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Are you in a gym but don't really know what to do? We've designed a programme just for you

We’ve teamed up with a personal trainer to help you on your way this January.

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again when we all have good intentions but achieving results is easier said than done.

Unfortunately parting with a membership fee and dragging yourself to the gym a couple of days a week is only laying the foundations for you to achieve your end goal, whatever that may be.

Not all of us have access to a personal trainer to kickstart our training so we’ve teamed up with a leading personal trainer to design a six-week programme for you to follow.

This is a full body workout and will help you settle into the gym, become familiar with the machines and exercises and help you on your way to discernible results.

For the first week, we will keep it simple. These are four exercises which will work four of the biggest muscle groups: legs, back, shoulders and chest.

The equipment and machines we will be using will be available in any gym. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email fitness@the42.ie.

1. Squats

shutterstock_306013061 Source: Shutterstock/studioloco

Stand up straight, chest out. Inhale deeply, contract your abs. Bend forward pushing the hips back, when the thighs are horizontal to the floor straighten the legs and return to your initial position.

Avoid rounding the back. Repeat this for between 15-20 reps for four to five sets.

If you find you can’t squat use a stability ball and place it against a wall. Place your lower back against the ball lean into it and follow the instructions above.

Progression: Add a barbell or dumbbells. Push the thighs past horizontal

2. Barbell press

shutterstock_238825879 Source: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Start with the barbell level with and gently touching your collarbone. Elbows tucked in by the sides. Squeeze the glutes and contract the abs. Take a deep breath.

The aim is to keep the bar in as straight a line as possible as you push it overhead. Arch the head as you don’t want to hit your chin.

As your arms are fully extended we want the body directly underneath. Releasing your breath, slowly lower the bar back down and prepare for the next lift. Repeat for 10-12 reps for four to five sets.

3. Press ups

shutterstock_296586320 Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Press ups are one of the best exercises you can add to your programme. Mastering a press up will help you with many other exercises in the future.

Support yourself facedown on the ground, with your arms extended, hands shoulder width and feet slightly apart.

Inhale, squeeze your abs and bend your elbows bringing your rib cage close to the ground without arching your lower back excessively.

Push yourself back up to complete arm extension. The aim to keep your body in a straight line on the way up and down. Repeat for as many reps as possible for four to five sets.

If you find press ups too hard, put your knees on the ground and raise the heels.

Progression: Add a weight to your back or raise the feet to hit the pecs at a different angle.

4. Seated row

shutterstock_235516651 Source: Shutterstock/holbox

Sit facing the the machine, feet rested on the foot pads and your torso bent forward. Take a deep breath and pull the handle as close to your abs as possible by straightening your back and pulling your elbows back as far as you can.

Keep your back straight from here on, chest out and repeat. Do not round the back when performing this movement. Repeat for 10-12 reps for four to five sets.

Matt Keatley is a Personal Trainer & Nutritionist. For more information on training programmes and diet check out his Facebook and Instagram. Check back next Wednesday for the second week of the programme. 

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