Weights...where to start?

And are the machines actually any good? Is it worth starting there?

My gym does not have a weight room. It has a ikle 4ft (if that) area in the (tiny) gym with 2 benches and dumbbells, no barbell. Next to some rowing machines and the water cooler.

The whole place is so crammed it can be hard to get around!

So far I have stuck to cardio but I would like to start doing other things.

To be entirely honest I think I would feel more comfortable on a machine than in a tiny area where if someone else wants to use the area, you're practically sitting on each other!!

Replies

  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    Is there no chance of getting membership to another gym?
  • bunnywestley81
    bunnywestley81 Posts: 178 Member
    The thought crossed my mind, but price is an issue and that one also has a decent sized swimming pool.
    The others in the same price bracket don't have pools. The ones that do are considerably more costly and the pools are small.

    Its all swings and roundabouts really!

    There is one that is cheaper and a new one opening that will be cheaper than my current, neither have a pool but both look to be rather more spacious.

    Would have to look into it more, think my year at this one should be up soon.
  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    The thought crossed my mind, but price is an issue and that one also has a decent sized swimming pool.
    The others in the same price bracket don't have pools. The ones that do are considerably more costly and the pools are small.

    Its all swings and roundabouts really!

    There is one that is cheaper and a new one opening that will be cheaper than my current, neither have a pool but both look to be rather more spacious.

    Would have to look into it more, think my year at this one should be up soon.

    Ok. I know the feeling when your gym doesn't have as much as other gyms... I switched not long ago.

    If you're getting serious about the weights, I'd disregard the swimming pool size and simply go off of what pieces of equipment there are in the weights room.

    However, it is your choice and you know what you want to do :)
  • fallfromgracie
    fallfromgracie Posts: 6 Member
    This is my first post on here, and I've come looking for similar advice! Luckily for me, my local gym is well equipped but terrifying! I know my way around all the cardio and resistance machines well, but I've yet to step into free weight territory. I really want to, but it's just so intimidating! I've recently lost a lot of weight, and now want to focus on strength training as I know this is where shape comes from, but that fear of being vindicated for being a 'fat bird' is still inside me, and Im scared I will look completely out of place! I have a rough idea of what I want to be doing (deadlifts, squats etc) but at the moment in totally not brave enough!
  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    This is my first post on here, and I've come looking for similar advice! Luckily for me, my local gym is well equipped but terrifying! I know my way around all the cardio and resistance machines well, but I've yet to step into free weight territory. I really want to, but it's just so intimidating! I've recently lost a lot of weight, and now want to focus on strength training as I know this is where shape comes from, but that fear of being vindicated for being a 'fat bird' is still inside me, and Im scared I will look completely out of place! I have a rough idea of what I want to be doing (deadlifts, squats etc) but at the moment in totally not brave enough!

    It's scary. But once you go a few times people will start saying "hi" and what not to you. GET IN THERE
  • tomofnj
    tomofnj Posts: 89 Member
    You can always use stuff around your domicile/work/school to get started. fill some empty milk jugs with sand or dirt... you can always up the ante by adding rocks. Wanna do curls...etc? Just hang them on a broomstick.
    I know that probably sounds crazy, but for lack of funds and personal space a the gym, that might be a good interim.

    Either way, doing something is always better then the alternative :)

  • bunnywestley81
    bunnywestley81 Posts: 178 Member
    I do like the option of a pool but dont actually go that often! I went swimming this morning but that's the first time since May.

    I also hope to move house (and counties) in the next 6 months or so and would then join a gym nearer my home so another consideration...I'd forgot bout that one.

    Bloody life!

    So probably gonna have to put up with what i have for the time being.

    Surely using the weight machines is better than nothing at all though?
  • tomofnj
    tomofnj Posts: 89 Member
    Yep :)
    tomofnj wrote: »
    Either way, doing something is always better then the alternative :)

  • Commander_Keen
    Commander_Keen Posts: 1,194 Member
    Is there no chance of getting membership to another gym?

