I need a trainer...but I can't really afford one

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:38 AM GMT
    I've lost a significant amount of weight recently. About 35 pounds. The first 15 or so I lost on my own by dieting, and the rest came off due to medication I'm currently on (and currently lowering my dose so I can try to come off of them) for my ADD. Hopefully I don't gain all of the weight back, but I really need to start lifting weights so I can tone up and build some muscle.

    The only problem is that I really don't know what to do in the gym. I know how to use cardio equipment and that's it. I know how to use the weight machines for the most part, I just have no idea what type of regimen I should be following. How much weight to use, how many reps, which body parts and how often, etc. It's all very confusing to me. I could really benefit from a trainer, but I don't know if I can afford one since I'm a college student and work part-time.

    Any other advice on how to get started?
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    Jan 07, 2013 1:16 PM GMT
    Bump.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2013 2:04 PM GMT
    Don't all gyms have a trainer helping out beginners like you?
    Yeah they won't be a personal trainer specially for you but they are like monitor.
    Whenever I join a gym I ask whether they have a monitor or not. Everywhere I have found one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2013 2:05 PM GMT
    Follow one of the programs here on RJ, many guys have and found good success.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 07, 2013 2:06 PM GMT
    have you tried reading?
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    Jan 07, 2013 2:07 PM GMT
    mileshelvetica saidFollow one of the programs here on RJ, many guys have and found good success.
    This. If you are new to weights, the Strength Foundation workout on RJ is a good place to start. Good luck!
  • bishop65

    Posts: 226

    Jan 07, 2013 2:20 PM GMT
    Check out Bodybuilder.com. You won't get a free trainer, but there are a lot of programs for new lifters and lots of message boards as well. Or you can check out one of the programs on this site. Good luck! Have you ever considered having a friend work out with you? Sometimes having a friend can help with your work outs. Good luck.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 07, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
    I would go to youtube to research workout routine . I have a library of bodybuilding/workout videos that has really helped me out over the 2 years I've been working out. Check out these youtube chanels before you start. Search beginners on each page.

    twinmuscleworkout - the hodge twins
    vicsnatural - victor costa, does a great break down of exercise routines

  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 07, 2013 3:12 PM GMT
    Youtube IS your personal trainer.
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    Jan 07, 2013 3:23 PM GMT
    Do you have any friends that are athletes or workout regularly? I'm sure they would be flattered if you asked for help. Or you could find a gym buddy who is willing to take you under their wing. It would be free and you'd have better motivation than going on your own.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 07, 2013 3:23 PM GMT
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    Exactly. I just wish I knew everything I know now back when I started. These videos have helped me a lot. If I could afford a personal trainer I would get one, but Youtube's the best I've got.

    OP, wallcrawler83 is right. Try to find someone at the gym who is always there and seems nice. Start by asking them to help you with a spot.
    Last year I started training with an older guy who I had known at the gym for about 2 years. He gave me excellent advice and finally showed me how to go up 5 lbs every two weeks in my bench press. I made tremendous gains from training with him. A knowledgable gym buddy would definately help.

    FYI, Just in my experience the younger 20 - 38 year olds seem to be very self involved and not willing to help or even talk to newbies, especially the already built guys. If I were you I would try to find a middle aged guy who is nice and open to helping you out. It worked for me.
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    Jan 07, 2013 4:47 PM GMT
    I cant say enough good things about Fitocracy and the community there. Also it helps you track your workouts, and 'follow' other people as they do theirs.

    I find it helpful to see what others are doing for a workout and then see what I did as well... ive added a few things after seeing others have them added into their routines.
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    Jan 07, 2013 4:50 PM GMT
    ask around - you will know who to ask. Tell them you are new at the gym and you are a little unfamiliar with the equipments and you need some help figuring things out. Most guys are more than happy to help. Its a great way to socialize at the gym as well and going to the gym becomes more fun when you know a couple people there.
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    Jan 07, 2013 4:58 PM GMT
    At first (we're talking two years ago - great progress, right? :rollicon_smile.gif I wanted a trainer because I didn't know what to do at all.

    But then I just went in and used the machines at first. They tell you what to do and how to do it. Yes, it's going to be a little embarrassing at first. Just have to find a way to tune it all out and concentrate on yourself. Truthfully, most people won't be looking at you: they're too busy being self-conscious themselves.

    For I think almost 4 months I used machines exclusively. And not the ones where you put weights on it either - the plain machines with pins. The machine are simple and will help you get into it, get used to the movements and build your core. Eventually, as you do research, look into incorporating dumbbells and barbells.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:00 PM GMT


    I'm so jealous with my Mom she has a trainer...icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:01 PM GMT
    My advice is find an active friend who can help you out. That's how I got into lifting, a friend of mine and I went to the gym together and he showed me a whole bunch of moves.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 07, 2013 5:15 PM GMT
    IceBuckets saidAt first (we're talking two years ago - great progress, right? :rollicon_smile.gif I wanted a trainer because I didn't know what to do at all.

