OVERWHELMED AT THE GYM. Help?!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2014 1:38 AM GMT
    Hey guys. I've always sort of wandered my way around the gym without really getting any results. I've been looking through some of the suggested workouts on here, and I'll admit it. I'm completely overwhelmed and intimidated, and I don't even know where to start. Please help!
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    Apr 26, 2014 2:47 AM GMT
    Start with a few basics. I found that 2 sessions with a personal trainer got me going. Try that…. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 26, 2014 3:19 AM GMT
    Firstly get used to doing a simple workout of a few basic exercises - squat, pullups, dips, bench press, etc.

    Learn how to do them really well, and just because you think you are doing it the same way as someone else, does not mean that it is the optimal way to do it. Ask for tips and feedback from experienced guys at the gym (not while they are in the middle of a set though).

    Learn how to feel the muscle that you are working, feeling the stretch and tension within it.

    Once you have nailed this, add in extra exercises one by one, learning how to do each one well. Correct technique is more important than the weight you are shifting, as you can hit a muscle really hard with very little weight if you use the correct form.

    Get a program sorted using the exercises that you have learned, which will tell you which days to train which muscles ( bodypart split ), how many reps and sets to do each workout ( volume and periodization ).

    Get an mp3 player and headphones with some good pumping music to help keep you focused and constantly strive to improve everything you do in the gym to avoid getting complacent, lazy or distracted.

    Enjoy yourself and the journey that you have chosen.
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    Apr 26, 2014 11:46 AM GMT
    hairyandym saidStart with a few basics. I found that 2 sessions with a personal trainer got me going. Try that…. icon_wink.gif


    This. Have a sit down with a personal trainer at the gym, and even 2-3 sessions will give you an idea of how to start.

    Calisthenics is most important. Pushups, pull ups, etc.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 26, 2014 1:42 PM GMT
    I would encourage you to be articulate about what you'd like to achieve, then meet with a trainer at the gym and work with them to clarify what might be ambiguous goals.
    Once clarified, I'd be all about understanding which machines to use, how often, AND ALL ABOUT NUTRITION as well. It isn't hard, it needn't be intimidating, it's all about your life and an improved YOU. So take the initiative! Sounds like a great challenge.

  • Apr 26, 2014 1:42 PM GMT
    I agree with all of the above. I'd add to remember that it's all about you at the gym: what you enjoy and what you want. No one else is really looking or really cares, even if it feels like they are and they do.
  • str8hardbody9

    Posts: 1519

    Apr 26, 2014 4:19 PM GMT
    I totally agree get a personal trainer in your gym for 5 sessions. It will help you a lot. icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 26, 2014 5:54 PM GMT
    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][/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.
  • jx108

    Posts: 3

    Apr 26, 2014 8:27 PM GMT
    One word.

    Stronglifts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2014 8:30 PM GMT
    ^ this

    or starting strength by rippetoe. i'm not a huge fan of the workout plans on the forum for people just starting out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 12:23 AM GMT
    jx108 saidOne word.

    Stronglifts.


    that looks suspiciously like two words crammed into one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2014 12:59 AM GMT
    You all are kind, encouraging, and helpful. Not to mention all beautiful! I appreciate the tips and the good vibes as I get started in earnest trying to get healthier!