I like the idea of a personal trainer, because they will assess what you need and design a program that works for you.... particularly if you ask them to! It's really worth it to get them to train you on the machines, and ask the trainer for a homework assignment that you can do on your own another couple of times that week. That way your skill level (and strength) build quickly. Congratulations on starting!
Inquire if your gym has any sort of personal training "bonus" package... a lot of gyms give you one free session to speak with a trainer and talk about your goals... however at the end of course they try to sell you their services for thousands of dollars (just go in with a backbone and say you're not currently interested in purchasing a package, simple as that!).
I did one with a personal trainer when I first signed up and she gave me some of the best advice I had heard from anyone. They are blatantly honest (at least if they're a good trainer, they'll listen to what you want and not try and do things "their way"), I remember having my body fat % taken by the trainer and she flat out told me, "You have far higher body fat than I'd like to see on someone your age" but then proceeded to tell me that through hard work and clean diet and a structured exercise plan I'd be able to reduce it no problems.
Sometimes it works as a wake-up call to talk to someone who is an expert in their field!
If you are feeling really lost on the machines... just find someone who works at the gym and ask them to take you through how some of them work. That's what they're there for, to ensure that the members are using them safely, and efficiently.
Fitness Minutes: (5,559)
681 4/30/13 4:47 P
Definitely look into a gym membership if you don't already have one. Like Jenstress said, a lot of gyms offer a free personal training session to "hook" you. One session would probably be all you need to give you a basic idea of how to use at least some of the machines and the trainer would likely give you a simple routine to work on for the rest of the week. My gym membership also includes classes.
Also, if you don't want to look like a total newbie, look around on youtube - there are a lot of fitness videos on proper technique for any type of workout imaginable (shh, I watched one the first time I used an elliptical - I was afraid I would look like I had no idea what I was doing because the motions look so awkward!)
I owuld definitely sign up for some classes or sessions with a PT. Some gyms will even offer a few free sessions with a membership.
In other words, you do need to be doing something besides cardio, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can even do body weight training, and get results. Make sure you find someone that you are comfortable with, and go from there.
Fitness Minutes: (220,360)
21,527 4/30/13 12:27 P
If you have a gym membership take a look at the classes. You could try a boot camp class or one of the group weight training classes. If you take a class, you'll have access to an instructor who will teach you good form with the weights.
If you don't have a membership yet, look around. Some gyms will offer a free personal training session as part of the initial membership. having a personal trainer can help you achieve your goals, BUT before you decide you want to work with a personal trainer, you need to know exactly what your goals are. If you say you want to "get fit", that's too general. The trainer will do whatever they want. So, if you want to see more definition in your arms or you want to increase overall strength, you have to tell them. Be specific.
And there are a lot of different gyms out there. Check out the ones in your area to see if they suit your needs and wallet. Remember, a gym and personal trainer are both tools you could use to help you achieve your goals. Ultimately, what you get out of either is dependent on what you put in.
Also, you might want to check out these two books. They are both good beginner books that will teach you the basics of strength training.
Body for Life - Bill Phillips New Rules of Lifting for Women - Cosgrove
Don't be afraid to lift weights, I can assure you that you will not get bulky if you do. That's a misconception. However, you do have to learn how to lift with good form. Proper form is important because you don't want to lift a heavy weight with poor form. that can lead to an injury. And don't assume that big body builder beside you is using good form. I've seen a lot of people at the gym lifting weights or using the machines with awful form. Thus the need to take a class with an instructor or work with a personal trainer for a couple of sessions.
Although, honestly, if you are going to work with a PT, figure at least 4 sessions to really understand what to do.
Fitness Minutes: (15,946)
1,078 4/30/13 11:50 A
By machines do you mean the weight machines? Definitely ask. There should be someone working there, it doesn't even have to be a trainer, that knows how to properly use them. Or ask someone who is already using the machine (but that could be trouble if THEY are using it incorrectly!).
Running on the treadmill is a good start though; bump up your incline to get a better workout while you're there!
Always ask...it's part of what you pay fees for, being a member of a gym..Better to know, than injury.
My question :), is two miles an hour how fast you can walk and still file your fingernails at the same time?
Fitness Minutes: (0)
5 4/30/13 10:59 A
I honestly have no idea where to start, I run on the tredmill but the machines at the gym scare me and i don't know what to do with them, i'm thinking maybe a gym that has personal training and classes .. what do you all think? where should i start?
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