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    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 1st Mar 17, 8:55 PM
    • 4,207Posts
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    YORKSHIRELASS
    What advice would you give a new gym goer?
    • #1
    • 1st Mar 17, 8:55 PM
    What advice would you give a new gym goer? 1st Mar 17 at 8:55 PM
    Hi all

    I am 45 years old and quite sporty (running, cycling, pilates and kettlercise classes) but have never been in a gym in my life. I have been dithering about joining the local gym because it will cost less than I am paying at the moment for individual classes and I will have more flexibility in what I can do.

    So I went in today and signed up, got my induction next week. I am mildly terrified - main worry is not knowing how to use the machines and looking like an idiot.

    So what advice would you give me? Are there any unwritten rules or etiquette that no-one will tell me? Anything that I really should know before I start? Be gentle, I am really quite nervous about this.
Page 1
    • Cheeseface
    • By Cheeseface 2nd Mar 17, 8:26 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 347 Thanks
    Cheeseface
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 17, 8:26 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 17, 8:26 AM
    The induction will show you how to use the machines and the free weights, if that's what you want. Tell them what you don't want. I'm a runner so have no interest in cardio equipment. I like the functional and strength training parts.

    Etiquette is to put everything away as you go, wipe off any equipment you use, don't take bags into the gym and don't hog any equipment.

    If you can afford it, book a few PT sessions as that can really help. I was very wary of the free weights but few sessions with a PT helped me with technique, knowing when to move up weights and to feel confident with unknown equipment.
    • fireblade28
    • By fireblade28 2nd Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • 142 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    fireblade28
    • #3
    • 2nd Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    Hi all

    I am 45 years old and quite sporty (running, cycling, pilates and kettlercise classes) but have never been in a gym in my life. I have been dithering about joining the local gym because it will cost less than I am paying at the moment for individual classes and I will have more flexibility in what I can do.

    So I went in today and signed up, got my induction next week. I am mildly terrified - main worry is not knowing how to use the machines and looking like an idiot.

    So what advice would you give me? Are there any unwritten rules or etiquette that no-one will tell me? Anything that I really should know before I start? Be gentle, I am really quite nervous about this.
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS
    1. Do Weights
    2. Do Weights
    3. You get the idea......most ladies think they will automatically turn into Arnold and honestly that's impossible. Even to get a little bigger requires a lot of work and girls simply don't have the testosterone to build loads of muscle. You will look much better than just a cardio bunny.
    4. Don't be afraid of asking for help people are generally friendly.
    5. If you want a machine and someone is using it, ask them how many sets they have left. Then you can judge whether to wait or come back.
    6. Feel free to ask if you can work in with someone ie share the machine while they are resting. Although I did this with an old guy once and he didn't know what I meant haha.
    7. Wear decent clothes ie don't be the person you have to avoid making eye contact at but you can't help but not look because they either look ridiculous or are falling out
    8. If you want to lose weight don't think just going to the gym will solve the problem. In fact exercise has been shown to not be that effective for weight loss. It's pretty much all diet. It helps but can only do so much.
    9. Eat more protein especially if you are doing weights.
    10. Eat your carbs before the gym so you have energy.
    11. Go at the same time every week to make it a routine.
    12. Don't worry what other people think of you. We all look stupid. Nobody looks good after or during exercise and if they do they wasted their time.

    Hopefully that helps and most of all enjoy!
    • SG27
    • By SG27 2nd Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • 1,885 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    SG27
    • #4
    • 2nd Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Mar 17, 9:00 PM

    8. If you want to lose weight don't think just going to the gym will solve the problem. In fact exercise has been shown to not be that effective for weight loss. It's pretty much all diet. It helps but can only do so much
    Originally posted by fireblade28
    Id say the complete opposite. Do enough excerise and you can eat what you want. I eat around 3500 calories a day. Mostly fairly healthy. I run at least two to three times a week and have a very physical job. I weigh 13st and have 11% body fat.

    I have a work collegue who weighed 27st when he started work with me. His diet is terrible. Lots of junk food. Over two years with no change in diet he lost 11st. Purely going from sitting at desk all day to 10 hours a day of constant walking, lifting, and general manual labour. He eats whatever he wants whenever he wants and is still losing weight.
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • fireblade28
    • By fireblade28 3rd Mar 17, 11:34 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    fireblade28
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:34 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:34 AM
    Id say the complete opposite. Do enough excerise and you can eat what you want. I eat around 3500 calories a day. Mostly fairly healthy. I run at least two to three times a week and have a very physical job. I weigh 13st and have 11% body fat.

