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Posts: 4,848
1/20/13 5:48 A

ALORTA - the decision to hire a personal trainer is an individual one based on your needs... I cannot use one myself as the type of workout I do is not part of their training and so it would be useless and would just end up in an argument. So it is not for everyone. But if you are looking for a very standard program, then it can certainly help, if for nothing more than motivation.

Gym etiquette -- keep your eyes open and pay attention because every gym has its little quirks. I've belonged to gyms where you were not allowed to wear your gym shoes outdoors; other gyms don't care at all. I've belonged to gyms where several full time cleaners did the machine wipe downs constantly and the members were not supposed to do that; at other gyms the members did it; at my current gym, no one ever wipes down anything. Some gyms have time limits for cardio machines - one gym I went to, bikes and ellipticals had no limit but treadmills were 30 mins max during peak hours; my current gym has no limits. Some gyms have rules that you can't drop weights, my current gym does not have that rule and it is acceptable to drop weights if you need to. Pretty much all gyms like you to unload your barbells and replace the dumbbells in the rack but the extent to which this is followed varies a great deal. You should offer to let someone work in with you if you both want the same machine -- you do a set, then they do a set -- if it's a selectorized machine that doesn't involve unloading plates. It's considered very rude (most places) to arrive at a group fitness class after it has started. Some gyms require you to sign up for classes and if you are a no-show might not let you keep signing up; others you just show up.

Basically, it's just common sense.

Most gym machines have some sort of diagram on them showing what muscles are worked and the position of your body. Also, machines have padding only in places where they need to have padding, so follow the padding to figure out how to get into the machine. Foot pads should be pretty obvious, handles are very obvious. If your gym has floor staff, they will help you with this.

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1/20/13 5:22 A

Hi, I have been in the past a member of a gym in the uk and sa. Both, before you are even allowed to join you must do an induction course where every peice of equipment is explained and demonstrated,then you have a go with the person doing the induction so they are confident you understand the safety issues . If a gym was not doing this I would not join it ..
After the induction ,which can take,usually between 1 to 2 hours , you are the free to do as you wish. Also there should be a poster of the machine next to the equipment to remind you how to use it. You will find members of staff floating around who will always help you if you should forget,so will members, but go to a gym employee as they will show you
I totally understand should you get a trainer or not.?This is how I feel, In the past, I have never been so heavy or so unmotivated. Trainers dont care about this, they will push you when ,if you were on your own, it would be easy to stop.Again, they want you to do well.firstly, you are paying them not the gym,so they want results to keep you with them,and you will recomend them too. So check on the wall at the gym, there is usually pics and written intro s to the trainers, some will be more expensive than others, it does not mean they are better. You may prefer a lady etc.
Well they will be pricey. Sorry i am going to use examples in English, most trainers that I ve come across are between 20 to 25 a session. They give you 100% I have never used one BUT this time I am. I will give you more info on prices tomorrow, but only for Mauritius. The reason why is I need the extra help, I m only planning on using a trainer for a month 3 times a week. Hopefully then I can go it alone. I want a trainer for the weights. I have never used them so it will help me a lot as I am a real snozzbucket. Maybe if you say the area you live , someone may be able to help you with gym fees. Oh yes you may be expected to pay a joining fee as well then monthly payments. If you can it is cheaper to pay for the year up front,this is a good saving ONLY IF YOU GO TO THE GYM REGUALLY
Good luck G x

SparkPoints: (7,310)
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1/20/13 4:05 A

a bit off topic, but in prep for my own gym escapade...
How much (broad range okay, just need a ballpark) should I expect to pay for a session with the trainer? And does it help enough to warrant the cost?
I've never been to a gym and mostly done at home stuff (p90, insanity), so there's a lot of the little things I'm worried about not knowing (gym etiquette stuff, plus how to properly use some of the equipment, etc). I figure the routines I can pull from somewhere online, and a friend has told me most equipment has easy to follow explanations... but yeah~
Do you guys think its worth it to pay for a trainer, and if so, how often do you think you need to do that (I assume you taper down, but at the start)?

