Maybe you already frequent the gym, but stay in the cardio zone. Maybe you don’t currently go to the gym, but want to start the habit soon. Maybe you’ve already dabbled in strength training, but are unsure if you are doing it correctly. Whatever the reason is, you downloaded this Starter Kit to educate yourself on a subject in which you are not expert.
Before we begin, kudos to you! Many are not brave enough to ask for help, and therefore might fall off an elliptical because running on it backwards with pink 5lb weights seems like a good idea.
Yes, I was that girl. . .
(Scroll to the bottom for a picture!)
In this kit, you will learn the following:
- 4 Mistakes to Avoid at the Gym
- 4 Movements to Include in Every Workout
- 4 Gym Etiquette Dos and Don’ts
After reading this guide, you will have the confidence to step away from those ellipticals and treadmills and into the world of kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells.
4 Mistakes to Avoid at the Gym
1. Sticking to only cardio equipment.
If you are new to the gym, the unfamiliar environment and equipment might be intimidating. Therefore, you might follow the steps of many before you and go to activities that are familiar: walking, running or biking.
This is an unfortunate situation, because while those are wonderful for your cardiovascular system, they will not create strong, lean, and functional human beings.
Don’t get me wrong, you will burn calories, and you could potentially lose weight. But if you want to look “toned” or get stronger, you need to train for strength.
2. Assuming the core needs to be trained separately.
My new clients often ask me about doing exclusive “core work.” I tell them to just wait until we do a few exercises together. Before long, they realize that their core is working during everything that we do.
When you do a squat, your core is engaged. When you practice push-ups, your core is engaged. When you perform a chin up, your core is engaged. When you deadlift, you better believe that your core is engaged.
This is a far more effective way to achieve that ever-elusive 6 pack than doing 10,000 crunches.
3. Only using machines.
The first place most people go when venturing out of the cardio zone is to the collection of weight machines. I believe this is because they appear easy-to-use with pictures and descriptions. And the common misbelief is that they are less likely to cause injury.
However, human bodies come in many shapes and sizes and with various imbalances. But most machines will require you to move in a way that may or may not be natural to your body and then load that movement with weight.
Let me put this another way: If someone cannot perform a bodyweight squat without pain, should they load a leg press with 300lbs? Or if someone cannot perform a push up from the ground correctly, should they load a chest press machine with more than they weigh?
4. Loading an unfamiliar movement without guidance.
It may go without saying, but strength training is dangerous when done incorrectly. And the most common injuries come from improper form.
We invest in school to learn how to read, write, and compute correctly. Without these skills, we would not be able to optimally function in this world. (Can you imagine trying to get a job or pay taxes?)
I believe that we also need to invest in learning how to move our bodies correctly. We can do this through research, education, or (my personal favorite) working with a strength coach. Without this skill, we cannot expect to optimally function as a living, breathing, moving human being.
4 Movements to Include in Every Workout
The human body is designed to most optimally move in four patterns: Upper Body Push, Lower Body Push, Upper Body Pull, and Lower Body Pull. If our desire is strength, functionality, and vitality, we need to consistently train all four. Otherwise we will end up like uneven hunchbacks, or top-heavy meatheads.
By having most (if not all) of our workouts include these four movements, we will ensure that our bodies look, feel, and operate the best.
Below are the four movements to include in every workout, and exercise examples of each.
Upper Body Pull
- Vertical Pull Variations
- Pull Up, Chin Up, Assisted Pull Up, Chin Up
- Horizontal Pull Variations
- 1 Arm/2 Arm Bent Over Row, 3-Point Row, Batwings, Suspension Row
Lower Body Pull (Hinge Pattern)
- Deadlift Variations
- Romanian Deadlift
- Good Morning
- Single Leg Deadlift
- Hip Bridge
- Kettlebell Swing
Upper Body Push
- Horizontal Press Variations
- Push Up, One Arm/Two Arm Dumbbell or Kettlebell Bench Press, Barbell Bench Press, Floor Press
- Vertical Press Variations
- 1 Arm/2 Arm Overhead Press, Military Press, Kneeling or 1/2 Kneeling Press
Lower Body Push (Squat Pattern)
- Squat Variations
- Step Ups
4 Gym Etiquette Dos and Don’ts
We’ve already established that going to the gym can be an uncomfortable experience. It’s an unfamiliar culture, and everyone seems to know what they are doing (which is a lie). Avoid looking like the newbie with these 4 Dos and Don’ts.
1. Don’t – Set up floor work next to strength equipment.
If you want to stretch, or perform any movement laying or kneeling on the floor, try to stay away from the strength equipment. You don’t want a dumbbell to land on your hand or head!
2. Do – Speak up and ask questions.
Many like to get “in the zone” by plugging in headphones and avoiding eye-contact or communication with anyone else. But we must remember that the gym is a shared space and everyone is there to improve. If someone is using equipment that you need, kindly ask how many sets they have left. If you are in a time crunch, kindly ask if you can jump in during their rest periods. And if they say no, take a picture of them and put it on Instagram with the hashtag #gymloser.
3. Don’t – Exercise right in front of the free weights.
Most gyms will have a rack of dumbbells or a line of kettlebells. Try not to set up your exercise directly in front of these or no one else can access them.
4. Don’t – Take up space or equipment when you are NOT working out.
Probably the most annoying thing at a crowded gym is the guy or girl who is scrolling through their phone while taking up prime space or equipment.
Go to the gym. Workout. Leave the gym.
Save the social media or texting for later.
This Kit is a great start, but are you looking for more direction on how to program specifically for your body and goals, and desire the accountability and support of a coach I’ve got something for you. . .
STAND STRONG Online Training is for those who want to get stronger, faster, and leaner in a sustainable, realistic, and safe manner. I will teach you the skills and techniques so that you can stand strong as you do your first chin up and continue to #StandStrongForLife.
Because it’s about aesthetics, but it’s also about playing with your grandkids. It’s about going skiing with your friends. It’s about running that 5k. It’s about feeling and looking like you are in the best shape of your life, for the rest of your life.
What does STAND STRONG Online Training include?
- An individualized training program geared towards your goals with 2-3 strength workouts and 2-3 optional conditioning workouts a week all accessed through an App on your phone
- Weekly accountability and check-ins
- 24 hour text and email support
- Monthly 15 minute phone calls and goal settings
If you have read this far, I know that you are at least intrigued by this opportunity. So I want to offer you 50% off your first month. That’s only $75 for a $150 value. No contracts, no commitments.
If you are ready to take your first step towards lifetime strength, click HERE.
And if you are not ready, but have questions, concerns, or thoughts, fill out the contact form below!
Looking forward to meeting you and helping you #StandStrongForLife.
Bonus: Embarrassing Picture of Me
Before I knew any better. . .