    But then I just went in and used the machines at first. They tell you what to do and how to do it. Yes, it's going to be a little embarrassing at first. Just have to find a way to tune it all out and concentrate on yourself. Truthfully, most people won't be looking at you: they're too busy being self-conscious themselves.

    For I think almost 4 months I used machines exclusively. And not the ones where you put weights on it either - the plain machines with pins. The machine are simple and will help you get into it, get used to the movements and build your core. Eventually, as you do research, look into incorporating dumbbells and barbells.


    Thats exactly how I started. Although I wish I would had gone to free weights soon. I think I was too much of a pussy at the time to go to where the big boys where.

    OP, Don't forget nutritian is just as important as workingout. It's just as important to learn about nutritian as it is workouts. Know the proper macro and micro nutrients you should be taking in. To start most sources suggest you should take in 1 gram of protein per body weight for minimal muscle growth. Some people do 2 grams pf protein per body weight. Research the amount of carbs you need and how much for your fitness goals.

    Here are some good foods to help you build muscle:
    - Lean meats, chicken, fish, beef.
    - Good carbohydrates, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruits.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:33 PM GMT
    MadeinMich said
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    Exactly. I just wish I knew everything I know now back when I started. These videos have helped me a lot. If I could afford a personal trainer I would get one, but Youtube's the best I've got.

    OP, wallcrawler83 is right. Try to find someone at the gym who is always there and seems nice. Start by asking them to help you with a spot.
    Last year I started training with an older guy who I had known at the gym for about 2 years. He gave me excellent advice and finally showed me how to go up 5 lbs every two weeks in my bench press. I made tremendous gains from training with him. A knowledgable gym buddy would definately help.

    FYI, Just in my experience the younger 20 - 38 year olds seem to be very self involved and not willing to help or even talk to newbies, especially the already built guys. If I were you I would try to find a middle aged guy who is nice and open to helping you out. It worked for me.


    That's an interesting point.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:35 PM GMT
    There are many books available, but the quality varies quite a bit. Go to Amazon and search beginning weightlifting, beginning weight training - then same terms without "beginning" because the search results change. Read the descriptions and especially the user reviews and go for one or two books. Even if the books you initially choose don't get you to where you ultimately want to go, you'll pick up a lot of knowledge.

    Putting together a program based on what you learn will give you a good foundation, possibly better than just following a specific routine a trainer prescribes. There is no substitute for a qualified trainer looking at your form, especially with free weights, but at many gyms you can get quick advice without paying for sessions. Depending on the gym and trainer, they will want to help hoping you might become a client in the future or spread a good word about them to others.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    ^^^^ This ^^^^

    Great source for beginner workouts. I do a bunch of training at no charge for moderate beginners that have a vague idea of what they're doing, but suck at form or too much weight (always related). Benefit to me is that I then usually have a workout partner at whatever time I get to the gym.

    I'm a huge stickler at perfect form and have shown great results with beginners over a period of six months or so.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    running11 said
    MadeinMich said
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    Exactly. I just wish I knew everything I know now back when I started. These videos have helped me a lot. If I could afford a personal trainer I would get one, but Youtube's the best I've got.

    OP, wallcrawler83 is right. Try to find someone at the gym who is always there and seems nice. Start by asking them to help you with a spot.
    Last year I started training with an older guy who I had known at the gym for about 2 years. He gave me excellent advice and finally showed me how to go up 5 lbs every two weeks in my bench press. I made tremendous gains from training with him. A knowledgable gym buddy would definately help.

    FYI, Just in my experience the younger 20 - 38 year olds seem to be very self involved and not willing to help or even talk to newbies, especially the already built guys. If I were you I would try to find a middle aged guy who is nice and open to helping you out. It worked for me.


    That's an interesting point.


    ^^^^^ this ^^^^^ True, I'm a little above middle age, but after 42 + years in the gym, plus very friendly with everyone, I'm pretty good at this. Plus, I have a killer ab workout .. especially for lower abs. I get a bunch of newbie HS seniors that come up and ask me to work out with them. I try to accommodate everyone.

    One high schooler who has watched me do abs with a bunch of other folks came up and asked if I'd workout with him, especially on abs. He's very good and I've noticed him for quite a while. He used a bit too much weight and form suffered a bit, but he's better than most.

