We’ve all seen the videos — people at the gym getting far too intimate with the row machine or turning lat pulldowns into a Cirque du Soleil act, or looking like they got tased.
Don’t be that guy or girl.
In addition to a 99.94% chance of generating incredulous looks or even outright laughter, goofy workout behavior can also lead to serious injury. For lurking among the vast catalog of funny videos on the internet are more than a few documenting some pretty gruesome accidents, like legs and arms bending in ways they are not supposed to, folks passing out or getting knocked out cold — the list goes on.
Working out is serious business. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym with a scowl on your face, humming Evanescence songs; it just means you should learn how to use the various machines and pay attention to what you are doing.
Whether you’re trying to add size or simply lose weight, understanding how and what to do to accomplish your goals is crucial. Let’s take a look at three basic exercises
The bench press is a great upper body exercise targeting the chest, triceps and shoulders.
- Lie on the bench with the bar crossing the bridge of your nose.
- Position your hands on the bar with a narrow, medium or wide grip. (A narrow grip concentrates more on the triceps, whereas a wide grip puts more emphasis on the chest.)
- Lift the bar of the race and slowly position your arms to form a 90-degree angle with the bench or floor. This is important, because, if the bar is too far forward or too far back, you could easily lose control of the weight.
- Lower the bar to your chest and then push it back up to the starting position.
- Strive for 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
Squats are not just for legs; they are a great all-around exercise that promotes body-wide muscle growth and fat loss in a variety of ways, including by boosting the production of human growth hormone (HGH).
Make sure the weight is racked at a height that makes you stoop — but just slightly — to get under it. Then, place the bar in a “comfortable” position across the back of your neck, with your hands holding on to it for stability.
- Lift up, get control of the weight and then step away from the rack.
- Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Point your toes faintly outward.
- Breath in deeply and keep your core tight.
- Move your butt back and squat down slowly until your thighs are parallel (or lower) to the ground, keeping the bulk of the weight on your heels.
- Lift back up to the starting position, continuing to keep your core tight.
- Try to do 5-8 sets of 15-20 reps.
We bring up this exercise primarily because it may be the most abused exercise on the planet. The lat pulldown bar is not a trapeze; it was designed to build up — surprise, surprise — the latissimus dorsi muscles (or “lats” for short) and can also be used for chest and triceps exercises. We’ll discuss the former:
- Adjust the lap bar (that’s the thing with the big foam rollers on each side) so that your legs and butt are snug against the seat. (When you’re ready to start, you’ll need to get off the seat to grab the lat pulldown bar but make the seat adjustments while your hands are still free.)
- Position your hands so that each end of the lat pulldown bar is covered or just barely protruding.
- Slowly lower yourself back onto the seat, with your legs tucked firmly under the lap bar.
- Pull the bar evenly to your chest.
- Attempt to do 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
Obviously, there are many more exercises in the gym than just these three, but hopefully this gives you an idea how to approach them too. If you don’t know how to do something — ask! Most seasoned gym goers appreciate someone trying to learn, rather than those looking to be gym-fail video stars.
Also, don’t forget to fuel your exercise sessions with a good pre-workout, like Noo Fuzion™, powered by 10,050 mg of active ingredients, including NOO FUEL™, which provides users the ultimate mind and body experience!