Fitness Workouts

Workouts to save you from January gym misery

Alternative exercises that will let you make progress in relative peace, supplied by the winners of Mr Hyde Toughest, The Foundry


Bench Press vs Weighted Push Ups

Workouts to save you from January gym misery

Main muscles worked: Pec Major, Triceps Brachii & Anterior Deltoids

The Flat Bench Press is used by 99% of gym users, specifically on Mondays – “National Chest Day”. It builds a thicker-looking chest but has very little carry over into any sport other than powerlifting. It also comes with a host of negatives, mainly poor shoulder health and neck issues from protracted shoulders. A better alternative would be the weighted push up, which not only has a favourable shoulder position, but also gives you an insane core workout at the same time.

Have someone load the plate on your back between your shoulder blades. Perform the given number of reps for the desired strength quality you’re looking to work in, and then have them unload you when you’re finished.

Shoulder Press Machine vs Z Presses  

Workouts to save you from January gym misery 1

Main muscles worked: all heads of the Deltoids, Triceps Brachii, Erector Spinae, Rectus Abdominis, Serrates Anterior

The Z-Press is becoming a really popular exercise at The Foundry. Not only can you do this with only one or two dumbbells, you also get far more bang for your buck in terms of work done over time performed. The balancing act performed by your midsection gives you a serious midline work out while hammering each head of your deltoids, as opposed to just one or two when doing fixed plane work on machines.

To add variation to this, try performing it unilaterally as well as bilaterally.

 Barbell Back Squats vs Pistol Squats

Workouts to save you from January gym misery 2

Main muscles worked: Quadriceps, Glutes, Adductors, Transverse Abdominals

No squat rack. Annoying. Workout over? Hardly. If you have the mobility to perform one of these bad boys, grab a 1m square space in the gym and get going. While this exercise is great at developing nearly every muscle in your lower limbs, it also requires a huge amount of mobility and coordination. You can regress these by holding onto a door frame for balance, or alternatively, use a box to work down, and keep lowering the height of it week on week.

Seated Rows vs Dumbbell Rows

Workouts to save you from January gym misery 3

Main muscles worked: Brachillis, Long head of Biceps, Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Lower traps, and Erector Spinae

Chin ups are great for developing width in your lats but there aren’t many exercises better for your physique than rowing movements. If you can’t use the seated row because the vest gang has been sat on it for the past 30 minutes, grab a heavy DB.

Concentrate on keeping it close to your body and adopt an arcing rowing motion when bringing it into your chest. Add a squeeze at the top, always focusing on the contraction at the top and the eccentric portion. Make sure you flatten your lower back out to keep more stretch in the lats, eliciting better growth.

An Hour On The Stepper vs 10 Max Effort Sprints   

Workouts to save you from January gym misery 4

Main muscles worked: pretty much everything!

Don’t waste hours doing steady cardio – not only is it totally uninspiring, it’s also a massive waste of your time. Most of us are pretty busy, so make the most of your workout by getting in, mobilising and warming up properly, and then performing anabolic exercises like sprints that’ll build up muscle tissue, as opposed to catabolic exercises that won’t, like plodding aimlessly on a treadmill or stepper.

For more information on the various training options at The Foundry, take a look at the website here. Trust us, they know what they’re talking about.