Weight and Resistance Training - So I joined a gym

View Full Version : So I joined a gym

07-02-2012, 06:41 PM
Now what do I do? I know I'm supposed to shun machines in favor of free weights, but I'm really intimidated and clueless. I care most about core strength, then upper body, and least about my legs/bottom. I only have about 45 minutes to an hour for strength training, 2-3 days a week. What exercises should I be doing?

07-02-2012, 07:22 PM
Many gyms offer a free orientation which will explain any equipment. As to using free weights, I would either hire a reputable certified personal trainer for a session to learn how to use them or buy the book "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" which will detail how to use free weights and has plans made up you can follow.

07-02-2012, 09:34 PM
Machines are good to start on expecially if you haven't really lifted before. They assure that your form is correct and you have a smaller chance of injuring yourself!

07-02-2012, 10:43 PM
I tried to hire a personal trainer, but they said I have to meet with the head trainer first and she has no availability when I can go to the gym. So I will buy that book!

07-02-2012, 11:07 PM
I'm still new at the gym (almost two weeks) and I've been doing consistent work on the machines and cardio on the elliptical. I just started weight lifting (not a lot) yesterday and I like it a lot, not sure if I like it more than machines, though. I'll need more time. See which you like better first. Test some things out, you know? Never hurts to try.

07-04-2012, 02:17 PM
Machines are good to start on expecially if you haven't really lifted before. They assure that your form is correct !

I just want to correct the record on this.

One of the things that people don't like about weight machines is that they DO NOT help you develop good form. They work whatever muscle in isolation and without it being important that your form is correct. Think, for example, of the shoulder press machine. You plonk down and push the handles along the track of the machine. You are not engaging your core (as you would do if you were doing a free weight dumbbell press) and your muscles aren't having to work to make sure the weights go up relatively smoothly--they follow the machine track.

It is MUCH better to start with body weight exercises like squats and lunges, and dumbbell exercises like presses and rows.

Read around this sub-forum--there is lots of information and lots of resources that will help you figure out what you could be doing. Machines aren't a great choice.

ETA: You should definitely care about your lower body as well as your core and upper body. All the big, powerhouse muscles are in your lower body--those are the ones that will burn crazy calories, as well as making you strong and awesome. DO NOT neglect your lower body.

07-04-2012, 05:20 PM
I do care about my lower body, I just already get a decent lower body workout carrying my toddler around on my back in my mei tai for hours every day. But I am pumped about NROF4W and am going to follow it pretty much exactly.