I joined gym in when I was 18 years old but due to my tight schedule I couldn't continue the intense workout session in the gym.

Now, after few years, I am once again trying to re-start my gym work outs. Based on my earlier experience, I have noticed that calf muscles, fore arm strength effect almost every workout. So I want to be better prepared this time.

I am regularly doing stretching exercises, push ups (for chest & biceps), Chair Dips (for triceps), squats (for thighs).

So, my question is What is correct way to prepare your body for gym workouts in terms of exercises and time?


As per the question of what I am trying to achieve? I am trying to gain some weights, then after I get the desired mass, I am planning on concentrating on strength.

  • I think this all depends on what goals your trying to set. Do you want to focus on cardio or strength? etc.
    – siebz0r
    Oct 1, 2012 at 7:11
  • @siebz0r, I am looking to add a bit mass at first.
    – Starx
    Oct 1, 2012 at 9:15
  • What is this workout that you are preparing for? Oct 2, 2012 at 19:48

3 Answers 3


I've been training off and on for about 50 years now and have always tried to keep up to date with the best practices. Trust me - this is not an exact science, never has been, never will be, doesn't have to be. Get to the gym and try stuff, then you get more out of this site so you can try more stuff at the gym ... You'll always be modifying your workout as you learn and as the science develops. I (and Arnold and Steve Reeves, and Eugen Sandow) did lots of stuff that was proven later to be wrong, but so what? Of course @siebz0r is correct and of course you shouldn't start with 800 pound squats, but tens of thousands of satisfied customers didn't do the 'correct way' so don't worry and welcome to the club!

  • Well, if i misunderstood please correct me, but I don't think making an excuse as all have made their mistakes is the right way. Since you have 50 yrs of experience you can probably give me few tips on how to get started properly or like I asked in question, things to be done before getting started.
    – Starx
    Oct 1, 2012 at 9:18
  • I think all he meant was that you shouldn't overanalyze this. Do a little bit of research, pick a workout program, and get started trying it. You can always change your plan later, if you decide you don't like something about it. Taking action is the important thing.
    – DavidR
    Oct 2, 2012 at 19:10
  • Thanks @DavidR for helping me clarify, and I apologize to Starx if I appeared disrespectful or dismissive. There are some tips I haven't seen in books: Get to know the owner/person in charge of the gym, especially if it is privately owned. Ask what kind of shoes and workout wear do they prefer, what do they consider good manners about asking for a spot or a form check, are some days/times better for a novice than others. Even a Gold's will have an unwritten etiquette, but I've always found that the people behind the desk are pretty welcoming and respond to serious and polite questions.
    – medmal
    Oct 3, 2012 at 4:49

I don't think there is a preparation necessary for gym workouts. The way I see gyms are you can get guidance and use their weights and machines. There are a lot of people who go to a gym to get started and why not, in my opinion it's an excellent way to start. If you want to get 'back in shape' you can do some workouts at home or just go to the gym. I think a general rule stands; don't force things.

I'm not an expert on it, so correct me if I'm wrong. If you're trying to build mass you can adjust your diet to contain more protein (eat stuff like bananas, spaghetti, etc.) you can also try protein shakes (I'm not a fan of these). If you work out with weights you'll automatically gain weight, as muscles weigh more than fat. Start with whatever feels good, weights, push-ups, sit-ups etc. There is no "required" exercise. If you choose to lift weights, I'd start with 3 sets of 10-15 lifts. The weight depends on whatever suits you (in my gym they recommend starting with 6-8KG dumbbells and build up from there).

  • > to contain more protein (eat stuff like bananas, spaghetti, etc.). What kind of bananas and spaghetti do you eat that are high in protein?
    – user33409
    Dec 26, 2021 at 18:36

If your a normal, young, healthy person, you probably don't need to do any particular routine to prepare for working out. Most good workout programs will have you begin with weights light enough that you can handle them, and increase slowly over time. With any new exercise, you'll experience "Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness", and it can be fairly intense for the first 3 or 4 times you workout, but you will eventually get to a point where it doesn't affect you as much.

If you're looking for specific programs, you might want to consider either:

Those are both fairly similar programs that use basic barbell exercises to build strength and mass. Both are commonly discussed on this web site. A third option is to hire a personal trainer (the most expensive option, if its available).

The most important thing, really, is to get started.

Good luck.

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