Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 05-23-2006, 09:59 PM   #1  
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Default Going to a gym for the first time ?


I've always exercised at home (I have a treadmill and some hand held weights) and I've managed to lose 25kg(55pounds) but I'd like to join a gym to tone up some more and lose what I have left to go ! I've never been to a gym before. So I have some questions for those of you who have been in my postion and now make it a regular thing.

On your first day when you join what is usually involved ? do you get assessed in anyway, shown around or can you just use the gym freely once you join ?

When you're using the equipment do people ever stand there and wait for you to finish because they want to use it next, is this a common thing ?

Is the equipment hard to use and what sorts of programs do you do ?

Thanks for the input, I just enjoy working home alone cos I can go at my own pace, no one is watching but I want to use better equipment to get more variety but i've never been to a gym before so a little shy about it !
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:05 PM   #2  
Ilene the Bean
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Nature don't be shy about stepping into the gym and congrats on joining!!

Most gyms have an introduction session with new members, so find out what yours is. If not ask for one as part of the deal or if that is really impossible try to find a friend that has experience to show you around the first few times.

Most gyms also have classes so you may want to try those to meet new friends and like minded health conscious people...

Don't be intimidated by the big guys in the gym, they're really kitty cats in disguise ...

Have fun and enjoy the process... Keep us posted on your discoveries...
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:37 PM   #3  
I don't even own a wagon.
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I don't think that there is usually an assessment unless you are joining a gym specifically designed or marketed for weight loss (Curves, LAWL centers, come to mind). A more generalized gym might offer that service (mine will do caliper measurements and some stress measurements if you wish as an extra service- with an extra price).

Any good gym will be willing to have an employee give you a tour. In fact, I would recommend that you DON'T join the gym until you have had a thorough tour and run-down on all of the services that they offer. My gym also offers a free introduction to each of the machines and weights (and/or training session) by one of their trainers within the first month of your membership. I didn't do this, but I regularly see new people getting help from a trainer, and it looks like they get very good instruction.

There are usually predictable busy and slow times at my gym. The busy time being before noon on the weekends and between 3:30 and 6:30 in the evenings during the week. For me, this means that if I go then I might have to wait for a cardio machine (they seem much more popular), but people don't generally wait and watch, they just go work on something else until a machine gets free. There is a waiting list, but I've never used it.

I find the equipment very easy to opporate- though not always easy to live through. The cardio machines work pretty much like the ones they sell to homes. The nautilus machines are easy to figure out, even without instruction (though, like I said, free instruction is offered at my gym). There are pictures that show you how to use them, and as long as you don't load on the weights until you've "practiced" with a new machine, they are very safe. I have to admit that I'm still a bit intimidated with the free weights, but I know I'll get that going with time.

I really love my gym, and I feel that I get such a better use of my exercise time then I would exercising at home. My main advice would be that, if you have more than 1 gym in your area, try them all out before deciding which one to join. Gyms can have very different atmospheres, and you'll be happier at the "right" gym and more likely to go on a regular basis. (For example, I don't like to be bothered with "salesmen" when at a gym. My gym never tries to sell anything-suppliments, training, or classes. They are all available for those who want them, but no one will come up to you and pester/encourage you to buy. Another gym in town is just the opposite, and though it is popular, I wouldn't care to go there.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have a great time!
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:23 AM   #4  
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You don't have to get assessed. Most gyms offer a free body fat analysis as well as a free session with a personal trainer. But these are usually optional and able to be scheduled at a later time. They will probably walk you around the gym and show you where everything is though.

I can count on one hand the number of times someone has stood there and waited for my machine (called working in) the only time may be when there is a ciruit training section where all machines are done in a certain order. These are usually the "total workout in 30 minutes" sections and people can get huffy about those.

The equipment takes some figuring out. Make sure to look at the pictures and try to really adjust it to fit you. When in doubt ask someone who works there to show you how to work it.

Dont be shy about the gym hun, You will be fine. Give it a month or so and you will be an old pro!
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:40 PM   #5  
Working My Way Back Down
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My gym (small, family-owned) gives you a tour when you join - kind of just where things are, how to sign it, etc. THen you can schedule a session with one of the employees on the machines, etc. There is only one actual trainer, and it's not his primary job. If you're used to using free weights, you may want to head to that section, and wait til someone shows you how to work the machines. I appreciated the intro for that. The cardio machines I figured out myself. And if you like classes, be sure to try one. Have fun!
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