What do I do at the gym?

posted 2 years ago in Fitness
Post # 2
825 posts
Busy bee

Everyone has something that works best for them, so take this with a grain of salt. I found that what worked best for getting in shape quickly was doing 3 days of cardio and 3 days of strength training and giving your body a rest for day was best. For strength, I did resistance training with a lot of floor work, medicine balls, etc. Then I would do interval training on the treadmill because I get super bored if I just have to elliptical/treadmill at varying resistances for 30-60 minutes. While super out of shape (265 lbs), I started with Couch to 5k and then added intervals/speed/intensity as I slimmed down and gained some endurance. Hiking a hilly trail outdoors also works great for the cardio part. 

Post # 3
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Agree with PP, finding something you enjoy doing, and of which will motivate you to keep active will vary from person to person.  But, here is what has worked for me, and a few close people in my life:

My sister:  Found her niche in crossfit, and I have honestly seen some pretty incredible results.  I have gone with her a time or two, but it honestly was not for me.  Crossfit gyms are opening up all over the place, and people of all different shapes/sizes and strengths go to them!

Friend A:  She attends bootcamp 3-4 times per week.  Paired with a low carb diet, and she has really toned up/slimmed down.

Friend B:  She hits the gym 5 times per week, and runs on the treadmill for an hour, at varying inclines/speeds, etc.  She had never looked or felt better.

Friend C:  Goes to the gym and does a 20-minute cardio ‘warm-up’ on the stairclimber, elliptical or treadmill.  Then, she hits the free weights. She was at first nervous about lifting with the ‘pros’, but quickly realized they had no issues helping her, showing her good moves.  

Me:  I run outdoors (HATE the gym, which I learned the hard way after paying for a membership I never use) 5 times per week, varying between mileage/speeds/terrain and routes.  Before I hit the pavement, I do 15-20 minutes of at home strength training, varying between sit-ups, push-ups, squats, box jumps, etc.  Something to warm me up, and help my muscles strengthen.

Together, we all feel great, and have toned up/slimmed down, but we have not done anything the ‘same’, but rather found what we enjoyed.  It seems that the classes you were taking really worked!!!  Maybe that is your niche, and then taking nice/long walks in between will help too?!

Regardless, there are plenty of options 🙂  Just keep moving!!

Post # 4
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

LAX03:  I really enjoy tabata cardio, I would suggest finding some workout videos on YouTube that you can work out to, whether it be in the gym or at home.  Try Fitness Blender, they are GREAT.

Post # 5
715 posts
Busy bee

LAX03:  I am the same way you are. I am really not enjoing the machines at the gym… (bike, treadmill are okay but i hate doing just repetitions of boring stuff…) <br />Why aren’t you just taking those classes again that you took in the past (Zumba, Kickboxing…) Sounds like you liked those and those worked? 

i guess finding something you like is very important to be able to stick with it… or maybe give yoga or pilates a try… i personally ended up with swimming… i see far better results putting the same amount of time towards swimming than ANY other exercise … i never got those results when i traind the same amount of time at the gym (swimming trains alot of different muscles, so no need for different stupid machines… it’s somewhat relaxing as well….)  

Post # 6
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

LAX03:  I’m sorry about your mom’s passing. Our emotional well-being and physical well-being are so closely connected.

I lost 25lbs and kept it off for 3 years now by changing my diet and combining differnt cardio with one day of weights. I eat minimal foods, no soda, dessert every night!, try to reduce sugar intake and I ru But it took a long time.

Remember 80% of weight loss is diet. Think about it; it takes you 30 minutes to burn 300 calories on the treadmill and  just 3 minutes to eat a piece of cake that’s 300 calories! That really put things into perspective for me.

And just keep going. Don’t do too much too soon; if you kill yourself at the gym you will just stop. 3-4 times a week would be great! Don’t burn yourself out!


