Brand new! No idea where to begin!

Hi! So this is my first week of my life style change ! I am 196 and am looking to change everything! I started Monday with MFP and have a new Fitbit that I have been focusing on getting my 10,000 steps and 5-6 miles with my heart rate raised.

I don't know anything more than walking because even in high school I would sit out at the gym so I haven't done much besides the basics.

I'm thinking of joining the gym but besides the treadmill and bike I don't know how to use any of the machines or even the weights besides doing the basic arm curl that you see in movies!

Can anyone tell me where to start? Should I keep just walking or add in the gym...and do what there? Help!!


  • sammyliftsandeats
    sammyliftsandeats Posts: 2,421 Member
    Walking is perfectly fine.

    If you are looking to lose weight, then a calorie deficit is all you need.

    If you are looking to improve your fitness level, then starting with walking and building up to other activities might be a good approach for you.

    As for the gym, are you interested in lifting weights?

    If so, you should look into a program that is already designed. Do not make up your own routine.

    That post includes a wide array of programs for different levels. Do a little searching and find something that suits your needs/goals/time.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,619 Member
    Walking is great. You can do intervals of speed walking and incline as you improve. Want to run? Try couch2 5k. If you want to strength train, I found 30 day shred, ripped in 30, Denise Austin body boot camp, and the firm workouts helpful to increase strength before trying to lift heavy weights. You definitely don't have to join a gym if you don't want to or don't want to spend the $.
  • a45cal
    a45cal Posts: 85 Member
    One thing I always like to ask about in situations like this is people's aesthetic goals.

    If you want arms like @DancingMoosie has, or want to look like this: then you'll need to strength train for that. The link that @samanthaluangphixay gave is a good resource for finding the names of popular lifting programs to start researching.

    Personally, I found reading to be the best way to learn what to do, and then used Youtube videos to learn form on exercises that I was unsure of. Books I'd personally recommend for getting a handle on things are New Rules of Lifting for Women by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler, and/or Strong Curves by Bret Contreras. Both will give a good overview and set up a program that you can begin to work with.
  • troytroy11
    troytroy11 Posts: 180 Member
    edited October 2016
    Think about what you would consider the funnest thing to do as exercise. What would you look forward to each day? At the gym maybe try all the machines and equipment. Learn how they work and feel. Start easy and light am with the one you like the most. Build from there in variety and intensity.
    Your road to your weight goal will be fun :)
  • hpacaro
    hpacaro Posts: 25 Member
    It is important that you find something you enjoy! If walking feels good to you then that's a great starting point and there are tons of resources online that can help you add variety to that with incline and speed, or even circuits along the way to break it up. If you want a variety of Cardio and Strength, most gyms will offer a Cardio Sculpt class that gives you both and also gives you a community of people that are trying to get in shape as well. As someone else mentioned, there are TONS of resources out there if you don't want to go into a gym everyday. It just depends on what you need personally to stay on track.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Start by reading all the sticky posts in each forum here on MFP. Lots of great suggestions and info. Second, don't try and change everything at once. Small steps help you establish good habits for the long term.
  • renae161
    renae161 Posts: 334 Member
    OP, in my opinion and personal experience don't sign a gym contract until you've tested them out and met with the staff and got to know them cause if not you can find yourself stuck in a year long contract surrounded by people you really don't like or care for.

    Most gyms have a pay by the month plan, but some trainer's don't tell you that and make it seem like the contract is the only option they have.

    I prefer working out at home now and building my own in home gym cause then not only do I not have to wait for someone to be off a machine I like, but it's more sanitary for myself. Plus I save money and I live near the trails so it's easy for me to just take my dogs out at the same time I go.

    I ask any question's I may have on here about exercises and take everyone's advice into consideration and then just tailor a plan that fit's my needs. I also have lot's of phone apps and do my daily logs to keep me on track.

    Best of luck!