(Closed) i have no idea where to start in a gym, help?

posted 8 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
11105 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@misspandy: The staff should give you an induction and programme so they’ll stated how long to stay on each machine.

Post # 4
14494 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Do you get a free personal trainer session with your membership?  If not, you might give a call to the local college.  My friend paid his way through college doing personal training really cheap.  He charges me $25 per session and my sessions are usually 2 hours.  He works with people six weeks then once a month.  He said alot of PE students do this for extra cash.

Post # 5
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Second the suggestion about talking to the staff. 


And either way, go ahead and try them all and find one that you like. In general, they say that it’s best to spend at least 30 minutes on a machine, but go slow. When you’re first starting out, it helps to do intervals–like, 2 minutes at a higher intensity with 1 min breaks of lower intensity in between. An example is the “couch to 5k” program (google it) which you can do on a treadmill. 

Post # 6
6351 posts
Bee Keeper

I swear by the elyptical. It works your whole body without being too hard on your body. It is also easy to learn to use. Good luck!

Post # 7
2237 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

First word of advice – always warm up THEN stretch.  So like 5 minutes walking on a treadmill then get off and stretch.  Same goes for the end of your workout; cool down (with like a 5 minute walk) and then stretch.

I agree with PP to use the staff at the gym to your advantage.

Or, if all else fails, google it!  Programs like C25K will outline what you could do cardio wise. And I just did a quick google of “beginners weight lifting program” and I found this page.  There’s a lot of information there.  And all the weight lifting machines at the gym should have diagrams of how to use them and which muscle groups they work.  Don’t feel silly for taking the time to understand a machine before using it!

Good luck!

Post # 8
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

don’t ignore the weight machines! i know i did at first because they can be intimidating.

definitely ask the staff if you can, but it sounds like a gym that small might be your apartment’s gym? if so, there are instructions on the side of every machine…follow those carefully. 

i love using the elliptical on interval settings…i usually do an hour. every other day i alternate cardio or weights.

Post # 9
2025 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think the pp’s who said get a tour and a free personal training session are on the money. Also, join a class. They are less intimidating, in my opinion, and might get you at least comfortable with being at the gym .

Post # 10
5921 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I second the recommendation about C25K.  I hate working out because I never really know exactly what I should be doing.  The C25K is super specific, and I LOVE it!

Post # 11
870 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If you want to learn about weights and how to target specific muscle groups exrx.net is actually a pretty neat site (specifically the weight training area). They show you which exercises target certain muscles and then have a little gif that shows proper form. 🙂

I also like http://www.stumptuous.com/ she gives a good intro to weights for women specifically. 

Those sites are more free weights oriented, but I tend to be too. 🙂

Cardio machines are pretty self explanitory, but you can google different routines to make them a bit more interesting (like different inclines and speeds to switch things up). I generally go 30 minutes of cardio and 20 min of weights. And if it’s a rest day for weights I might bump it up to 45 min of cardio. I’ve been going to the gym for years, but I’m more of a runner so if I’m doing something else I tend to just pick random settings on ellipticals or bikes and then just go. If I’m getting exhausted too quickly I’ll lower the level, if it’s too easy I raise it. 

Just remember that probably no one is looking at you in the gym. I know I’m usually too focused on what I’m doing to notice other people!

Post # 12
4824 posts
Honey bee

@Taylor4: This is a great suggestion.

I like the book New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women.

I strongly suggest you combine both cardio and weight lifting. Its easy to be intimidated by the weights, but dont be.

Also look into HIIT training (High intensity interval training) and can be scaled to any level of fitness and any form of cardio and makes it much more efficient and productive.  Essentially you go real hard for say 30 seconds and then slow for 30 seconds – 1 minute to catch your breath again. 

Post # 13
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I carry my workout book with me so I know exactly what exercise to do next and how! I felt stupid at first but now I’m used to it. The book I use is called Sculpting Her Body Perfect, I llike it because of the simple pictures and the newer edition that I just upgraded to has a DVD as well. Having it has really helped me learn what to do and how, it also gives you routines.

Post # 15
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@misspandy: all machines are different – but – yes, you basically just pull the pin out and then put it below the weight you want to use.  MOST IMPORTANT:  make sure you aren’t pushing/pulling the weight while you change it.  The machine should be ‘at rest’.  Do you know what I mean?  

Post # 16
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

When using weight machines make sure you adjust everything for your size (the chair height, etc).  As a general rule the machine should bend in the same spot your joint bends.

You can also take the pin all the way out for the least weight.

Someone at the gym would definitely help you out.  You should totally ask.  Once you know how each machine works, you’re set.

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