Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Gym newbie needs advice

Options
pbm89gt
pbm89gt Posts: 42 Member
edited April 2015 in Fitness and Exercise
I've been going to a gym for a month now, trying to go every other day or at least three times in a week. I start by doing 28 minutes on the elliptical, then I do strength training on resistance machines. They are Hoist machines, I'm mainly working my arms, chest, and shoulders, I do legs every other visit. I took a quick start class, the trainer suggested I start out lifting 40-60lbs. My question is, I feel like I'm not gaining any strength, is it to soon to see improvement? Should I do weights first? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Replies

  • eboniivoried
    eboniivoried Posts: 34 Member
    Options
    Start off with weights first to get the most benefit out of your strength training and move cardio to the end of your workout.

    I came into the gym with, what felt like, no muscle. Lol. I felt stronger after about my second week. My recommendation on the weights is:

    Upper body: Control the weight between 6-12 reps. I typically do 3 sets. If you're struggling around 6 or can complete bad form, reduce the weight. If you can do more than 12, bump up the weight.

    Lower body: Control the weight between 10-20 reps.
  • pbm89gt
    pbm89gt Posts: 42 Member
    Options
    I'm doing 3 sets of 10 on every machine, I start to feel fatigue middle way through the last set, thanks
  • CovingtonDavid
    CovingtonDavid Posts: 4 Member
    Options
    I never give advice in the gym, because you should never pay too much attention to what people say, everyone there has an opinion and most don't know what they are doing (especially personal trainers). For what it is worth, I will tell you what I do. I am 47 and been working out since I was 12. First, I have my headphones on when I enter and I never talk to anyone unless a friend stops me and I say hi. I do 5 min of elliptical to warm up, stretch for another five to ten and then I start my workout. I work chest and triceps one day, back and biceps including forearm curls and hammer curls to work the whole arm, don't forget shrugs! The key is pushing exercises one day, pulling the next. I do legs the next day. I do calves every day with heavy weight 2xbodyweight, 10 sets alternate exercises every day. I workout 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I finish with 20 minutes on elliptical. 90% free weights. I am always changing my sets, reps and workouts. I can do this because my body is used to it. When I was starting as a kid I would do 10-8-6-4, that means doing as much weight as I could do, 10 times, add 5lbs to each side and do 8 then add and do 6 and then 4. This builds strength! You will only see results if you work until you can't do anymore. That last rep or two, when you really give it your all, is when you grow. You will see it fast. I bet if you go into the gym with a "leave it all there" attitude, you would be amazed at the person who comes out. I also take a caffeine pill, 10-15 min before I start, this helps a lot, especially since I am older . It's also cheap, 60 for $4 at wallmart. 5 hour energy and those expensive energy drinks are just caffeine and cool aid, packaged in a very expensive bottle. Good luck brother!
  • pbm89gt
    pbm89gt Posts: 42 Member
    edited April 2015
    Options
    I've been doing weights first and I can tell I'm not getting fatigued as quick. Thanks
  • AllanMisner
    AllanMisner Posts: 4,140 Member
    Options
    What exactly are your fitness goal(s)? The program should be customized to meet those goals.

  • shannonwh13
    shannonwh13 Posts: 2 Member
    Options
    Hi. I just wanted to share that I joined a gym today! No, I didn't work out today - I just joined. So the next hurdle is to actually get myself there. I'm pretty overwhelmed but now I'm committed. So please wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it.
  • cstorey1976
    cstorey1976 Posts: 30 Member
    Options
    Hi. I just wanted to share that I joined a gym today! No, I didn't work out today - I just joined. So the next hurdle is to actually get myself there. I'm pretty overwhelmed but now I'm committed. So please wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it.

