How to Gym-it Like a Pro

With the fitness industry rising in popularity over the last few years, more and more people are heading their way down to the gym. It is no longer just a place for the veiny, ripped guys and girls built like steel. The average Joe Blogs can now be found in gyms near and far.

The problem is, for most Joe Blogs-a-likes, they may make it seem like they know what they are doing, to anyone else they look perfectly comfortable, but in reality, they are just winging it. If this is you, then here is the ultimate guide to working out for the average, casual, work-out participant.

Full Body vs. Body Part Focused Routine?

So, on one side you have the lean, mean CrossFit machine who can throw up 60k in the air, drop it back down, twist it round and round, and so on. We call these full body workouts. On the other side, you have your Arnold Schwarzenegger, shoulders like boulders, who can be found in front of the mirrors at the free-weights section- his routine looks although he is just working on one body specific part at a time.

Which should you do? Like anything, there are pros for both. It completely depends on your overall goal, as well as how much time you have to devote to training.

Full Body Workout Pro’s

This type of exercise routine is made up of compound exercises; these work multiple muscle groups simultaneously by requiring movement at two or more joints. These types of exercises make your heart rate jump up and you’ll burn more calories than part focused routines, making them ideal if you are trying to lose fat.

This type of workout is perfect for someone who is time limited in the gym. It means you can just spend 30 minutes in the gym and still have an efficient workout. It also makes it irrelevant if you miss a workout, opposed to body part focused exercises which split up muscle groups per day (miss one of these and you could potentially not be training a specific muscle group for 2 weeks in total!)

What Are Full Body Workout Moves?

Full body workouts can be made up of compound exercises, these exercises involve more than one muscle group. An example of a compound move is a deadlift because it uses hips and knees to perform the lift, working several different muscle groups including quads, hamstrings, lats, traps and core muscles.

Some more examples include squats, dumbbell lunges, barbell bench press, wide grip pull ups/pull downs and lunges. Many functional training rigs found in gyms can be used to perform these routines.

Body Part Focused Pro’s

Training muscles isolated is when you focus on one specific muscle using only one joint in the body to perform the lift. An example would be a bicep curl, the only joint in use is the elbow and it is specifically targeting the bicep. This type of training is usually split over days so one day dedicated to each of the following; biceps, triceps, chest, back, legs and shoulders.

Training body part specific is a great way to focus on targeted body parts. If your goal is to get broader shoulders, you can focus on this area of the body and build up mass here to achieve the results you envision. These kinds of workouts are also generally less exhausting and help you maintain a training regime for the long haul. It also allows you to lift greater loads and performance is heightened, which in turn will have a positive effect on building up strength and size.

What Are Body Part Focused Moves?

The majority of isolated lifts are performed on the weight machines you find in the gym. These are great for body part focused moves and they hold the rest of the body in place so that you can just solely target the specific muscle group. You can perform them with free weights, but you have to be careful not to bring other muscles into play. Your body will naturally do this to assist, so if you choose to perform isolated moves with free weights, really focus on only using the selected muscle.


So the verdict, if you’re looking for overall fat burning, overall mass building and generally just getting stronger, full body routines made up of compound exercises are best for you. If you don’t have much fat to lose, but you are looking to sculpt certain areas of your body, isolation is the route to go down. If you’re looking to do both, incorporate both into your regime.