Planning your TrainingStrength Training

How to structure your gym session

By March 8, 2017 May 23rd, 2019 No Comments

So how can you make the most of your time in the gym? First step is to head in with a plan. Coming into the gym with a plan will help you make the most of your time and help you achieve your goals. Moreover, coming in with a plan will help make sure you’re not training in a way that will lead to strength imbalances and, ultimately injury.

The aim of this blog is not to go into the complexities of periodisation and planning your training over a long period (e.g. a year) but instead start simply by giving you a skeleton of how to structure a 45 minute gym session. Equally, we’re not going to go into the specifics of which exercises might best suit your particular strengths or weaknesses (for this book in for a functional movement screening with one of our trainers and/or see a physio).

Anyway, here’s a simple way to structure a 45 minute gym session:

0-5 minutes

Jump on a cardio machine of choice and do 3-4 minutes of light intensity exercise to warm-up, you should be able to easily maintain a conversation.

5-10 minutes

Perform some dynamic stretches and movements. Essentially, body weight exercises that replicate the movements you’re about to do in your session. Gradually increase the range of motion of your movements.

10-40 minutes

Get you key strength exercises done. Pick 6 exercises and perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each station with the following themes:

  1. A lower body exercise (e.g. squat or leg press) that requires you to use both legs.
  2. An upper body push exercise (e.g. Chest press)
  3. A lower body single leg exercise (e.g. single leg squat)
  4. An upper body pull exercise (e.g. isolateral row)
  5. A core stability exercise that activates your abdominals (e.g. fitball plank)
  6. A core stability exercise that activates your posterior chain/back (e.g. TRX Ys)

40-45 Static Stretching

Take time to perform static stretches for the major muscle groups (calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, triceps, biceps, latissimus dorsi, pectorals). Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

By Dr Laurence Houghton (PhD Sports Science)