    Getting yourself there is the hardest part but you can do it! I join the gym six weeks ago and like you I was afraid I couldn't get up the motivation to go. I forced myself to go and I LOVE it! I go every other day and would go everyday if I could find the time. It's amazing how good you will feel. Good luck!! Just do it!
  • TheVirgoddess
    TheVirgoddess Posts: 4,535 Member
    Options
    pbm89gt wrote: »
    I've been going to a gym for a month now, trying to go every other day or at least three times in a week. I start by doing 28 minutes on the elliptical, then I do strength training on resistance machines. They are Hoist machines, I'm mainly working my arms, chest, and shoulders, I do legs every other visit. I took a quick start class, the trainer suggested I start out lifting 40-60lbs. My question is, I feel like I'm not gaining any strength, is it to soon to see improvement? Should I do weights first? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I feel like you should figure out what your goals are - and find a routine based on that. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 - my goal is strength. It's a progressive lifting program. There are lots of options out there.

    I do a bit of cardio both before and after I lift.
  • jenncalicollins617
    jenncalicollins617 Posts: 79 Member
    Options
    Hi. I just wanted to share that I joined a gym today! No, I didn't work out today - I just joined. So the next hurdle is to actually get myself there. I'm pretty overwhelmed but now I'm committed. So please wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it.

    Great job on this first step!! As one who suffers from social anxiety I know first hand how hard it can be. I've been going for about 8 months now & an seriously addicted. What I do... Buy cute gym clothes to help me feel good & walk in like I own the place lol. May sound silly but it works for me. Good luck! You can do it!
  • GWehsling
    GWehsling Posts: 120 Member
    Options
    I'll wade in... I'm about the same age as the OP. I haven't been to a gym in years before I joined in February on a dare/bet/challenge. I found a new personal trainer who looked keen and I offered her $60 a month if she just gives me one PT session a month and corrects any errors I am making (she wanted to sell me more, but I was upfront and honest). I don't go there to socialise, so it's easy for me to run in (about a mile) do what the PT has put on the list and run out - I make it a check list so that I had the feeling it was a list of tasks that had to be done rather than an idea of what I wanted. I go every lunch break so between 4-5 days a week. After about two or three weeks, I started to struggle (suddenly felt lethargic, couldn't finish the reps) as my diet was not rich enough for this new physical challenge, so I made some adjustments there and felt good. After a month only, did I start to add weights (regularly, but in small increments) and get my PT to increase the load when she saw fit - this was to aclimatise my slightly out of shape-ness to gym. I've been there since and it's going well. About a month ago, I stopped losing weight (I was never there for that and never fat to start, but I was BMI obese (which started the challenge), but I digress).

    I have made two trips to the Salvation Army to recycle older clothes even though I haven't lost weight but because my 'bulk' has shifted form my midsection to my chest/shoulders (and I'm now eating more than I have in the past).

    Last week, I got a verbal compliment out of the blue from a gym person and the last few weeks I have been catching the eye of people I know (and some strangers take a second glance too). Based on that, I'd say start gym with a simple approach and get used to the routine. Once you know you can reliably be there, get a program made up or research one and stick to it. Increase slowly over time but keep at it. At first, I felt like I'll never bench more than this or squat more than that, but you know, when I look back on the records, I started off with much, much lower weights than I am at now and each session I go to, if I can finish the reps 'easily' then I make a minor increment on my program for the next time I work that machine. It does add up and looking back, I am stronger, more disciplined and patient for it.

    Good luck. Let's chat at the end of the year when you will definitely see the results of your labour.
  • pbm89gt
    pbm89gt Posts: 42 Member
    edited April 2015
    Options
    I'm looking to lose weight and gain muscle, basically get healthy. My goal weight is 195, I'm at 263 now. . I would like to bulk up my upper body, I've never been muscular but would like to be that way. I suffer from anxeity also, but once I get in the gym it goes away, it's just getting there.
  • gsschulte
    gsschulte Posts: 79 Member
    Options
    Yes getting there is like 70 if not 90% of it. But to your question you do not sound like you have enough weight or something like that. So if you are on a machine and not free weights, you can add more with little consequence. I like to struggle on the last rep of each set, so 10 should be just barely done and should be an effort. You should also think about your goal, right now it seems like you have a ways to go like me so I focus on cardio much more than lifting. I like cardio more and the HRM says I burn a little more doing that so I tend to make my gym visit lean that way but I make sure I get some lifiting in so that when the effort in cardio is in the diminishing returns phase I have some muscle to start building with.