Discover the right training system for your workouts — Charlie King

As a trainer that works with individuals that have set different goals and have different bodies, I have to find new and individual methods that will push their bodies and meet what we aim to do.

I’m extremely passionate about helping my clients achieve their goals because I know what a positive difference it makes in your overall wellbeing when you see results and start to feel confident.

Each month in Gay Times Magazine, I try to demonstrate exercises I feel could be beneficial to your routine. Even though you might have seen these exercises before, I want to remind you that the most simple exercise can be extremely difficult if you are working in the right way. When I say the ‘right’ way, I mean by looking at your training systems, rest periods between sets, and the rep range.

There’s numerous systems you can use in your workout and I thought this month I’d share them so you could try them when you’re at the gym next.

Remember, the results will come when you put the effort consistently in. Take a read below and let me know how you get on…

Interval training.

This involves a series of low to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief. The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to an aerobic exercise. Varying the intensity of effort exercises the heart muscle, providing cardio work, improving aerobic capacity and allowing you to exercise for longer and/or at a more intense level. Interval training can be implemented into your running, cycling, rowing routine and is a superb way to build your fitness.

Fartlek training.

Combe interval training with regular distance training. There’s no set rules when it comes to speed with this method. You can vary the training with speed, effort levels, high intensity, longer recovery, etc. It’s a way of shocking the body and using aerobic and anaerobic styles of exercising. If you’re on the treadmill a lot, I personally put my clients through their paces using this method and trust me, it’s great!

Single sets.

To get the muscle working, technique right and to avoid injury, this method is a simple but effective start. An example of doing a single set is grabbing a barbell, load it with your suitable weight and do 1 set of 12-15 reps. When doing the exercise, remember to breathe, squeeze the muscle when contracting the bicep and slowly lower the bar. Once finished with that one set move on to the next exercise. With single sets you can try working the whole body so you build knowledge and confidence.

Multiple sets.

Performing a multiple number of sets for each exercise. This is great for both beginners as well as advanced. Increase volume, such as sets, reps and intensity. An example of this could be doing that same barbell curl, 3 sets x 12 reps, possibly looking at increasing the weight as you do the sets.

Pyramid training.

This is a personal favourite of mine. Think of the shape of a pyramid (triangle) and apply this to your weight load with each set. Basically you are either continuously stacking weight, or regressing weight. When you are starting light to heavy, you usually perform up to 10-12 reps — this would be a lighter load.

As you increase the weight, your reps regress. You should typically go until you can perform 1-2 reps of the set. Heavy to light works in opposite. Rather then stacking the load, you’re decreasing the load. You start heavy (1-2 reps) and finish with 10-12 reps, lighter load.


This is when you perform two exercises back-to-back, with minimal rest in between. There’s the tri-set and giant-set. Super-set is used a lot by bodybuilders, to benefit more from hypertrophy and muscular endurance. (Hypertrophy simply means building size) In a super-set, for example, you may do a bench press followed by push-ups. The greater number of exercises used, the more you fatigue your muscles.


Here you perform a set to failure, then remove a small portion of  the weight before each set. This is similar to pyramid (heavy to light). An example of this could be squatting with your maximum weight (say 60kg), then once your final rep at that weight is completed, you lower the weight 5-10kg before carrying out the next set. Each set has to be until failure before your drop the weight. This is also popular training method among bodybuilders. This is considered more advanced but is very effective and suitable for experienced lifters!

Circuit training.

Want to lose body fat? This is your calling! Performing a series of exercises one after another, with minimal rest. You want to do low-moderate amount of sets, with high reps (8-20) — along with short rest periods! Only about 15-60 seconds. An example of circuit training would be doing a series of box jumps, dumbbell curls, ball combo and bent over rows.

Split workout routine.

This is one of the more popular systems of training. I’m sure many of you already do this, but to give you an idea — split your muscle groups into sections of when you are going to train them over the week. For example, many bodybuilders and athletes take this approach. Split-routine means breaking the body up into different parts, to be trained on separate days.

Monday — legs (ONLY LEGS)

Tuesday- 4x chest exercises + core

Wednesday- 4x back exercies (inc deadlifts)

Thursday – shoulders with 2 core exercises

Friday- cardio and arms. (bi-triceps)

Splitting up your routine allows you to bring out optimal muscular hypertrophy. You can perform more when you break up the body parts into different days. Make sure you split your days with recovery time in mind as recovery is extremely important! You don’t want to over train a muscle group. If you are training each body part more than once a week, keep track of volume and intensity.

If you’re finding yourself at a plateau and are in need of shaking your routine up, you can see there’s plenty of options.

You can apply these of these methods to your weight training and cardio routines. So, next time you are in the gym ask yourself….’Am I really working my body hard, or is it time to try a new method for a month or 2?’ Give it a go!

I qualified with my  personal training level 3 at Trainfitness (@trainfitnessint) where we studied training methods, energy systems and the importance of anaerobic and aerobic exercise. I apply these methods to my own workouts and believe with the right diet, rest periods and consistency is how I keep in the best shape I can.

Never be afraid to switch it up!



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