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FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
1/14/13 4:24 P

Good for you! When I started 4 years ago all I did was walk for the first 3-4 months, but that was all I could handle. Then I added machines and eventually free weights. 4 years later still going and still challenging myself.

You might want to try a body pump class to learn about weight lifting and any of the gym staff should be able to show you around the equipment etc. Good luck and good for you on making a decision to better your health.

BERRY4 SparkPoints: (261,432)
Fitness Minutes: (108,970)
Posts: 13,726
1/14/13 4:13 P

Most people are at the gym "doing their own thing". Don't be put off by others. Ask questions of staff if in doubt.
No sense injuring yourself and being prevented from working out.-- (Trust me, it is easier to do than not if you are working with weights and not using good form. That is what the mirrors are truly for...constant feedback.)

Honest injun...the first time I got on a treadmill, I tried to fix my shoe while on the moving belt and got shot off the back in an embarrassed heap. It's survivable. LOL

RACHEL2WRITER SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,594)
Posts: 102
1/14/13 2:25 P

Start slow and don't be afraid to try out different machines!

I joined the gym at the end of November. The first day I only walked 15 minutes on the treadmill and tried out a couple of the different weight machines. I didn't even break a sweat. I did that only 3 days that first week. The 2nd week was 3 days. After that I started adding on - 5 minutes on the elliptical, then 15 on the treadmill, and I wrote down a basic strength training plan starting with 1 set of 10 on several machines.
Now I'm up to 40 minutes of elliptical or treadmill on my 3 cardio days and 2 sets of 15 on a full strength training circuit for 2 days.

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
1/14/13 12:16 P

Rock on! I love the gym.

Don't worry about other people. If they're worried about you, they aren't focusing on their own workout, so who cares what they think. Planet Fitness is supposed to be full of normal people anyway. :)

I love the idea of walking in with a preprinted plan. If you go in and just try to figure it out when you get there, it can be frustrating, intimidating, and less effective.

That said, if you don't have the plan with you for whatever reason, still go! Even if you are only there for 15 minutes, you can try something you've never done before. Maybe you'll fall in love with the elliptical, who knows?

And, if they have them, a trainer or gym orientation is not a bad idea. They can give you a better picture of what you specific gym has to offer.

Have FUN when you go! Don't make it a chore, make it a chance to try something new or work off some frustration from work or to make yourself better, faster, and stronger. If you go in expecting to hate it, you will.

RAYLIENET SparkPoints: (7,036)
Fitness Minutes: (2,684)
Posts: 140
1/14/13 12:06 P

You will do great, and remember, most people are too busy to notice anyone else there working out. But so what if they do. You're there trying to better yourself and your health, and that's pretty admirable. Good luck!

SWEDIEPIE Posts: 338
1/14/13 11:42 A

Maybe see if they have some group classes, as well. They are lots of fun, and beginner-friendly.

LINDYSPARKLES SparkPoints: (32,005)
Fitness Minutes: (32,432)
Posts: 178
1/13/13 10:33 P

Your gym likely offers some sort of orientation to new clients, someone who can take you around and show you different aspects of the gym. I would ask at the front desk. They might be able to recommend certain things for you to start with.

When I started going, I mainly stuck to cardio, I would do 20 minutes on the stationary bike and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I was too scared to move to the weight section..there were always a bunch of muscular guys there that seemed to mostly be standing around talking as opposed to working out, and I felt like they would just watch me and judge me. I still prefer to do my strength training at home with my dumbbells, but there are a few weight machines for legs that I do because they are kind of right on the cusp of the weight section, right beside the cardio machines.

MJ121799 SparkPoints: (1,471)
Fitness Minutes: (28)
Posts: 69
1/13/13 9:39 P

Thank you so much Nancy! :) The fitness plan generator looks like an awesome tool! I will be telling my husband and friends that signed up with me about it as well.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/13/13 9:08 P


Trust me when I say this, but most people who go to the gym are more in-tuned to what they are doing that they probably won't even notice you. That being said, many gyms offer an initial fitness assessment with a personal trainer at no fee (just ask first). This may be a good starting point to helping you learn to navigate your gym environment.

SparkPeople offers a workout generated program for you based on your level of fitness and whether you elect to workout with machines or free weights (there are advantages and disadvantages to both). You may want to print off your program and bring it with you.

I hope this helps and I hope you have an awesome time!

Coach Nancy

MJ121799 SparkPoints: (1,471)
Fitness Minutes: (28)
Posts: 69
1/13/13 8:52 P

I decided today that I need to get some exercise. I have a sedentary job and I'm finding that I am always, always tired. I haven't thought about a gym membership because I didn't think I would be able to afford it. Lo and behold a Planet Fitness sprung up a few miles from my house and it is super affordable.

I'm a 31 year old female and about 50 pounds overweight, and like I mentioned before pretty sedentary and out of shape. Looking at all of those machines was just overwhelming today.

I was just wondering how everyone else starts out at the gym? I was thinking of doing their 30 minute circuit every other day and some strength training a couple times a week to get started. Any tips or advise on what routines have worked for others would be much appreciated. :)

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