Other Gym Workout Plans

So what kind of gym workout plans are there? I'll discuss 5 strength training plans below. Some of these could also be done at home with the right equipment.

1) The traditional 8-10 exercises with weights

2) Bodyweight exercises

3) Circuit training workouts

4) Kettlebell workouts

5) Medicine ball workouts

Gym Workout Plan #1: The Traditional 8-10 Exercises with Weights

This is what most people think of when hitting the gym comes to mind. Most gyms have free weights, like barbells and dumbells, as well as weight machines. Usually people do 8-10 exercises in total. Some people blend free weight exercises with exercises at the weight machines. Some people like certain exercises more than others, so not everybody does the exact same thing in there.

The bench press, the deadlift and the squat are three of the most common and most important exercises. Other ones include the biceps curl, triceps curl, calf raise, hamstring curl, shoulder press, lat raises, among others. Some work smaller muscles and some work larger muscles. Some work more than one muscle group at a time.

Most people usually do two sets of each exercise. Also doing about 8 repetitions (called "reps") of each of the two sets is pretty standard. One rep would be, for example in the bench press, lifting the barbell from its resting place on your chest to straight up in the air up above your chest and then back down to your chest.

Some people do 6 reps of each exercise, which builds muscle more quickly. Others do 10-12 reps, which builds muscle but just not as quickly. I'm partial to the 8 reps choice myself. Sometimes I can only get 6 of a certain exercise with a certain weight on a particular day. Other times I'll be able to do 10 reps. But I usually aim for 8. It's a nice middle ground.

Gym Workout Plan #2: Bodyweight Exercises

Another gym workout plan uses bodyweight exercises. Push-ups and sit-ups are bodyweight exercises. No weights are used. Just the weight of your body. Mark Lauren is a great resource for bodyweight exercises. Two of his books are "You Are Your Own Gym" and "Body by You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide to Total Women's Fitness".

Mark Lauren trains soldiers in the U.S. military using bodyweight exercises. He remarks in the book that you'll see soldiers spending time in the middle of nowhere with no access to a gym and they'll be in phenomenal shape. How do they do it? Bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight exercises are also great for the road warrior. And when you aren't able to get to the gym. They can be done almost anywhere. The exercises in the Convenient Workout, which I tout in this website, can be done with just your bodyweight. It's just one more way you can actually get your exercise in. One less excuse for procrastinating.

Mark Lauren is also very inspirational in getting you going. Just by reading his book you should find yourself getting pumped up. I do.

Click here to look at "You Are Your Own Gym" by Mark Lauren on Amazon.

Click here to look at "Body by You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide to Total Women's Fitness" by Mark Lauren on Amazon.

Another thing about bodyweight exercises is that they work the smaller, stabilizer muscles. Stabilizer muscles do exactly that. They stabilize the larger, main muscles. Weight machines, and free weights to an extent, primarily work the larger, main muscles.

That's why some muscular people who have only used weight machines can't do as many chin-ups as a smaller gymnast-like person who has worked their stabilizer muscles with a lot of bodyweight exercises.

Gym Workout Plan #3: Circuit Training Workouts

Another gym workout plan is called circuit training. This would be similar to the traditional 8-10 exercises with weights, only that you don't rest as much between exercises. That way it gives you a cardio workout as well as a muscular workout. Crossfit workouts do something similar, where you get a cardio workout at the same time as your strength training exercises.

Also, once you've completed all the exercises, you start doing them over again in the same order. Hence the name "circuit". You go around in a circle.

Gym Workout Plan #4: Kettlebell Workouts

Do you know what a kettlebell is? Not a cattlebell, but a kettlebell? It looks like a cannonball with a handle on the top of it. They come in various sizes and you can do a number of different exercises with them.

People who try them usually say they like the fluid, easy, swinging feel to them. A bit hypnotic or zen-like even. I certainly get that when I use them.

There are different kettlebell workout routines you can do. One of the most popular moves is called the "kettlebell swing".

Gym Workout Plan #5: Medicine Ball Workouts

One last gym workout plan I'll mention here is the medicine ball workout. Someone I know says he doesn't like working out with weights all that much, but he loves medicine ball workouts. There are routines with medicine balls you can find in books or online that work your whole body.

Which brings me to the last thing I'd like to mention about strength training and fitness in general. Maybe you don't like a certain sport or exercise. Maybe, like my friend, you don't like going to the gym and working out with weights. I highly recommend trying certain things to see if you like them. Don't write yourself off just yet. There might be a sport or workout routine out there that was made just for you.

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