    I have a work collegue who weighed 27st when he started work with me. His diet is terrible. Lots of junk food. Over two years with no change in diet he lost 11st. Purely going from sitting at desk all day to 10 hours a day of constant walking, lifting, and general manual labour. He eats whatever he wants whenever he wants and is still losing weight.
    Originally posted by SG27
    True I assume that the research that was done on this was on relatively inactive people as like 90% sit down at a desk now. I think their point was going to the gym 3 times and burning 300 calories is unlikely to make much difference. I guess it shows that if you are very active that contributes to the calorie use so you lose weight. Good point.
    • mickeymouse303
    • By mickeymouse303 7th Mar 17, 9:42 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    mickeymouse303
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 17, 9:42 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 17, 9:42 AM
    Why don't you start off by going to classes to meet others and build your confidence? This is what I did when I joined up to the gym because I was too nervous to even have my induction
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 8th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 2,723 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 17, 1:46 PM
    Rule number 1 - enjoy it!!

    There will always be people there who are fitter than you. And there will always be people there who are not as fit as you. But you are all trying to get fitter than you are at the moment, so you all have that much in common.
    • stephen77
    • By stephen77 9th Mar 17, 1:31 PM
    • 5,151 Posts
    • 5,207 Thanks
    stephen77
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 17, 1:31 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 17, 1:31 PM
    Enjoy it.

    There will be other new people at the gym as well. You will not realise it.
    Most of the biggest strongest people in there. Are more interested in what they are doing rather than worrying how much you are lifting or fast you are running.
    • EdSwippet
    • By EdSwippet 9th Mar 17, 8:33 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    EdSwippet
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 17, 8:33 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 17, 8:33 PM
    Why don't you start off by going to classes to meet others and build your confidence?
    Originally posted by mickeymouse303
    I would second this. Classes have several benefits:
    • You learn the right way to perform certain exercises, rather than muddle through. Doing things right reduces your chances of getting injured.
    • You have a fixed schedule, making it much more likely that you go to the gym and don't find an excuse.
    • During a class you do exercises you find easy, but also ones that you don't. The latter are (of course!) the ones that are most beneficial for you. Without the class you might be tempted to skip them and concentrate on ones that you 'enjoy' because they are easier.
    • Most gyms offer pilates, yoga and similar as classes, so you get to continue that.

    I am a decade older than you, and I had never set foot in a gym before this time last year. Since then, I go around six to seven times a week, but nearly always for classes. At this point I am comfortable enough around weights and other gym machines, but for all the reasons outlined above I find that the classes keep me honest and give me the best benefit for time spent.

    If you do want to use machines, I would recommend the rowing machine (ergometer) for a general overall workout. With proper form and technique you can work around 80% of your body muscles with just one session. Getting the right action is pretty straighforward. If you search out and watch a couple of youtube videos before you start, then if your gym is anything like mine I guarantee that even as a 'beginner' you will be using this machine more correctly and efficiently than at least 50% of the other gym regulars.

    Most importantly, of course, have fun. The best exercise is the exercise you do; the worst is the exercise you skip or otherwise avoid.
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 10th Mar 17, 6:22 AM
    • 4,207 Posts
    • 33,790 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    Thanks all, I have done classes for years with a personal trainer who runs them locally but she does not work with a gym. The only slight downside with classes is that you are tied to a particular time and I have to travel 5 miles on an evening to do a class. I can fit in a gym session when I am already in town for work.

    I will carry on with my kettlercise class and pilates but I want to be able to just pop into the gym whenever it suits me and do a session.

    I went for my initial induction on Wednesday and had a go on some of the machines. I was nervous and felt like like I didnt know what I was really doing but just kept telling myself that everyone else in there was new once!

    I am back today for a free PT session. I am hoping that I can get a plan for how long I should be using different machines and what exactly I should be doing. The gym I joined also has lots of online plans and videos too which to be honest I havent really looked at yet.

    One of my worries is making sure that I am doing things right. I like the idea of using the resistance machines but want to make sure I have got them set up properly and I am not sure that I can remember what I was told at my induction!
    • fireblade28
    • By fireblade28 10th Mar 17, 11:03 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    fireblade28
    Thanks all, I have done classes for years with a personal trainer who runs them locally but she does not work with a gym. The only slight downside with classes is that you are tied to a particular time and I have to travel 5 miles on an evening to do a class. I can fit in a gym session when I am already in town for work.

    I will carry on with my kettlercise class and pilates but I want to be able to just pop into the gym whenever it suits me and do a session.

    I went for my initial induction on Wednesday and had a go on some of the machines. I was nervous and felt like like I didnt know what I was really doing but just kept telling myself that everyone else in there was new once!

