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IBHLKING Posts: 1,341
6/15/11 2:31 P

I agree about the classes...mine have several that include strength training. Also, if you can spare a few dollars, you can schedule a training session in which the trainer can show you some of the machines and put together a workout for you. I did this and created a cheat sheet that I take with me that lists each of the exercises/machines, broken down by the area it works.

VTSKIER805 SparkPoints: (65)
Fitness Minutes: (13,910)
Posts: 998
6/15/11 10:07 A

I just read an SP article yesterday which addressed this! "7 Strength Training Excuses: Busted!"
s_articles.asp?id=1641 One of the excuses is not knowing how to use the machines, so the article links to a quick machine workout generated (and explained) by SP:

You can look up machine ST on the fitness tracker and see how to do the exercises before you go!

COLBYRS SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,351)
Posts: 291
6/15/11 9:54 A

You will be fine on the machines, just read the directions and follow them. The experienced lifters usually stick to the free weights, but heck, if you are looking to do something with free weights just go up to one of them and ask them if they would be willing to show you how to use it.

Most of those guys are big softies, or eager to show someone how to lift the right way.

G0LD25 Posts: 82
6/15/11 9:25 A

I used to avoid all the machines at the gym because my gym has a 'weight lifter' atmosphere outside of the cardio area... a lot of gyms offer a complimentary personal training session with membership, so if you don't want to outright hire a trainer, then this might be the way to go. It's impossible to feel intimidated if you have a huge trainer watching your back and guiding you through everything. Surprisingly, once you stick with a routine for awhile, you will get to know all the regulars and they can be some really nice people. No matter how built or experienced they are now, they all started out inexperienced, and they will respect your continued effort. Good luck!

Edited by: G0LD25 at: 6/15/2011 (09:29)
CATLOVER110 Posts: 14,460
6/14/11 9:11 P

I agree with the suggestions to ask for help, but if you don't want to, another tip is to look at the machines. A lot of the machines at my gym have pictures and instructions printed right on the machine.

SMASH637 Posts: 392
6/14/11 8:42 P

Does your gym offer lifting classes? I find lifting in the gym to be terribly boring, so I have little motivation to do it, but I started doing BodyPump a few months ago and I love it! Plus, since the instructor demonstrates proper form, it's like having a personal trainer.

IGSBETH SparkPoints: (185,095)
Fitness Minutes: (116,893)
Posts: 3,947
6/14/11 7:09 P

I like the cross country trainer- it works your arms and legs and is easy on your knees.

6/14/11 6:12 P

I agree, ask for help, no shame in getting the low down on the right way to use a machine. If you don't want to I have a different recommendation.

1.Use the machines with the weight stacks already as part of the machine. Not the ones that you have to load the free weight onto.

2.Most machines have a lever below the seat part to adjust- sit on it, get up and adjust it higher or lower depending on where you were to reach the weights.

3. The handles also can be moved so once you are seated at the right height you should be able to adjust the handles so you can reach them.

4.The last part is adjusting the weight. There is a pin in the weights that you can pull out and move up to a lesser weight if need be. Good luck& I hope this helped!

MPWIFE24 Posts: 72
6/14/11 6:04 P

I used to be afraid of the machines too becuase I had no idea what I was doing and was afraid I would look dumb. Finally I forced myself to ask for help. I just went to the front desk and asked if there was someone who could give me a run down on how to operate the machines. A really nice lady (I don't know if she was a trainer or just an employee) took me through the operation of each machine step by step so that I would know how to use them on my own. Perhaps a little embarassing at first but it kept me from being embarassed EVERY time I went to try them out. :) Also, some gyms do a beginer program where they will show you how to use stuff in a group setting. Just ask! Much better to be informed then embarrased! Good luck!

AMORAN137 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,889)
Posts: 51
6/14/11 4:57 P

So... I have been faithfully doing cardio at my gym since I have been active on sparkpeople. But strength training not so much. I dont like people watching me especially because i have no idea what I am doing. It makes me feel really selfconscious and I avoid it all together.

I want to turn over a new leaf! I want to try 1 new strength machine TODAY. Probably something for my arms or back.

If you could share good machine to try... or a story with how you got over this fear I would really appreciate it!


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