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Newb at the Gym

I want to preface my question by saying that I did search the forum for this question, before I decided to make a thread about it, and found nothing.

I'm looking for advice. I'm a 22 year old female who has gradually gained weight the past three years, and is now looking to lose 50 pounds, get healthy, and stay that way.

I have never been on a diet or been a part of a gym before. My parents weren't the kind that signed us up for sports, although I did play outside a lot as a kid. Gym class is the only regimented fitness in my life up until now.

I've been eating healthy for a month and now I've joined the gym. I've been going for about a week now. I've been trying different pieces of cardio equipment but I'm not sure what's right. Everyone around me seems very involved in what they're doing. I wonder if with cardio its just a matter of preference (if so than I must say I am a little afraid of treadmills since I fell off one, hard, playing as a child - silly, but true.) or if its skill, or what. I don't even want to get into how I feel when I walk into the weights area - talk about overwhelming.

Can anyone suggest a simple gym routine for beginners? Bearing my desire to lose weight in mind. I am willing to go to the gym 5 - 6 times a week. I just feel so lost there.

Wed. Apr 9, 8:15pm

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Never fear - you have come to the right place !

Unless some thread Nazi comes along ;)

Just start off easy - 70% cardio - 30% weights

I recommend for cardio start out walking at a good clip on the treadmill - don't worry, just be aware of where you are the first few times - everyone stumbles on a treadmill once or twice no worries - then 2nd half on the elliptical - make the resistance a little tough - you should be pressing those pedals down a bit and pushing with those arms !

Then hit those weight machines for a full body circuit - legs arms chest back stomach - the gym staff can at least just show you how they work and just try them out, they arreally not hard - you WILL get the hang of them ! You should be putting in some efort to push those machines!

-that is a good start. then in a few months you'll be a veteran !

Listen - don't worry - I am an athlete guy in great shape and when someone comes along into the gym who is out of shape but comes in consistently and is sweating when they are done - I have a lot of respect for that - I had to look goofy on the Nordic Track the other day for a while while I figured it out and I am sure I looked like an idiot - but who cares - the next day some nice old guy came up to me and said man you are really good at that thing ;)

1. Be consistent - make it a DAILY habit (except one day)
2. If you smell nice afterwards then don't bother - SWEAT!
3. Don't forget - losing weight is more about diet than exercise (if you are active) - concentrate on dropping a few hundred calories and eat healthy - if you still don't lose drop a few more hundred. Done.

Rock on Newbie!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 8:36 PM

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I know exactly how you feel. When I first joined my gym I was sooo lost. But when I signed up they talked me into getting 5 personal training sessons, but they were like mini training sessons 20-30 minutes each and the trainner showed me a lot of different equipment for different parts and that has helped out a lot in the beginning, but now I know what I like and what works for me (which isn't what he showed me).

As for cardio I think it's a preference. I do everything, but what still kills me is the stairmaster, and because it's so hard I still do it. My advice on the stationary bike is to get the sit up ones not the recumbent. If you have the resistance and push yourself you can get a good workout there without too much strain on your joints. Also I wear a heartrate monitor to see how many calories I've burned and the bike is always way off ( much lower). Treadmills seems to be pretty close, and elipticals are too high but not a huge amount over.

Hope this helped!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 9:03 PM

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Cardio, cardio, cardio....

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:49 PM

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If you want to avoid the treadmill an elliptical is powered by your movements so there isn't a belt to throw you off.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 5:24 PM

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great advice for the OP everyone. I am benefiting from it, too.

I have been with Curves for a couple of months now and I like it because I hop on the circuit and go and don't have to think about what I'm doing. Now they're closing and I signed up at SNAP fitness and am nervous about it because I don't know what I should be doing for my goals and body type. you've all helped me out as well!

Friday, April 11, 2008, 9:18 AM

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Good advice 8:36! I would only add though what a "good clip" is. A brisk walk is about 3.5 mph, and a strong walk is about 4.0. You can even try to do a little interval walking. Walk 3.0 for a minute, move it up to 3.5 for a minute, then to 4.0 for a minute, then back down to 3.0 for a minute and repeat cycle. I started out this way, am now up to 4.5 as my strong walk, 5.0 as my second interval and 6.0 as my third at 3 to 4 minutes a piece and it's working great. Start slow as previous posters have said. In no time you'll find yourself wanting to add incline and speed for challenge!

Friday, April 11, 2008, 10:08 AM

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836 - athletic guy, I'm a female body builder, and you gave the best pointers!

I agree with 836.

I've been a member of my gym now for a little over a year (jan '07 I joined) and never was a member in any gym in my life, i had the same fears you have. Day one, eliptical, barely sweatted, day 2 eliptical and used machines I saw people using on day one, day 3 etc so 4 months, I made friends with other members that went at the same time I did, and was fortunate that one was a body builder/physical therapist....needless to say, I've converted to BB'ing and absolutley love it.

*Dont drink your calories*
If you leave the gym without a drenched top, you should have stayed home!

Friday, April 11, 2008, 2:22 PM

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thanks 2:22

*Dont drink your calories* - is a good one - no doubt !


Friday, April 11, 2008, 3:11 PM

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I totally agree with the athletic guy and the female body builder!!!! SWEAT IT UP!!!!
I started working out in January (I had around 120 pounds to lose) well, I've lost 27 so far and it's by busting it out in the gym. I even jog 1/4 a mile now which is amazing!! Granted, my jog is that 4.0 pace that one poster talked about. Sweating it out is great, it's like an accomplishment, yeah you will be all gross and smelly, but that's SUCCESS!!!! Treadmills scared me too, at first. I just decided one day to face my fear, and now I do the treadmill at least 3 x's a week.

p.s. if you're not sure how to use a machine, ask one of the workers. I mean, they are getting paid to do a job, and it's not like you want them to train you, you just want to know how to operate some of the equipment. Hopefully you have nice ppl where you workout.

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 11:43 AM

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Hi everyone! This is 9:18 checking in.

I met with the personal trainer at my new gym on Friday and loved it! Since I only have 30 minutes 4x a week to work out at the gym, she has me doing 15 minutes of slamming cardio on the full body elliptical, then 15 minutes worth of weights. I hop on the bosu ball and do several arm exercises, lots of weight machines for arms and legs. And she added in the dreaded planks! I will follow this routine for one month, then meet with her again. It was fun for both of us since I am already into lifting weights, she got to train a female on something new and not boring and I got to learn what I should do without being overwhelmed.

Good luck OP--it's less scary than I thought!

Monday, April 14, 2008, 10:28 AM

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