FWIW this is what works for me: note how I have workouts so I don’t get injured or burnt out:

mon- rest

tues- spin class

wed- spring 1 mile, lift 40 mins

thurs- run

friday- elliptical

saturday- long run

sunday- swim & bike or run

Post # 7
4878 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

It might be worth it to work with a trainer for awhile, if that’s in the budget.  He or she can make sure you’re using the equipment safely & for maximum benefit as well as teach you some work out programs.

Post # 9
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Well definitely cardio- at least 30 minutes but 45 to 60 if you can. This can be running, elliptical, stairmaster, swimming, etc or a combination of any of these. Then maybe 3 days a week I would do strength training (so maybe do 30 min of cardio on these days and longer cardio on the other days). If you can afford a session with a person trainer, they can get you started with a routine. Otherwise, do maybe 3 upper body (bicep curls, overhead shoulder press, tricep dips, chest press) and 3 lower body (squats, lunges, leg lifts, bridges) and some ab work (planks are great, also bicycles and even just basic crunches). Classes are good if your gym has them, but yoga isn’t going to do much for weight loss. If you’d rather get your cardio with a zumba class than the elliptical, that’s fine! Do what’s fun and what you can maintain!

Post # 10
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

LAX03:  Yo usaid it! It has to become part of your life. Which is hard. I don’t feel normal unless I’ve been active every single day, even if it’s a mini-hike with my dogs.

Post # 11
65 posts
Worker bee

LAX03:  have you thought that your birth control might be a factor as well? I would also suggest at home cardio dvds, they are a fantastic way to get my work out in when I cant make it to the gym

Post # 12
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Megsky:  I second the birth control being a possible factor!

I have hypothyroidism too and cannot take birth control pills because they mess with my hormones too much, they raise my estrogen levels too high and throw me into estrogen dominance territory which made it even harder for me to lose weight!  But check with your Dr. to see if they might have some other suggestions!

Post # 13
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Hypothyroid suffer here too.  Weight loss is SO HARD.  Been on weight watchers since Feb, and feeling good about it, lost 23 pounds so far.  As for exercise; you have to do what you ENJOY.  Otherwise it just won’t happen.  I joined a classes only fitness place and my average week looks like this;

Mon 1 hr zumba

Tue 1 hr piloxing

Wed 1 hr powerhoop

Fri 1 hr core strength class (that I joined cos it sounded kinda easy for the end of the week, but it is TOUGH and I’ve just kinda got into it)

Sat or Sun 20-30 min jog


Good luck

Post # 14
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

I 100% agree with finding something you love. I’ve learned that going to classes is how I stay motivated. I don’t dread them! I am trying to run at least 1 day a week too, because I notice a difference in my body when I run regularly. Here’s what my workout schedule looks like now.

Monday: Cardio Barre

Tuesday: Rest day or run

Wednesday: Spin

Thursday: Rest day or run

Friday: Zumba + Pound (toning and cardio with drumsticks)

Saturday: Cardio Barre

Sunday: Yoga

Rinse and repeat! I enjoy everyone of the things listed. It also helps that I am paying for them, which helps motivate me. I actually belong to two gyms (one regular, and one pilates/barre) and knowing I’m paying each month makes me want to go to them.

Post # 15
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016





I hate diets, they suck, why is always the most delicious food the greasiest?! hehe just kidding.

Do NOT leave out CARBS!!!!!! I have a thyroid problem as well. 

You should limit broccoli kale and others like it.  Apparently our bodies will not absorb it well and unfortunately the latter happens.

You will need to do a minimum of 35 minutes of cardio 5 days a week

and LIFTING! which is my favorite thing to do, definately running on a treadmill tripping myself constantly isnt, but ya gotta do it.


The more you lift, the more muscle you will create. the more muscle you create will help burn that unwanted fat off your body!


thyroid problems can be overcome, I usually try to fill myself every hour or so with a snack during the day so i have no problem not eating anything after 7 or 8. and if your stomachs growling, i would eat a cup of fruit, or nuts. fruits are carby, nuts are a good fat. but you choose!



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