to a workout routine is important, some days there will be disruptions and reasons why you might not be able to get to the gym. Therefore, once you’ve created your solid routine and are in the habit of regularly working out, you can use your plan to practise some home workout routines so you never skip a session - ending the home workouts vs gym debate! 

Here are our two main benefits of creating a gym workout routine:

  1. Prevents overworking yourself or not training enough

Having the confidence to walk into a gym and workout is a great achievement, but many make the mistake of wandering between the machines trying to figure out what they’re for or which one to use next. This quite often results in defaulting to cardio machines. If your goal is only to improve your cardio then this won’t be a problem, but if you’re hoping to build muscle, using only a cardio machine isn’t going to get you the results you want to see. You need to incorporate both cardio and weights into your routine to ensure you’re getting a full body workout and not undertraining or overtraining in any areas. 

  1. Provides structure and prevents burnout

Whilst consistency is key, using the same machines for the same length of time every session will quickly get boring, resulting in a lack of motivation. A routine can help you plan which areas of the body to target each session to ensure that you’re getting a balanced and varied workout. 

This is also a great way to see specific results more quickly, as you can plan your sessions by target area rather than trying to cram a full body workout, warm up, cardio, and cool down into just one session. 

How long is a good workout at the gym? 

There isn’t necessarily a definitive answer to this question as it is quite subjective depending on your goals, ability, and schedule. Most people aim for at least one hour, as this will allow you to warm up and cool down with a good 30 minutes of more intense exercise in the middle. 

At any level, one hour is a good amount of time to aim for. If you want a more intense workout, you can add on an extra 30 minutes or even another hour. If you’re short on time, half an hour at the gym is better than none at all to get in some quick cardio or weights. You could also use this time to target either lower body or upper body, just make sure to alternate during sessions. 

Depending on your personal schedule and ability, 30-90 minutes is an ideal target.

What gym exercises should I do? 

We can’t give you an exact workout plan, but we can guide you through some exercises that you should definitely be doing at the gym to create a routine. The following exercises are suitable for beginner gym workouts, but can also be used in more advanced levels - just increase reps or duration, add weights, or explore variations to enhance your session.

Warming up

One common mistake those at the beginning of their fitness journey make is not warming up. If you’re feeling extra-motivated or you’re short on time, you may be ready to dive straight into a workout, or you may think you don’t need to warm up but this is not the case. In order to get the most out of your gym session you need to incorporate an effective warm up into your routine. This will help to lower the risk of injury, increase flexibility, blood flow and oxygen, and provide a better range of motion for optimal results. You should aim to warm up for at least 10-15 minutes and using the warm up moves below, you can choose to complete each exercise in reps or within a time frame. 

  1. Planks (30-60 seconds)
  2. Squats (2 sets of 15 reps) 
  3. Lunges (5-10 reps each side, or 30 seconds each side)
  4. Arm & Neck Circles (30 seconds each)
  5. Jogging (On the spot, high knees, bum kicks - 30 seconds each)
  6. Star Jumps (50 reps or 1 min)

Cooling Down

Cooling down for 10-15 minutes at the end of a session will help to prevent injuries and muscle soreness after exercising. It may also help you to stop feeling lightheaded or dizzy by keeping your blood circulation steady, and lowering your heart rate. 

The best way to cool down after a workout is to practise stretching. If you don’t feel comfortable with dynamic stretching or attempting any yoga poses at the gym, you can finish the cool down at home. But here are a few cool down exercises you can easily do at the gym. For more advanced gym workouts, dynamic stretching at the gym immediately after your session is recommended.

  1. Slow walking on the treadmill (3-5 mins) 
  2. Arm & Shoulder Stretches (One arm stretched across your torso and place the other just in front of the elbow)
  3. Leg Stretches (standing on one leg and hugging the other knee at your stomach or holding your heel against your bottom)
  4. Slow arm and neck circles 

Top Tip: Most gyms offer a variety of workout classes in their membership, these classes will also include a warm up and cool down. Why not make the most of it and attend a class, even if it’s just to understand how to warm up and cool down properly.

Your Main Workout Routine 

How you want to workout in between warm ups and cool downs is completely up to you, your goals and capabilities. Most gyms offer a free induction session or PT session to help you get started - don’t be afraid to take this offer up! 

Here are some of the most commonly recommended things for you to try at the gym which you can adapt based on your fitness level and goals. 

  1. Push ups
  2. Pull ups
  3. Treadmill (Brisk walk or run, on an incline)
  4. Bench press 
  5. Leg press
  6. Chest Press

Of course the routine that works for you will vary. For example, for cardio you may prefer the stairmaster or bikes over the treadmill. No matter what you prefer, it’s important that you make sure you know how to use the equipment properly, and give each one a try. If you’re unsure on how to properly use the equipment, don’t be afraid to ask a staff member or fellow gym-goer for help so you can get the most out of your workout. Incorporate your favourite exercises into your routine, using those 6 basic exercises above to avoid a gym session of alternating between the treadmill and walking around trying to figure out what to do. 

Get ready for the gym with Avec Sport

Make sure that you’re prepared for gym sessions with the right clothing, water bottles, and accessories from Avec Sport. Having the correct equipment will help you stay motivated and make gym sessions much more enjoyable! Browse our full range of sports wear and equipment online, or if you need more inspiration on what to wear to the gym, check out our blog.