Hey there! My boyfriend and I always talk about eating better and being healthy but we haven't acted on it much. I lost about 20 lbs by changing my eating habits but I stopped doing that recently. Anyways, he is signing us up at Snap Fitness and I'm not sure how to start or what to expect! I bought a few basics as far as clothing so that's not an issue. I just don't know what to do once I walk in the door! Obviously change and put my things in a locker, then go out and get on some kind of machine. I'm not comfortable with strength training because I'm clueless in that department. As far as doing cardio, does anyone have tips for beginning? How long I should stay on each machine or which machines are best for all over fat loss? Also, what are some of your pet peeves of other people at the gym?
Something that has worked for me is using the elliptical. I think it's great for beginners because it's low impact on joints and the knees. I do the 'aerobic' mode on the elliptical which tells you different things to do like 'focus on pushing', 'focus on pulling', 'use legs only', etc and mixes in going forward and backward. It keeps it interesting while using both arms and legs. I usually do that for 30 minutes.
The next 30 minutes I usually find an ab machine that doesn't hurt my back so much. I usually watch other people in the gym to see how they use the machine and go from there, and start at a very low weight and work my way up until it feels like I'm working my muscles by the 8th rep.
I usually just focus on two muscle groups each time I'm at the gym. So I'll do biceps/triceps one day, chest/back the next, legs the next day, etc.
My two biggest pet peeves are when people get on a machine right next to me when there are others open and when people don't wipe off their sweat after using a machine (gross!).
I work at my university's gym and it can be really intimidating because of the super-athlete sorts there... who seem like they could do anything. Just get a good playlist of songs that motivate you and get into the zone.
Normally I do the elliptical for about a .3mile up to a mile before I do treadmill for a bit. Then, I normally go back to the elliptical. It's a great way to warm up your body for going on the treadmill if you're having difficulty getting on the treadmill off the bat. I think varying it up is always good and you also learn what you like, which is really important.
You're not alone about strength training. It's pretty intimidating after you see some of the uber-built up jock types doing 100lbs. But, if you find a time when the gym is more empty and you feel more comfortable, definitely try it (after watching people do it, so you can know what to do!) I actually just did strength training today though I'm so going to regret that once I'm sore tomorrow...
I'd consider signing up for a personal training session. A lot of gyms offer them for free for new members. The trainer can get you acquainted with the machines (even strength!) and help you find workout options that are best for you. It can definitely be intimidating to get started, but having someone to show you the ropes will make it easier.
As for cardio, everyone has their own preferences, and maybe you just want to explore different machines until you find what you like best. I do a lot of running, so am usually on the treadmill, but I do like to mix things up and cross train on the ellipticals, bikes, and stair machines on my non-running days. I don't know if your gym has group fitness classes, but occasionally I'll do one of those like Pilates or Zumba.
Pet peeves - the worst is when someone doesn't wipe off a machine after using it. Ewwwwwww. I also hate it when someone is right next to me talking into their cell phone while working out - at least my gym doesn't allow cell phones so that's not an issue!
Good luck! I'm sure you will love it.
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Does your gym offer classes? It may seem intimidating at first--but I work out harder in my classes than I do by myself. If they offer group weight training classes, that can be a great way to learn the ropes. 3 years ago (and 35 pounds/3 sizes bigger) I could never imagine saying this--but I love my gym and my group fitness classes!
Thank you ladies! I know when I used my old treadmill earlier this year I felt like jogging or running sounded loud/hard. I'm wondering if I'm running/jogging improperly..?
Nah, I use a fancy treadmill and I feel like that. Running uses all your weight and is intense cardio. Yes, there are wrong ways of running, but if you're on a treadmill there is no such thing as too much noise. Just get a good playlist of songs to block it out!
Last edited by loquaciousjogger : 09-30-2009 at 12:56 PM.
They say the elliptical is easier on the joints but it is not easier. I use the treadmill because I can go for longer. The elliptical is a killer. I know some people love it though.
Also I know I was often too shy to ask so I actually bought training sessions but the trainers will show you how to use any of the machines if you just ask. At least that is how it is in my gym. They don't want you getting injured so they are happy to show you.
Robin--really, if you are looking to lose fat and slim down, tone up, etc, you really need to incorporate a strength training regime to your workout!!! Cardio is great, and its a great way to start, but in the end, it is strength training that will really give you the outward physical results you prob want!! IM sure there are other ladies out there who can vouch for this, but i obbssessively did cardio, and really only cardio for about 3 years, and i couldnt really seem to lose much weight (of course, i WAS eating like crap!!) I was, and am in phenominal cardiovascular shape, which is SO important and obviously so good for you, but it wasnt untill i started REGULARLY strength training, and of course, eating right, that the inches started melting off!! I bet your gym offers SOME sort of initial personal training sessions, prob for free. Take advantage of them, as everyone else has said!! Also, at both my gyms, they offer group classes for strength training--hour long classes using barbells and handweights to strength train, hitting every major muscle group. They are all called something different, but i HIGHLY recommend taking a class such as that!!. Once youve got your own thing down, incorporate the strength training in, on top of your cardio (dont stop doing cardio though!!) Good luck!!
"All the Secrets of your foundation shall come to light.... and when you lie, uprooted and broken in the sun, then shall your lies also be separated from your truths" Nietzche
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I go to snap fitness!! Its an awesome gym. The guy who works there will show you around and show you how to use ALL the weight machines and even write on this paper a list of the ones you should do, your weight for the machines and everything for FREE. It was a great help to me who has never been to a gym before. He also told me if I wanted to lose weight I cannot only do cardio. You have to do some type of weight training. I do about 3-4 machines a day after my 30 minute cardio.
Next to the treadmills there are these red and black elliptical looking things. Those are a HUGE work out for cardio. I can only be on them for about 2 minutes and then I have to stop and get on the treadmills. Then I do abs right away which he suggested and showed me. Then day 1 I do chest. Day 2 is legs, and day 3 is arms. Then repeat. Everyday I do abs. But like I said tell him you are not sure how to use the machines or whatever, and they will show you everything, tell you how to sit properly, and everything. Its like a day of a personal trainer. One thing I like about Snap Fitness is that its small, and when I am there; there is never more than like 1-2 people there. Its great
Last edited by momto3kittiess : 09-30-2009 at 01:10 PM.
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