Are you one of those gym goers who is intimidated by multiple aisles of strength-training machines and sections full of complicated-looking equipment? At LIVE, we don’t feel you have to be. We can honestly say that you can ignore most of it in the beginning and maybe even for good. We instruct our clients that the best way to strength train is by using functional movements that are fundamentally similar to the ways the body moves on its own: squatting and lunging, pressing, twisting. LIVE’s set up for necessary equipment is mostly low-tech: items like dumbbells, barbells, a cable-pulley station and your own body weight. It is how to use these things with proper form and intensity that is the key.
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It is a good idea in a gym to learn the the cardio machines. These include the treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, stair climbers and elliptical trainers, which all provide a good workout, and are closely matched with motions that the human body performs anyway. When we are asked which kind of cardio we think is the best, we always respond, “whichever one you enjoy the most and will do regularly is the best one!”
With respect to stretching, most stretches require little or no equipment, But there are different methods that can be used, each of which can be helpful if done correctly. The first, static stretching, is where a stretch is held for 10 to 30 seconds. These stretches are best done after the workout or at minimum a warmup because the muscles are most responsive to this technique when they have increased in temperature. Dynamic stretches take movements through a full range of motion in a repetitive pattern. An example of this would be arm swings in a circle, going forward six times and backward six times, which is an excellent dynamic stretch for the shoulders. This is the perfect type of stretching before your workout, performed after a brief warm up, because it actively increases range of motion.
With these simple thoughts is mind, it can be seen that it isn’t necessary to use all the high end equipment in the facility to get a great workout. We recommend that the simple places are the best to start and that combining that with basic instruction from a trainer at the gym or from here at LiveLeanToday.com can get you started in the right direction quickly.
With this mindset, the basic motions of the body can then be exercised using the basic equiment available in the gym. Here are some different common motions of the body and examples of exercises for that body part:
Dead lift (dead lift with dumbbells)
Squat (body-weight box squat using bench)
Lunge (forward lunge with dumbbells)
Pull (seated cable row)
Twist (cable wood chop)
One or two exercises of each type is the best place to start, and one or
two sets of 10 to 15 reps is good enough for each.