Posts: 4,848
1/20/13 3:30 A

Once you start working out at the gym, maybe ask some of the other women there where they get their clothes. They may have some ideas for you.

Posts: 5,756
1/19/13 10:19 P

Don't know how old you are, but in my younger days I felt the same. As I aged, I realized either people were with their workout buddies or just focusing on their workouts. NOBODY'S WATCHING US, unless it's to say, "Good for him!" or "Good for her!" Trust me on this. emoticon

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1/19/13 10:07 P

I know you said you had a gym in mind, but Planet Fitness is pretty inexpensive and is all about not judging (although you should never feel bad or uncomfortable at your gym) It's not a good fit though if you prefer a pool or fitness classes.

SparkPoints: (20,346)
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1/19/13 10:02 P

First off- how you feel is how you feel right now. There is no right or wrong way to feel. But, if you feel a certain way, you might want to ask yourself if its a beneficial feeling? What does not wanting to go to the gym do for you? It might be productive- motivation to get fitter so you can go without feeling awkward- or you could use it as a negative, a reason not to take care of your health at all. I wont say it's silly or wrong to feel awkward at the gym or to not want to go, but I will say you shouldn't let it stop you unless there are people being rude to you there.

My school gym is full of scary athletes (IMO... and its a small school, ike 1,200 people, so everybody knows everybody) and I only feel comfortable going with somebody I know and trust won't judge me. But I dont let that stop me, because the gym has equipment that is beneficial for my health. I use how awkward I feel by myself as motivation to push harder both in the gym and during home workouts- and I think it is actually VERY helpful to be in the gym and face that fear, because if you keep telling yourself, "this is scary, people are so skinny, they will judge me!" you might never go- and while gyms are NOT a necessity, you can find a lot of equipment (especially for winters or for strength training purposes) that you might not be able to get at home. Dumbbells I have access to are too small for me now, for example, and I don't have the means to invest in lots of home fitness equipment (probably won't until I'm out of school).

My point is: don't let other people influence your decisions regarding your health, in any way. If you think the gym offers resources that can help you, GO! If you honestly think it is a waste of money, don't go. But don't keep yourself back from a potentially great weight-loss tool out of fear. Surpass your fears. Be strong. Etc etc.

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1/19/13 3:17 P

Also, try discount stores...
I've found a greater variety in Ross-like stores than some of the mall work-out ones (they usually have a few, plus lots of stuff to use *while* working out, while the discount clothing ones have a whole section for athletic attire and some token yoga mats, etc). They also tend to have larger/greater variety of sizes.

SparkPoints: (1,898)
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Posts: 9
1/19/13 2:58 P

I just signed up for a gym down the street, because the weather has really bitten into my ability to keep on my exercise routine. As a total exercise newbie, (other than walking around the local park), I honestly fely like I was going to have a panic attack when I was on my way to the gym. I felt SO self-conscious! I went in, hopped on the treadmill (because that was least intimidating), and within five minutes, I realized that I wasn't paying attention to anyone else and no one was paying attention to me, either. In fact, the only thing that garnered anyone's attention was some guy lifting weights, who sounded like he was giving birth to triplets. Aftfer three trips, I have worked up the courage to ask the attendant for instructions on how to use the weight machines.

On a side note, when I was walking around the park, and I saw someone walking that was significantly overweight, my mind never went to judgement. In fact, I honestly wanted to high-five them as I passed them on the walking track, because they were inspiring to me. Get to the gym and enjoy it!

SparkPoints: (1,189)
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Posts: 11
1/19/13 2:43 P

ALso all clothes mailed in from abroad, you pay 20% duty and that is if they arrive.We wait for visitors to come and ask them to bring over. DO YOU SERIOUSLY believe I trust my mother in law.???? x

SparkPoints: (1,189)
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1/19/13 2:40 P

ha ha , here for guys its rugby,soccer or cycling. all black or manchester united red. But i hear u. Size small will be a tight fit but I m going to go for it. Never ever ever will my legs been seen hanging out of a pair of man u shorts.... x Ever

Posts: 4,848
1/19/13 2:26 P

How annoying that you can't find good workout clothes! Maybe you can order some online and just deal with the clothes you have until the arrive. I have definitely been there... here in Greece I couldn't find anything I could fit into at my heaviest (the situation isn't nearly so bad here as in Mauritius but I was a lot bigger than a UK 12!) so I bought men's clothes and worked out in those until I could fit into the largest women's clothes. No one noticed... I even found purple men's clothes! Try the men's section and you might be surprised what you find (or just skip it and go online).

