The gym is a brilliant place to witness new fitness trends. All the time we are seeing the latest group workout or functional training from the bosu to TRX, UGI balls and balance boards. The key factor in introducing all this to our health club is to keep gym users motivated and to challenge the body in different ways. I am sure we can all agree that if we stuck to just using the treadmill, bike or cross trainer it will soon become very dull. But using the wrong piece of equipment could mean wasting your time.

The important thing to remember with all these training options available to us is not to flip from one machine to the other and also to remember why you are using the equipment and what you hope to achieve. Whether you have had a programme from your gym instructor or you devise your own workouts be sure to choose the right exercises using the right machines. This way you will see the benefits and improvements of your chosen exercise. If you never see yourself getting better at one exercise because you are constantly changing what you are doing could be a de motivator making you think that what you are doing is not working! How wrong you are! It could be you just have not stuck to one thing long enough to see the results.

There is nothing wrong with adding variety to your programme but set your goal initially. For example, if you are looking to workout using high repetitions you need to select an exercise that you can perform for longer. A front squat is far harder to maintain good form after the eighth rep but doing a back squat would be a better choice if  squatting for longer. This type of high rep training is great for fat loss and building muscle.


Power training means that you need to exert a lot of force quickly. Exercises such as the snatch, clean and Jerk and all the other variations are designed for power .power training is often seen for sports training where you want to improve explosiveness. To power train, you must make sure when you are factoring these types of exercise that you have the strength and stability first. Other exercises such as front squat and dead lift can be just as effective as the traditional weight lifting moves and still increase your strength without the risk of injury. It is far better to improve your maximum strength first by phasing in your training before working on power.

And Plyometric training has become a popular way of exercising in the gym rather than seen just in the sports field or athletics track. Plyometric exercises are of an explosive nature and often feature in today’s fat loss programme. However this type of training is all about conserving the muscles energy by using the stored energy using the elastic nature of the muscle and tendon. So really this type of training is unsuitable for burning fat. With more practise you will become better at using these exercises- your muscles will use less energy in doing so. Be fit for what you want to be fit for. Plyometric is great in helping you sprint faster or jump further but for fat loss you are far better to add load to your exercises making your workouts safer and more effective.

The key to choosing the right exercise or piece of equipment is to put the work in first. Start with stabilisation exercises move on to strength and finally if you want to add the fancy exercises finish with power.

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