Do you know what your training in the gym / Virgin Active

Virgin Active have carried out a study that shows 75% of gym-goers have a poor understanding of their muscles despite using and training them every day

Are you one of the millions that has returned to the gym this week with a fresh New Year’s resolution spurring you on to reach new heights in your levels of fitness? Or perhaps you’re the person that walked in to your regular gym in your regular routine and discovered it’s rammed full of people you’ve never seen before in your life?

Yes it’s that time of year again when the indulgence and extravagant eating and drinking over the festive period returns to haunt us, and our instant response is to renew that gym membership and make plans to shed the pounds before the summer holidays creep up on us and the panic starts to achieve the perfect beach body.

But herein lies the question: how well do you know your body?

Virgin Active sought to find out just how much we know about the muscles we use and train every day, and the result was truly staggering. 75 per cent of a 2000-person study admitted to having an average to poor knowledge of their own muscles, while nearly half of those asked had no idea where their triceps were – despite being one of the key muscles groups strengthened through weight training.

Worryingly, despite the gluteus maximus (or the glutes) being the largest muscle in the body, nearly 10 per cent believed is was located in the stomach, 60 per cent struggled to locate the quadriceps and 32 per cent admitted they had no idea what deltoids were.

Furthermore, Virgin Active looked at location to see where the most clued up exercisers were in the country and which areas could do with a good old biology lesson before picking up the weights once more. London proved to be the highest scoring area with 31 per cent claiming to have a good to excellent knowledge of their muscles, while Yorkshire and Humberside came in second with 26 per cent.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, the West Midlands were rooted to the bottom with 34 per cent admitting they had a bad to very bad knowledge of their muscles, although both the East Midlands and South West were not far behind with 32 per cent apiece.

But fear not. Virgin Active are offering virtual workouts that will help gym-goers gain a full understanding of their muscles and how to train them properly as well as giving tips on different ways to remain active.

“The results show just how much of an opportunity there is for us to build knowledge about our own bodies, and how to improve our movement and wellbeing just by being more conscious of what we are trying to achieve,” said Andy Birch, head of fitness for Virgin Active.

“Modern lives lead us to being increasingly sedentary and the data shows we’re not only unsure of the names and locations of these muscles, but that as a result, we are not exercising our whole body, instead becoming overly focused on specific areas and falling into routines that we are comfortable with,” Birch added, with half of the study revealing they focused all of their training on stomach, arms or upper legs while neglecting the rest of their body.

“With this in mind we are inviting consumers to discover new ways to move with us and new ways to keep exercise challenging, fresh and fun. We are always introducing new innovations and activities that will work muscles you never knew you had.

“We know that there is a growing trend to build knowledge of and monitor fitness both inside and outside of the health club.

“These stats show that it is necessary for knowledge to substantially grow in this area. It’s why we are inviting members and non-members alike to access our free and unique virtual workouts this January, and get a taste of the benefits that freedom of movement can bring to your everyday life.”

To access the virtual workouts, pick up a Jump-start pack at any Virgin Active club. For more information on Virgin Active health clubs and classes visit or sign up to @virginactiveway for fresh, fun tips on discovering new ways to be active.