Have a blast on Monday!!!

SparkPoints: (1,189)
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Posts: 11
1/19/13 1:23 P

Hi Guys, after all the agonising and listening to the great messages of support, then finally getting up the courage, to decide, that on Monday I am going to sign up for an induction day at the Gym, my Husband and I went out to buy me some great Gym wear. You will not believe that after 6 hours of traipsing around the island, going to 3 seperate Malls and into countless sports shops we were able to find absolutely nothing. No, it was'nt me being picky about styles - it would appear that Mauritius just does not stock gym wear for ladies, at least not in my size. I am a British size 12 - which is about average and the most popular size in the UK. However, here I am an XL because their medium is about the size that an average 10 year old squeeze into. So after a fruitless day I am going to get into the one pair of sweatpants that I have, a baggy T-shirt and a new sweatband (which is the only thing I managed to buy today) and head to the Gym on Monday. Thanks to all who supported me you have been the motivation for my decision. I will be starting my own Sparkpage, so I can make "friends" and include you all in the horrors of being the newbie on the treadmill, where I will have to wash, dry and iron my clothes everyday - I am taking your words for it that no one will notice ha ha! Gianna x

SparkPoints: (7,310)
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Posts: 310
1/19/13 11:07 A

I'm more or less in the same boat as you;
I'm doing Insanity at the moment, and have lost some weight... but I know when I move back home in Feb I won't be able to do the morning cardio I do here (I'll be waking people up, etc... and if I don't do it in the morning its near-impossible to find time emoticon ) and am instead considering joining the 24h fitness near(ish) my house.
Lots of fear as far as what ppl will think. Plus (since I've been working out in my room until now), I've no clue what to wear emoticon . At home I'd wear a sports bra and some bicycle shorts since no one saw me... but I doubt I'd feel comfortable showing my stomach and thighs at the gym emoticon ... on the other hand I think I'll overheat and be miserable if I wear an oversized T over the bra and yoga pants.

SparkPoints: (146,526)
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1/19/13 8:00 A

You have gotten a lot of great ideas and encouragement here! Personally, I love my home gym so much. I actually work the front desk and my main job is swiping cards but we do more than that of course. But because I work there and actually live in the town, I have gotten to know many people and made many friends, especially my running group! Many even made it to my 40th birthday bash.

So, what I am saying is I strongly encourage you to join, especially as an ex pat. You may make friends.

Posts: 2,349
1/19/13 5:25 A

If you want to lose weight, and are motivated to exercise, by all means join the gym. Run, don't walk to do it!

For heaven's sake, don't wait to lose weight to join it. Use the gym to help you lose it by being more active than you are now!

If however, you are not certain whether or not you'll like it or actually use it, then do a month trial.

Suggestion: Try everything at the gym, and give the classes more than one visit to check them out. I am the only one who uses all equipment, classes, and everything at our gym, often wondering why more people don't do that. We have racketball, handball, swimming, water and step aerobics, land and water zumba, yoga, pilates, basketball court, weight room, spin room and more. Go for it!!

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1/18/13 10:13 P

I agree get a week pass to see if you like it. You might want to start at a gym that has 24 hour access. Go when it is not too busy. Don't feel people are watching you, because they are not. Find one close to your house. Make a routine to go at the same time. Since your motivated to go right not, just do it. The more you think about it, you might not do it.

Posts: 4,848
1/18/13 3:34 P

Hi Gianna,
I'd love to add you as a friend and continue to support you on the journey! But I think first you have to have a SparkPage so you can add friends / be added. It's a really great motivational tool in itself, I'm sure you'll love it. :)

SparkPoints: (4,580)
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1/18/13 2:10 P

Get a week pass and try it out!

