Post # 1
Like really, I’m the worst. First of all, I can’t jog on the treadmill for more than 90 seconds (seriously) without getting a terrible stitch in my side. Secondly, I have NO idea how to use half of the weight equipment properly. There’s an abdominal machine that I tried to use… and it took me like 5 minutes to figure it out (while everyone watched, I’m sure) and I didn’t feel any “burn.”
Anyone as inept as I am? Any fitness queens have any advice? I’d really like to know how to jog without getting that awful pain in my side…
Post # 3
Don’t worry – I think everyone starts out that way! I still feel that way whenever I try something new in my workout!
For the running, how fast are you starting out? It always helps to warm up. I walk for a minute or so, then slowly increase my speed. Do you ever run outside? I struggle on treadmills but love running outside – I prefer not to have a display showing me how fast or slow I’m going. It’s easier to just go a pace you’re comfortable with, plus the change of scenery is nice. I know this is a bad time of year to recommend running outside, but try to find a relatively warm day and bundle up! 😉
Don’t be shy to ask for help. Even if you can’t afford a personal training session, gym workers will often offer a little advice for free. Or you can always google it (how to use free weights, recommended amounts, etc)
Most of all, find a workout that you enjoy! If you don’t like the treadmill, use the bike or elliptical. Try a group class. Try skiing or snowshoeing. Even going for a long walk (especially in winter) can be a great work out.
Post # 4
I think a looot of it is just practice/time/having someone show you. Especially with the weight machines. Trust me I know all about that paralyzing indicision, do I use them because I want to and they are good for me or is the emberassment of people watching me figuring them out too much? Keep in mind that most people don’t really care about you! 🙂 And you don’t care about them. Everyone had to figure this stuff out at one time.
Machine advice – I love the machines because they are a really easy way of working out and doing very good things to your body. I don’t know why more women don’t use them, I think it’s the intimidation factor. If you didn’t feel a burn – how many times did you use it? The standard is three sets of 12. If after that you feel nothing, that’s fine but if you also feel nothing all day and the next day (often the burn will only show up next day) the next time you use the machine you might want to increase the weight to the next level.
Unfortunately, though I love the machines I think they are a lot more effective for arms and legs than for abs. (I think that’s because it’s hard to come up with a machine that targets the middle of your body without providing a lot of opportunities to ‘cheat’). For abs I think the best excercises are without machines. Have you tried the lift your legs, put your hands behind your head and then bring your knee and your opposite elbow together? I found it to be very effective and tiring, after my first three sets of 14 I definitely felt burn.
More machines advice – start with something easy and obvious so that you get used to and feel comfortable with them and then you can tackle the weirder ones. The leg press is a favorite, it’s the one with just a big slab pretty close to the seat. It works a lot of different leg muscles and is very self explanatory – you get in the seat, scrunch your legs up so they are pressed against the slab and push out.
Can you tell I like machines? 🙂
No good/informed advice on the stich in your side. Have you tried jogging very slowly and when you get a stich switch to walking but don’t stop?
Post # 5
I am with you on that all the way. I keep wanting to get in the habit of running, but I feel ridiculous because I can’t jog for more than five minutes. I’ve had much better luck with the elliptical and other forms of exercise (Pilates, horseback riding, etc) but feel like a failure when it comes to running!
Post # 6
To make us all feel better (I hate running) running isn’t actually very good for you and is often quite damaging! The key is to get your heartrate up.
Post # 7
@runskiclimb: I start out walking briskly (at like 3.7), then I increase the speed to like 5 and try jogging. It’s not very fast, but yet I always get a cramp in my side! Maybe it’s just because I’m not used to running?
@arachna: I totally agree with you, I think the reason I don’t feel a burn on the ab machine is because I’m using my legs more than my stomach muscles! I am definitely going to try the leg lift/opposite elbow exercise tonight.
Thanks for the advice ladies 🙂 Although, I’m with lilyfaith, i think I may be a “running” failure! lol
Post # 8
First of all, props to you for getting started working out. It’s not easy to just jump in, so good for you!
My advice on running is to start out small and build up to a speed/distance. When I first got back into running after an injury, I would walk for two minutes, then run for two minutes, and continue to alternate it. Then I’d add 2 more minutes to the running time and continue. You can do this with time or distance, say walk 0.25 miles/run .25 miles. This way, you build up your endurance slowly, which I’ve found really helps my running. Also, another tip is that I always set the incline on something while I’m running on the treadmill, even if it’s just 0.5. It helps to simulate running outside, where you don’t have the momentum of the treadlmill. Another great alternative to the treadmill is the elliptical. I use that almost as much as I run and I still get a great workout.
