This is WHAT HAPPENS after 6 months at the GYM

I’ve been going to the gym an average of four times a week, for a bit over 6 months. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages, for physical strength, fitness, mental health benefits and also so people no longer say to me “Wow, you’re so skinny!”

In this post I’ll describe my routine, how I felt after each rep (repetition of a particular exercise) and at the end I will show pictures of the results and describe how I feel about it! Below is what I was doing at 6 months, not before!

Fitness Factory. I loved it, they even had a steam room and sauna.

What I worked on each day

My week would generally look like this:

Monday – Chest and abs
Tuesday – Biceps and back
Wednesday – Chest and abs
Thursday – Biceps and Triceps
Friday, Saturday and Sunday – days off for eating lots of chocolate.

I know I didn’t do legs, and I will certainly work that in when I start up again (as I’m currently travelling I don’t go to the gym anymore, I need to figure out a “work out on the road” plan).

I would do at least two machines for each muscle group per day. So a minimum of four machines each day.

Warm up

A warm up is important to increase your heart rate. I did cardio for my warm up which was running on a treadmill. I also wanted to do cardio to try and lose my stomach bulge, however I do regularly eat chocolate, so that probably doesn’t help my cause!

Before each work out I’d walk for 0.5km and run for 0.5 km.
Incline – 6 degrees
Walk – 6kph, run – 11kph
At the end I felt a bit puffed and my heart rate was quick, it slowed after a couple of minutes and was back to normal around 4-5 minutes.

Dan of the World treadmill
The treadmill which annoyingly had a big TV screen right in your eyesight

Reps explained

For each machine I’d do 4 sets of reps. A “rep” is short for “repetition” and is essentially where you lift/pull/push a set number of times (say 8, or 10), take a quick rest, and then do it again, either at the same weight or a different weight.

For me, rep #1 is always the lightest weight, rep #2 is the heaviest, rep #3 is between the two and rep #4 was back to the lightest again.

Pec Fly (chest)

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 52.5kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 67.5kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 60kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 52.5kg

The final few compressions on rep #2 and #3 I struggled on. This will definitely make your chest puff out more than normal.

Dan of the World pecfly
How to use the machine and what muscles it builds

Torso Rotation (abs)

I would do each set of reps twice, once twisting left, then again twisting right.

Rep #1 – 12 rotations at 65kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 80kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 72.5kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 65kg

I would strain on the last couple of rotations of each rep.

Dan of the World torso rotation

Pec Fly (chest – different machine)

For some reason I found this one easier than the other pec machine.

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 59kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 64kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 61kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 59kg

The final few compressions of rep #3 and #4 were a bit of a strain.

Dan of the World pec

Balance Trainer (abs)

I would press my back against the machine and lift my legs together out straight in front of me.

Rep #1, #2, #3 and #4 were the same – 10 lifts and hold last lift for 3-4 seconds.

I felt a bit puffed after each rep, and would usually stick my belly out in a comical way to stretch it the other way after each rep. Whether a personal trainer would recommend it I don’t know, but it felt good!

Dan of the World balance

Biceps Curl (top of arm)

This machine was cool, however free weights probably did more as they were more difficult.

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 35kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 50kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 42.5kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 35kg

I’d strain during the final 2-3 of each rep.

Dan of the World bicep curl

Triceps Extension (bottom of arm)

I’m not a huge fan of tricep extensions, but your arms do look better for it!

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 23kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 32kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 27kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 23kg

The 32kg rep is a face straining one!

Dan of the World triceps
Dan of the World triceps2

Row (back)

Row is one of the best exercises you can do for your back.

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 33kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 47kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 40kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 33kg

The 47kg is also a face straining one!

Dan of the World row

Lat Pulldown (back)

Rep #1 – 12 compressions at 35kg
Rep #2 – 8 at 50kg
Rep #3 – 10 at 42kg
Rep #4 – 12 at 35kg

Again the heaviest weight, 50kg, was a face straining one.

Dan of the World lat
Dan of the World lat2

Free Weights

I’d do similar reps with free weights. Usually 25kg dumbbells plus a 60kg bar.

The results!

I’d certainly say I’m a bit bigger, but I’d still like to bulk up a bit more as I do still look kind of skinny. I also feel less boney to the touch. Unfortunately I didn’t take any “before” photos, as I thought I’d remember how I looked.

Dan of the World torso
A normal front view, see what I mean about still wanting more?
Dan of the World side
A side view and still a bit of a belly I want to get rid of
Dan of the World arms
Front obligatory arm pose, definitely bigger than before
Dan of the World back
Similar arm/back pose
Dan of the World casual front
A “trying to give more definition to my chest” pose
Dan of the World mega strain
A straining muscle man pose. Look out Mr Olympia… A twig is coming! Joking aside this strain certainly shows all my muscles have grown quite a bit. I even have a 2-pack. I wonder what another 6 months will do?

How I feel

I certainly feel I have more energy! If I don’t go to the gym for 3-4 days I get quite restless. I do feel stronger, and I do feel more confident about my body. Mentally I think it’s had benefits too, as doing exercise seems to make me feel more refreshed.

To read more about how to make yourself feel better and other life hacks, take a look at my self development page.

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