Whether you’re getting back to the gym after spending time away or wondering what it’s like to go for the first time, Google is often where you’ll turn for answers, tips and tricks.
The team at PureGym have taken nigh on 500 different questions related to the gym, checked the data to see which have been searched for the most, and answered those burning questions.
Whether you want to know how to start at the gym or whether a personal trainer is worth the cost, they’ve broken down the answers for us here…
1. Are gyms open?
All gyms in the UK now have their doors open again.
In England, they reopened on April 12, in Scotland on April 26, in Northern Ireland on April 30 and in Wales on May 3.
2. How to start at the gym?
It’s all well and good deciding to start going to the gym, but deciding how and where to begin can be intimidating.
To help answer this question, the team at PureGym put together their top three tips for starting a gym routine:
3. What gym equipment is best for abs?
Evidently a popular part of the body that people want to target, the team at PureGym say there are plenty of different exercises you can do to work your abs.
They say: ‘To name a few there’s the pallof press using a cable machine, sit-ups using a decline ab bench, or hanging knee tucks using a pull-up bar.
‘However, simply using a mat, and a kettlebell or dumbbell can provide some great ab workouts. Try the lying leg raise, dumbbell drags or full body crunch too.’
They add: ‘What may be best for one person could be different for another person, so it’s important to find out what works for you.’
4. Are gyms safe?
With the pandemic still not over, it’s little wonder that people are trying to find out if gyms are safe places to be, with many (hopefully all) having new Covid safety measures in place.
The PureGym team says safety is a massive priority for gyms, adding: ‘There are extensive measures in place so that gyms are Covid secure.
‘At PureGym this includes contactless entry with their app, extensive staff cleaning throughout the day and self-cleaning stations. You’ll also find dedicated, socially distanced workout areas marked out across the entire gym.’
5. Will gyms close again?
Sadly, we’d need a crystal ball to be able to answer this one, as the nature of the pandemic and necessary restrictions has proven to be very unpredictable.
At the time of writing, however, the Government has not announced any plans to shut gyms again in future.
6. Are personal trainers worth it?
If you’ve got the means and opportunity, hiring a personal trainer can be a really good way to get the most out of your workouts, with the PureGym team calling it ‘a great investment’… although they would say that, wouldn’t they.
They add: ‘A personal trainer will be able to teach you the correct technique to perform exercises safely and optimally, create a training programme specially tailored to your needs and goals, guide and support you through your workouts, and keep you accountable in reaching your goals.
‘If you’re looking to build muscle for instance, exercises such as the bench press, deadlift, weighted squats and military press can bring with them injury concerns, so getting your form right is paramount. A personal trainer is definitely worth it to help you avoid any bad habits where form is concerned and above all, avoid injury whilst working towards your goals.’
Basically, if you can afford a personal trainer and fancy booking in a session to learn all the essentials, go for it.
But you don’t need one – especially if booking one in will make you panic about tipping into your overdraft again.
7. How long does it take to get fit?
This is a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question – the answer will be different from person to person.
The team say: ‘Many factors will play a part in how long it will take, such as genetics, time you have to train, level of experience etc.
‘To give a rough estimate, you can expect a period of anywhere between 2-12 weeks to regain the levels of fitness/strength that might have dipped due to low levels of activity during the pandemic.
‘If you’re starting out for the first time, it really does depend on your goals, and what “fit2 means to you.
‘As always, it’s important to progress at a pace that feels right for you and keep in mind that getting back to your previous level of fitness sooner rather than later does not necessarily mean it’s the best way – a health focused, and sustainable approach is key.’
8. How much does a personal trainer cost?
This is another question with answers that will vary, but the PureGym experts say you can expect a 45-minute to one-hour session to cost around £30-65, but that cost will likely be higher in London.
There, the ballpark figure will likely be closer to £40 to 65 per session.
9. What gyms are open?
Since all gyms in the UK are allowed to open, it stands to reason that most of them have opened their doors again if they’re able.
PureGym says all their gyms but four London branches (London Bank, London Holloway Road, London Ilford, London Victoria) have reopened.
The best way to see what gyms are open near you will be to check their websites.
10. How to work out in the gym?
With all the different types of equipment and machines on offer, it can be hard to know where to look first.
Another good question from people likely not sure where to start, PureGym have put together some workouts for beginners to help.
‘For example,’ the team says, ‘try the beginners full body workout, for which you’ll need a set of dumbbells, a medicine ball, cable row machine, and a mat:
- ‘Goblet squat. Complete 8-10 reps. Rest 1 minute. Complete 4 sets.
- Medicine ball slam. Complete 8-10 reps. Rest 1 minute. Complete 4 sets.
- Stiff leg deadlift. Complete 8-10 reps. Rest 1 minute. Complete 4 sets.
- Cable row. Complete 8-10 reps. Rest 1 minute. Complete 4 sets.
- High plank. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest 1 minute. Complete 4 sets.’
Chris Antoni, founder of Tailor Made Fitness, previusly told us it’s best to start with the basics.
He said: ‘If you are new to fitness, I always think the basic exercises such as body weight treadmill, cross trainer, squats, push-ups, dips of a bench, mountain climbers, ab crunches are good exercises to start with to help build up some all-over body strength and fitness.
‘If you did want to have some resistance, use the machines, as they are stable and easier to keep good technique.’
If you want to start dabbling with some classed, Chris recommended you begin with circuits, spin and yoga.
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