New to the gym

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2008 7:59 AM GMT
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this site and community forums in general. I'm probably quite a bit younger than most people here, being in my early twenties. But I decided to start taking full advantage of the fact that I pay for my school and plan on going to it at least 3 times a week.

    Now a little about myself, I'm a pretty scrawny chinese kid (~130 pounds for 175cm, which is still normal BMI but still, much skinner than most guys I see at the gym). And I don't really know much about working out but everytime I try to look for a workout routine or something, I always seem to find a regime thats way too hardcore for me (inculding a few on this site that I saw).

    So I'm just wondering if anyone can help me get started with going to the gym often by providing tips for getting buffer and for basically starting up. In short, I don't really know much about going to the gym so any tips would be appreciated!

    You can post it here or we can talk via email. Thanks a bunch!
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    Jan 08, 2008 7:48 PM GMT
    First thing: "before" pictures.

    That's your first assignment.
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    Jan 08, 2008 7:57 PM GMT
    Chucky's right. Second thing is, before even thinking about entering the gym, is buying yourself some cute little gym outfits.
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    Jan 08, 2008 8:11 PM GMT
    hmm, Well, I don't need a photo to give you general advice.

    There are a lot of workout plans on this and other sites, if you have a look through them and choose one thats most appealing. You don't have to follow them all to the T however working all the muscle groups over the course of a week is important.

    Make sure you eat right and eat well. No junk foods, you want good carbs and protein (along with fiber) and you want to make sure your always eating enough.

    Forget about cute workout outfits, go in something comfortable that you can sweat your arse off in.

    OH and always ALWAYS warm up before working out and cool down after your workout. I like stretching a little after my workout and a good walk. Also day after if I'm sore a bit of a bike ride or a walk plus some light stretching always makes me feel better!
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Jan 08, 2008 10:09 PM GMT
    Talk to a certified personal trainer since you are just starting out. I'm lucky that I took a weightlifting class in college. That really helped me out.

    See if your gym has any classes that can teach you the basics. Reading what you see on here is great, but actually doing the exercise will help you out even more.

    and ask questions! Don't be afraid to do that! If you don't ask, how will know if you are doing the correct routine? icon_smile.gif

    Good luck!
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    Jan 08, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    I would echo Sodak as "form" is one of the most important aspects master that and learn to lift progressively and you wont go wrong.

    Dont worry about supplementation until you have mastered the above and your diet spot on.
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    Jan 09, 2008 11:36 PM GMT
    OOH yeah, I didn't put that.

    Form, extremely important!
    theres no use going to the gym unless your doing it right and safely and no cheating either.

    I've had the unpleasant experience of knowing people who have hurt them selfs by trying to do things like lift with there back. It may not hurt now, but in ten yours you'll be wishing you where more careful as you try to pick up a news paper mid way off the floor!
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    Jan 10, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    Wow thanks for the replies, I didn't expect it to be so fast.

    First off, i'm way way too embarassed with my build to put up a before picture, everyone here just looks so fit.... thats also kinda the reason why i don't have a display pic.

    Ok, my schedule this semester basically gives me three 3 hour breaks a week which should give me plently of time to go to the gym (i'm currently at the University of Toronto, so its not too bad). But i'm just wondering, if i go three times a week, how should i structure my workout? i.e. is running before weights better than vice versa or it doesn't matter? how about which exercises to do each day? I'm thinking its probably not wise to do everything everyday, whats a good, simple way to split it?

    About my form, I'm kinda sticking with machines right now just because i'm not too confident on how to use free weights. Also, i'm noticing that i'm shaking sometimes when i do weight so I think maybe i should build up some foundation and core power before i move onto the free weights.

    Any comments would be appreciated thanks!
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    Jan 13, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    Shaking isn't a "bad" thing in its self.
    When I first started I used to shake a fair bit, however now, thats almost gone (experience it in my legs mostly)

    hmmm, I can't exactly direct you on what would be best for you, but, weights one day, cardio another

    Then in weights if you can
    Upper body day 1
    Lower body day 2 with abs caught over on each day.

    I'd do the cardio on mondays
    Weights wednesdays and fridays

    Although, ideally you will want to put more into it then three days though. However you will notice gains for a little while.

    Hopefully someone will come along with more confidence in directing you (I'm still relatively new and wouldn't wanna put anyone else into trouble)

    With the Machines, you can still hurt your self, make sure to read the instructions properly and if possible ask someone who works there to demonstrate correct posture/form/position

    Machines are very isolation though, working really only one or two muscles at a time, free weights work groups because you need to stabilise your self, the weight and the movement which will call on many muscles all at once!
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    Jan 13, 2008 4:59 AM GMT
    Oh, I remember...!
    When I was a plucky freshman, excited, optmistic, ready to learn and what's more, ready to make the boys drool, which is why I made a b-line to my school gym.

    Hmmm, what did I do in those days.....first, make eating one of your course studies. I actually think my metab got stronger in college because of all the exercise i was doing and remember, all that extra using of your brain burns a lot of energy too.

    If you did start bulking up, you'd find that you did get tired faster and yes, would notice a change in your ability to stay awake in class and retain information. Atleast this happened to me until I started increasing my food intake.

    Shakes could help, but please, try bulking up with food only first before you turn to supps. I made a lot of progress with food alone and I think supps should only be used after you find out precisely what your body can do on its own with only rest and nutrition.

    Also, with me, before I started hitting the weigths heavy I tried to condition my body: I walked more, participated in more house and yard work, I did tons of pushups and situps, lots of roughhousing with friends.....I was feeling and looking stronger before I even touched a free weight in the gym.

    And, one of most result producing tactics I think got me the most ready for gym free weights was the extra books i put into my backsack. I mean, think about it, that thing is with you all day at school and you are lugging it around. Although, you may be like the majority of college students that leave the bag in the car, you don't do that, get it to where it is pretty hefty (not too heavy ,lol) and carry it with you.

    The conditioning is important because, some may disagree, but I think the beginner weigthlifters body is a sleeping beauty. Only this time a kiss won't wake it up. I think you have to jarr it from its slumber with a pretty intense shock! Which is why i'd recommend a pretty intense workout regimine for a start, something that makes you ache all over when done. What I did was i'd do the basics: curls, bench, pull-up, and machines with low weight high rep until I thought my arms might fall off.

    Ofcourse, as you go, add some order to the madness, but to start, just go in there and have some fun, play with the heaviest you can, which i'm guessing is about 15 for curls and bang it until it feels light.