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1/18/13 1:49 P

I joined the gym one for therapeutic therapy for myself and to help me loose weight. I enjoy going and I have fun. I also wish I would have continued, but now, for me it is very important that I continue to push for this to happen.

Posts: 338
1/18/13 1:27 P

"The only thing I regret about joining our gym is that I didn't do it sooner." Yes, this! I wish I had done it in my 20's. I did sparingly. I wish I did in my 30's. I did it sparingly, and had three kids in there and made a ton of excuses- fear being one of them. I joined a gym in my late 30's, went regularly, and then moved. I wish I had joined when we moved to this town two years ago, but I waited an entire year to join, while I packed on 20 pounds.

Now that I've been going regularly since last Spring, I LOVE GOING! I bound out of bed each morning and look forward to getting that workout finished, logged, and DONE!

How great is it that your husband is going to go with you! I would love for my husband to go with me, but he has a free membership at the university gym where he works. He goes to spin classes with me on a guest pass here and there, and it's fun to have my sidekick with me.

Good luck- come back and tell us how you are fairing and what you are loving about it.

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1/18/13 12:17 P

Yes,I know where you are coming from. I now live in mauritius, On an ex pat via husband permit. It is sooo hot and humid,only a gym or air conditioned room will do.
As well as the gym I wil(l aswell) look into a tread mill. 10,000 steps a day was okay walking my dogs.Now we are all asleep under shaded tree.Thank you x

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1/18/13 12:08 P

Gym doesn't work for me because I find it difficult to commit to a specific time of day for classes, etc. Instead, I bought a heavy-duty treadmill, light weights, resistance bands, a medicine ball and a stability ball, and use them at my convenience. I've lost 15 lbs. so far and plan to lose another 20.

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1/18/13 12:06 P

RIGHT OKAY . I WILL JOIN ...BUT... tomorrow,flash gym gear. To make me feel brave,
Secondly, I got my husband to read thr my messages, He is so impressed with your support and great advice ! He and I didnt know YOU were out there. He is also going to join.
I agree. Feb good time to start at gym but gives me 2 weeks mental time and appointment joining time. okay here I go. THANK YOU .Tomorrow I will make appointments and see re trial times. That was excellent advice.
PLEASE will you sign me up as your friends. I am so new to this.
I do not know .if you know .. how much it means to us new people,to hear your advice and words of wisdom., its YOU that help us start and continue and evenually help others.
THANKYOU X GIANNA. OH if I have a blip.. I ll be straight back at you !!

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1/18/13 11:09 A

I love love love going to the gym. I'm a member of 24hour fitness. They have lots of locations in my town and I've been able to go to most of them and figure out which has a vibe I like the most. Like everyone else has said, there are times when different types come into the gym, so exploring times and locations is really really helpful in finding something comfortable for you.

And I am totally on board with you buying some new clothes for the gym. There is something more satisfying about going to they gym in clothes that fit instead of an old tshirt and sweat pants. It's absolutely silly - I mean, I look like gross when I'm exercising, but at least I walk into the gym with some swagger in my nice workout clothes.

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1/18/13 11:01 A

I know it's scary! I thought that same thing, then reminded myself that I was going for ME and nobody else. After I started going, I realized that most people there have their headphones on and really don't make eye contact. Most everyone is there to do their own thing. After a week or two of going regularly, you'll really start to look forward to it, too!

The only thing I regret about joining our gym is that I didn't do it sooner.

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1/18/13 10:35 A

I understand that joining a gym might be intimidating, but think of how awesome you'll feel once you start going regularly! Technically, you can lose weight without doing any form of exercise (weight loss is 80% nutrition, 20% fitness) but exercising regularly has a number of other health and psychological benefits. I say go to the gym and work with a trainer! (Especially if hubby is paying for it!)

Posts: 7,361
1/18/13 9:59 A

I understand your fears, but, like most of the other posters, I think they aren't 'real.' BUT if you are concerned, see if the gym could give you a 3-7 day free-trial pass to see how you actually feel going and working out...that'll be better evidence than anything you'll get here.

I know that, where I go, there are certain hours where the 'buff and social' crowd show up and other times where the folks who are there for their health and fitness, and don't care about anything else congregate--I try to go at the latter times, obviously. Easier on me in every respect.