    I am back today for a free PT session. I am hoping that I can get a plan for how long I should be using different machines and what exactly I should be doing. The gym I joined also has lots of online plans and videos too which to be honest I havent really looked at yet.

    One of my worries is making sure that I am doing things right. I like the idea of using the resistance machines but want to make sure I have got them set up properly and I am not sure that I can remember what I was told at my induction!
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS

    Go on youtube if you can't remember

    If you are doing anything like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VztRWz9HIbA

    Its wrong
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 10th Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 1,010 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    Off the top of my head

    - Get an induction and ask for demos on as much as you can
    - If you sweat on anything towel it down
    - Be mindful how long you spend on machines at peak times
    - Watch where you are walking especially in the free weight area
    - Never use a pec dec
    - Put your weights away
    - Dont shoulder press a bar from behind your neck, always in front
    - Try to make it enjoyable
    - Dont waste time with powerplates
    • TROY-100
    • By TROY-100 10th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    TROY-100
    From past experience....don't try and show off on machines that you can't move! I tried to look 'cool' on a cycling machine. Unfortunately Thor had been on it before me. I nearly broke a hip, trying to pedal the damn thing.

    Take it easy, look after yourself, don't worry about anyone else! x
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 11th Mar 17, 11:21 AM
    • 4,207 Posts
    • 33,790 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    Thanks all

    Yes Troy made that mistake yesterday, forgot to change the weight on one of the resistance machines and couldnt work out why it wouldnt move!

    Had a session with an instructor yesterday. He was brilliant, gave me lots of tips and advice, showed me the right technique - even down to breathing - I have a tendency to hold my breath when lifting anything.

    He suggested I keep a diary of what I am doing so I can chart my progress.

    Best advice from him was to enjoy it and make use of everything the gym has to offer - e.g. dont be afraid to go into the weights room, the whole gym is there for everyone to use whatever level they are at.

    More tips welcome!
    • TROY-100
    • By TROY-100 12th Mar 17, 7:03 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    TROY-100
    Thanks all

    Yes Troy made that mistake yesterday, forgot to change the weight on one of the resistance machines and couldnt work out why it wouldnt move!

    Had a session with an instructor yesterday. He was brilliant, gave me lots of tips and advice, showed me the right technique - even down to breathing - I have a tendency to hold my breath when lifting anything.

    He suggested I keep a diary of what I am doing so I can chart my progress.

    Best advice from him was to enjoy it and make use of everything the gym has to offer - e.g. dont be afraid to go into the weights room, the whole gym is there for everyone to use whatever level they are at.

    More tips welcome!
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS

    Phew, glad it's not just me!

    Another tip...don't worry about doing stretches before using the machines. Rather than looking foolish...you'll look like you know what you're doing! Best of luck! x
    • Strebor123
    • By Strebor123 15th Mar 17, 10:42 AM
    • 68 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Strebor123
    Hi all

    I am 45 years old and quite sporty (running, cycling, pilates and kettlercise classes) but have never been in a gym in my life. I have been dithering about joining the local gym because it will cost less than I am paying at the moment for individual classes and I will have more flexibility in what I can do.

    So I went in today and signed up, got my induction next week. I am mildly terrified - main worry is not knowing how to use the machines and looking like an idiot.

    So what advice would you give me? Are there any unwritten rules or etiquette that no-one will tell me? Anything that I really should know before I start? Be gentle, I am really quite nervous about this.
    Originally posted by YORKSHIRELASS
    At the induction don't be afraid to ask lot's of questions if you don't know something. Many of the machines have an instruction label on them and they usually pretty adequately explain how to use it. If you're ever worried that you're using a machine wrong, just ask someone. I've been to several different gyms and I've found most the staff in each gym very willing to help if you need it.

    I know you can't help it, but try not to be nervous. Honestly you might feel like people are watching you at times but to be honest most people are just there to use the gym and aren't paying any attention to what anyone else is doing.

    If you can find a gym buddy to go with then I would definitely recommend that. It makes the gym more fun as you have someone to talk to and you are less likely to make an excuse not to go for whatever reason on any given day.

    Hope you enjoy it and it works out well for you.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 15th Mar 17, 12:15 PM
    • 2,610 Posts
    • 4,009 Thanks
    another casualty
    Great advice here already
    I find that once you get used to your routine, all will fall into place.
    I would add that if you start off on either treadmill/ bike / cross trainer ..then do some stretching ..then do the rest of your workout and stretch at the end .
    A good personal trainer is always worth their weight in gold , but can be expensive .
    Best of luck
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