As for the machines, do you feel comfortable enough to ask someone at the gym for help? Usually people at my gym are willing to give some tips and tricks on the machines to newbies.
Post # 9
I didn’t read the other comments so sorry if i repost what someone asked/said but didn’t your gym give you a free trainer session to teach you the equipment and help you with a routine? That really helps!! I had a membership at 24hour fitness then switched to a small local gym, they both did this for me. Im also SURE that if you ask your gym for a session they will do it for free because you don’t know how to properly use the equipment. Plus they hope you come back and PAY for more sessions 🙂
Post # 10
i actually signed up for a local 5k just to FORCE myself to get back into shape. i figure its not overwhelming in distance (only 3.1 miles) so if need be i can struggle thru it but its long enough that i will want to work a little harder to train for it.
Post # 11
I am terrible at sticking to a work out routine, but I HAVE to get on it, as I only have 8 months left to the wedding! I got the Wii fit Plus for Christmas and since I have been better about working out, as it scolds you for skipping days! ;p Also, its a lot of fun and acts like a personal trainer. Which I wish I could afford so they’d motivate me (a personal trainer that is)!
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2010 - Signature Events
I am totally the same way! Even though I’ve worked out in gyms my whole life, I’ve really only used the treadmill and have no idea what to do with all the other machines. Maybe the new year is a good excuse to learn!
Post # 13
i suck in a regular gym but thrive in a class setting. i apparently need to be told what to do. though unless i have money invested in a class, i’m not a consistent work outter person. i’m going to try to work on that as i start p90x but we’ll see how that goes. but if i buy sessions at a gym i’m going everyday because i can’t stand to think of all the money i wasted by not showing up!
Post # 14
As others have said, see if your gym offers a free training session to show you around. You can also ask a staff member to help you if there’s a question about one or two machines – that’s what they’re there for. While I’m not sure how it would go to ask for instructions on everything, for one or two it’s fine – part of their job is to make sure no one gets hurt.
The pain in your side is from going too fast, too soon. I used to be the most out of shape person ever and it took me ages to work up to being able to actually run. Start by alternating walking and jogging. A quarter mile walking (say 3.5 mph pace, but whatever feels like moving without straining to you) and then a quarter mile jogging. Back when I first started “jogging” meant 4-4.5 mph. I mean, SLOW SLOW SLOW. Over time I was able to work up the speed, and move to a half mile jog, quarter mile walk. Something like that. But keep alternating. Even as you get better, faster-slower intervals are a good way of increasing speed.
It took me like a month to be able to stay in running stride for a full mile. Then another few months to do it all at a 6.0 (10 minute mile) pace. Do NOT feel pressure into going faster than you are comfortable. Increasing to just above your comfort zone and faster over time, yes, but if anyone says anything about your speed starting out, please kick them in the knees for me.
The elliptical can be good, too, but I find it’s harder to find the right exertion level – when I was starting I often went so slow I barely got any workout. It’s easier to measure and improve on the treadmill, especially since it seems like your pain is coming from trying to condition too quickly and not from injury. If it’s better for you, go for it, just be aware that you need to be pushing yourself hard for the fast intervals.
Also – on the stomach pain – I’ve found I get two levels. One that is telling me that I am going way, way too hard and need to stop NOW and another that’s painful but can be worked through. Every body is different, but if the cramps start getting less severe after a few workouts, try working through one and see what happens.
Post # 15
I personally can’t stand going to a gym and walking or running on a treadmill- I get bored and go home : ) Instead of sitting around doing nothing, I found a few things that I like to do as exercise. I like to do stability ball and dumbbell workouts- google stability ball exercise and you will get lots of exercise suggestions.
I also really enjoyed riding a bike when I was younger, so I went and bought myself a bike at Target and have had a lot of fun riding on the trails in my town. Biking is very good exercise!
A few of my friends also purchased Wii Fit and love it! If you like dancing, that may be a suggestion too- a lot of gyms have started to offer hip-hop classes and even ballroom dancing can get you into shape. Just find something active that you like to do! Good luck!
Post # 16
There is also the possibility that you will always hate running. I’ve tried, over and over again, to get into running. My fiance loves it and keeps encouraging me to try. A ton of my friends have participated in various 5ks, half-marathons, and marathons. I’ve done all sorts of gradual build-up programs (i.e couch-to-5k). And no matter what I do, I HATE it. I think that there are some people who just aren’t meant to be runners. Perhaps you should try using another cardio machine – elliptical, stairmaster, bicycle – there’s a lot to a gym beyond the treadmills!