I regret not beginning with a personal trainer so I'd do a week with one. But don't settle for just any, ask the fitness manager at your gym who might be right for you based on your goals and any physical or health issues. Personality should really be secondary unless you're the type who'll only train if you need someone entertaining who's a good listener. Because I'm at the gym over two hours I've observed a lot of trainers and noticed that many run three different clients in a row through exactly the same routines, perhaps under club pressure given demand to push or include whatever flavor-of-the-month trendy moves, i.e.:
This year it's heavy rope undulation; last year it was planks.
So beware - make sure you get a trainer that will personalize routines to YOUR needs.
I also regret not having the resources of the internet when I began. Despite all the contradicting and mis-information on the web, DO also get lifting advice from the net. But from reputable sources - a lot of top trainers have free helpful videos. For example this trainer emphasizes form over weight for muscle GROWTH and explains and demonstrates the many nuances of proper form in a way that's neither intimidating nor overwhelming. In fact, most "seasoned" RJ members who lift that watch just this vid might realize (if not publicly admit) that they've been doing lat pulldowns wrong for years! [url]
Even if you view only this trainer's "bodypart" videos and nothing else you'll enter a gym knowing more about how to properly perform a "bodybuilding" exercise than most people there that fling weights around. His website is http://www.vicsnatural.com/
. There are tons of other reputable sources but I think his free vids are such a great place to start that who knows? Someday I might actually buy
one of his programs.
Like most you haven't made clear whether you're more interested in "aesthetic" (bodybuilding), "strength" (powerlifting) or "functional" (Crossfit, P90x and even yoga) training so you should do that now. Naturally the best case scenario is to involve all three but prioritize
only one during any given period since each work in opposition to the other.
You might notice that there's a lot of contention between the strength and bodybuilding camps, mostly from younger strength guys who haven't hurt themselves yet. If you don't know what you're doing, or do but drop your guard and employ bad form at the wrong moment, you run a much higher risk of injury performing strength training and functional training like Crossfit, which involves a rapid mix of lifting and cardio with questionable form.