Waiting till you have lost weight? Well, weight loss IS about 80% diet, and only 20% affected by activity, so you won't suffer that way; however, HEALTH is partly about keeping your body in motion, so ya pays your money and ya takes your choice.

Good success to you.

Edited by: BRITOMART at: 1/18/2013 (10:01)

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1/18/13 9:27 A

Hi Gianna! It is scary to think about going to a new gym. As a former employee of a medically-based fitness center, here are a few things you may want to consider. Can you get a free pass or 2 to try out the gym first before committing? The environment of some gyms are just not motivating for your particular goals- see if you can try it out first to see if this is a place you will want to continue to go back to each week. Second, January is the absolutely busiest time of the year for gyms- everyone joins (and half leave by Feb.1). You may want to exercise at home (Coach Nicole has some great free videos on here that you can do with no or little equipment) for a few weeks and, if you decide to join, sign up in February or March. The trainer will have more time to spend with you and the gym will be emptier so it is less intimidating to try out new things. If you can go in the mid-morning or early afternoon time, most gyms are almost empty so you can practically have the place to yourself!
I would definitely reiterate what others have posted- don't wait to start some form of exercise! You will feel so much better and will be glad you did. Just know that exercise does not necessarily mean going to a gym and be sure not to overdo it at first...slow and steady! Good luck!!

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1/18/13 8:46 A

Firstly, well done to you and your weight management. Husband who owes me a birthday gift has told me to go sign up gym and get myself a trainer for a month, as i v said i v NO IDEA how to use weights. I do feel quite worried in starting off, I have NO clothes that will fit for gym so guess what I ll be buying tomorrow.Thank you sooooo much for taking a moment out of your day to pass on some encouragement.Two years ago I was 55kgs, Now I m 70
Where does the time go !?@%^%$
IN 2 weeks I ll BE Muttering your name under my breath ha ha xx

Posts: 2,707
1/18/13 8:08 A

You're not being silly, it's the way you feel. However, I agree with the previous poster that you'll feel better and your results will be better if you start working out now. Perhaps take a week or two and do somethings at home and get your diet in check and lose a pound or two and see if you feel better if it really is a huge concern to you. Otherwise, I'd do some research, put together a plan and go. That way you're not wandering around looking to figure out what to do. As was already stated, no one cares how you look, they want to get their workouts in. And, even if they are silently judgin you in their heads, so what? You know why you're there, you're doing something that's good for you, chin up and get fit!

Posts: 4,848
1/18/13 6:01 A

Hi Gianna!
I know what you mean... but if you have the opportunity to join a gym, especially one close by with new equipment (lucky you!), I would jump at the chance! Here's why: if you lose the 15 kgs but don't exercise (especially with weights) during that time, you will get flabby and soft looking. But, if you exercise at the same time that you are losing the 15 kgs, when you've lost the weight, you will be tight and firm and shapely. You can still get tight and firm and shapely by joining the gym after losing the weight, but why put it off for another 6 months? Let's say it takes you 8 months to lose the weight. If you've been working out at the gym, in 8 months you'll have that great body you want. If you join the gym 8 months from now to shape your body, it will take another 6 months to get the body you want.

Do you want to reach your goal in 8 months, or 14 months? :) Not a hard question for most people!

Working out at the gym will probably be a huge motivation to keeping you on track with food as well. I work out at my gym 5x/week and it is pretty impossible for me to mess up the nutrition side of things when I know I've started my day at the gym -- it's just not worth it. It's a STRONG daily reminder to stay on track.

And if you're worried about what people will think of you -- don't be. People at gyms are so concerned about their own workout that they won't even notice you're there. I have been going to my gym for about 4.5 months and I think 2 other members have spoken to me in that time. Probably not many more have noticed that I'm there!

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1/18/13 4:50 A

okay I m in a mind set where, My husband has said he will pay my membership and monthy fee to join a new gym just opened near us.But I want to loose some weight before I join. I have 15kgs to loose, Am I being silly or does anyone out there know where I m coming from ?
PS where I live (i m an expat) everyone is sooooo skinny.

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