    We started off on the typical T&T day (titties and triceps) and then did abs. Next day was back, biceps and shoulders. Third day I texted him:

    Me: how the abs
    him: I can barely move
    Me: LOLOLOLOL
    him: Its awful

    So I had him get in the pool and just play .... treading water, back stroke, side stroke, etc and by the next day he was sorta getting all right again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2013 5:52 PM GMT
    This 12-week strength foundation workout on this site is a great start. Just like it says on its description page, it's designed to help beginners get started and familiar with what to do in the gym. It has a very well-planned workout program and videos to show you how to do it. Each week and each day gives you new excercises, click on the week number and day number links at the top of the page. I look it up on my phone while I'm in the gym:
    http://www.realjock.com/workout/1057

    There's even a discussion forum on here with other members on here who are working through it;
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/110751
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2013 6:02 PM GMT
    I'm doing the strength foundation now. It's great because it's super simple. Generally one exercise per muscle so you aren't complicating the workout with supersets, etc. If you go to a gym, there should be someone there to show you how to use equipment, etc if you show them the exercises in the program. There are also videos on the program page!

    If you don't like those programs, you can checkout workouts in MensHealth, etc. I suggest finding something already spelled out. Especially one that evolves. I don't have the mental energy to try and switch up my own workout, haha.

    Good luck!

    Oh, and check if your school has a fitness education program. Often there are students training for free for educational experience.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 07, 2013 6:03 PM GMT
    running11 said
    MadeinMich said
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    Exactly. I just wish I knew everything I know now back when I started. These videos have helped me a lot. If I could afford a personal trainer I would get one, but Youtube's the best I've got.

    OP, wallcrawler83 is right. Try to find someone at the gym who is always there and seems nice. Start by asking them to help you with a spot.
    Last year I started training with an older guy who I had known at the gym for about 2 years. He gave me excellent advice and finally showed me how to go up 5 lbs every two weeks in my bench press. I made tremendous gains from training with him. A knowledgable gym buddy would definately help.

    FYI, Just in my experience the younger 20 - 38 year olds seem to be very self involved and not willing to help or even talk to newbies, especially the already built guys. If I were you I would try to find a middle aged guy who is nice and open to helping you out. It worked for me.


    That's an interesting point.


    Keep in mind, no offence to anyone. I know you're young too runnin11 but that has been my experience. It may be different for others. The big buff 20 YO's seem to only talk to you if u have as much muscle as them or more. The older guys really take the time out and sort of mentor you if they're not busy.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 07, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    running11 said
    MadeinMich said
    TheBizMan saidYoutube IS your personal trainer.


    Exactly. I just wish I knew everything I know now back when I started. These videos have helped me a lot. If I could afford a personal trainer I would get one, but Youtube's the best I've got.

    OP, wallcrawler83 is right. Try to find someone at the gym who is always there and seems nice. Start by asking them to help you with a spot.
    Last year I started training with an older guy who I had known at the gym for about 2 years. He gave me excellent advice and finally showed me how to go up 5 lbs every two weeks in my bench press. I made tremendous gains from training with him. A knowledgable gym buddy would definately help.

    FYI, Just in my experience the younger 20 - 38 year olds seem to be very self involved and not willing to help or even talk to newbies, especially the already built guys. If I were you I would try to find a middle aged guy who is nice and open to helping you out. It worked for me.


    That's an interesting point.


    ^^^^^ this ^^^^^ True, I'm a little above middle age, but after 42 + years in the gym, plus very friendly with everyone, I'm pretty good at this. Plus, I have a killer ab workout .. especially for lower abs. I get a bunch of newbie HS seniors that come up and ask me to work out with them. I try to accommodate everyone.

    One high schooler who has watched me do abs with a bunch of other folks came up and asked if I'd workout with him, especially on abs. He's very good and I've noticed him for quite a while. He used a bit too much weight and form suffered a bit, but he's better than most.

    We started off on the typical T&T day (titties and triceps) and then did abs. Next day was back, biceps and shoulders. Third day I texted him:

    Me: how the abs
    him: I can barely move
    Me: LOLOLOLOL
    him: Its awful

    So I had him get in the pool and just play .... treading water, back stroke, side stroke, etc and by the next day he was sorta getting all right again.


    You're exactly like my gym bud. He used to spot me for two years then we moved to another gym around the same time and I started working out with him on chest days. I have always had problems increasing my bench but when he gave me the tip of benching your heaviest weight for 5 reps for 5 sets with 3 minutes reps in between to build strength I suddenly was able to finally reach my goal of 225 lbs starting from 165lbs two months prior.

    I tip my hat off to you freedomisn'tfree and people like you in the gym whotake the time out to unselfishly teach others what you know. I salute you brother!!!