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Girls are you intimidated by the weight machines ?

First let me state that I'm a woman. I've been finding that I go the gym with the intention of doing weights and then I go straight to the treadmill. I have been working out for 5 years and I still just don't know what machines to do at the gym. Right now all my strength training is at home using free weights.... normally with a video.

Oh and I did have a personal trainer at one point, but stopped using him due to the $40/hr fee I was paying on top of my $40/month membership. If you are using the machines what's your method ?

Thu. Jan 31, 1:08pm

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I used to be a cardio junkie, too - for the same reason - I never wanted to venture out onto the floor with the weights! And if I did, I never had a plan, so it felt disorganized and pointless. That's what made the difference between then and now - I hardly ever do the treadmill or other cardio machines as my main workout.

I found a couple of different routines helpful for knowing what to do. I either focus on:
1) Upper then Lower body - alternating workouts for 4 days
-machines related to chest, back and arms one day
- then machines for the legs, hips, thighs, abs the next
2) Front body then Back body - alternating workouts for 4 days
-chest press, fly, overhead press, leg extension, etc.
- leg press, leg curl, upright row, lat pull down, etc.
3) Full body workouts - 3 days a week (this may be easier until you figure out a routine for yourself.)

Does this help at all? I'm not sure if that's what you were asking about. Once you do each machine 1 or 2 times and your comfort level will increase 10 fold. Good luck! I don't miss those cardio machines at all!

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 1:36 PM

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i am starting to get in shape after a 4-year hiatus. back in the day, i used a personal trainer a couple of times to get the hang of the machines and guaging their settings for the seats (back, legrests, etc.). i used to carry a little pad with me for notes. that way, i only needed a trainer periodically to help me mix up my routine. that's what i plan on doing now. i know it's not a total departure from what you've done in the past, but thought i'd let you know how you can save on costs and still benefit from a trainer. good luck to you, and thanks for letting me ramble! :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 1:40 PM

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I am OK with the machines - luckily at my college gym there were two sets: one w/ the cardio machines ("girls side") and one with the free weights ("boys side") so I learned to do those when I was younger.
Now-a-days I do tend to stick to my same 10 machines and get nervous to use other ones. I am a BIG avoider of the free weights though. I told my boyfriend I was going to do his routine with him and after 3 seconds bailed to the cardio area.
I suggest going at a time when the gym is empty - for me at about 9 pm- every once and a while to learn the machines in your own time- that way the intimidation factor is not there.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 1:51 PM

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i love the weight machines. I have lifted weights since high school. currently bench pressing 110 pounds. not intimidated at all. in fact, some guys in the free weight areas are very helpful when it comes to training and spotting, it's a free personal trainer.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 1:56 PM

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I'm not afraid of weight machines, I just don't like them. I prefer free weights so I have to use stabilizer muscles.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 2:21 PM

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The only machines that scare me are the ones where you have to load up the big plates yourself. Otherwise I love the nautilus-style ones and the big cable contraption.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 2:38 PM

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Try this site, helps to get familiar with weight training! Women can be toned/buff too!

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 2:54 PM

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op here- thanks! Great ideas. 2:36 don't you hate it people get off of the weights and then leave the huge plates there! Sometimes from the treadmill I'll see a machine I want to try but I know it will be too embarrising to try to lift those 50 lbs plates off.

Something about the "boys" side of the gym bothers the heck out of me. Its like a freakin' meat market over there. Can a girl just workout in peace?!

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 3:00 PM

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Skip weight machines and use free weights. It works more muscles because you don't have a machine supporting you.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 6:00 PM

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I LOVE weights. I started out at home with free weights and a bench, a few books. I later joined a women's gym and was one of the few memvbers using free weights and machines; most seem to just do cardio. I now work with a personal trainer 2x/week for weight training and Pilates. I have learned things along the way. There are lots of magazines out there for women interested in weight training. Good'll change your life.

Thursday, January 31, 2008, 7:57 PM

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I keep on hearing that you need to do both weight machines and free weights.... just to shake things up a bit.

Friday, February 01, 2008, 12:22 PM

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12:22 I know that works for me. I was doing mostly free weights for the last 2 years and then for a couple of reasons I went back to the machines and WOW! I got in a great workout and it felt good to be doing something different :)

Friday, February 01, 2008, 7:38 PM

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