    There are gyms w/10 per month. can you buy your own weights?
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,535 Member
    You could do a machine based routine and supplement in some dumbbell moves to work the stabilisers.

    The Chinese olympic weightlifting team has a massive emphasis on machine training as a supplement to their barbell work. Seems to be working for them.

    They're all tools. You can get stronger with them, but don't forget to work with the dumbbells to make sure you don't develop imbalances as well.

    take a look at the right hand column in the table of the following page:

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/beginning-weight-training-part-4.html/

    for a list of machine and dumbbell movements and sets and reps.
  • strangek1
    strangek1 Posts: 6 Member
    It really depends on what your goals are. Weight machines are great for targeting muscles, but they limit your range of motion. If you're using a curl machine, the movement is exactly the same every time. None of your secondary "stabilizing" muscles ever get worked. The same is true for Smith Machines. If you are looking to get a bit stronger and better target muscle groups, free weights are the way to go.

    Regardless of what you use, start light and work your way up. Make sure you are using proper form before adding more weight. If you aren't, you run the risk of hurting yourself once you start lifting heavier. If you are looking to build muscle, use higher weight, and lower reps. If you are looking to tone muscle, use lower weight and higher reps.
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,535 Member
    strangek1 wrote: »
    It really depends on what your goals are. Weight machines are great for targeting muscles, but they limit your range of motion. If you're using a curl machine, the movement is exactly the same every time. None of your secondary "stabilizing" muscles ever get worked. The same is true for Smith Machines. If you are looking to get a bit stronger and better target muscle groups, free weights are the way to go.

    Regardless of what you use, start light and work your way up. Make sure you are using proper form before adding more weight. If you aren't, you run the risk of hurting yourself once you start lifting heavier. If you are looking to build muscle, use higher weight, and lower reps. If you are looking to tone muscle, use lower weight and higher reps.

    The rest of it's right. But the bolded bit? No.

    Building muscle is a matter of using sufficient volume and increasing it over time whilst eating in a calorie surplus. It's not a rep range (many different rep ranges can be used)

    The tonus of the muscle (from which "toning" has seemingly been derived) is the residual neuromuscular stimulation in the muscle belly at rest. It's basically what gives you the inherent tension in the musculoskeletal system to stop you collapsing in a heap.
  • bunnywestley81
    bunnywestley81 Posts: 178 Member
    I got the humans can not build muscle from nowhere from many many other threads :)

    The nerd fitness link was very interesting...my work computer feels that the other is naughty so I'll have to google that one when my phone charges.

    My main goal is my health, which there is nothing too wrong with but I want to keep it that way. Followed very very close by wanting to FEEL that I look good naked and, obviously, actually DO.

    I could potentially look in to my own kit when I move, rather than joining another gym. I just don't have the room right now. My crosstrainer had to be garaged as there is no room for it in the house anymore.
  • strangek1
    strangek1 Posts: 6 Member
    jimmmer wrote: »

    The rest of it's right. But the bolded bit? No.

    Building muscle is a matter of using sufficient volume and increasing it over time whilst eating in a calorie surplus. It's not a rep range (many different rep ranges can be used)

    The tonus of the muscle (from which "toning" has seemingly been derived) is the residual neuromuscular stimulation in the muscle belly at rest. It's basically what gives you the inherent tension in the musculoskeletal system to stop you collapsing in a heap.

    I may have to have some words with a couple of trainers that I worked with when I was getting into lifting.
  • XavierNusum
    XavierNusum Posts: 720 Member
    World class bodybuilders prove everyday that you can build muscle and strength using machines and isolation movements. Machines are a good place to start, especially if it's an only option.
  • bunnywestley81
    bunnywestley81 Posts: 178 Member
    Thanks for all the advice!

    I had a go round the machines this evening to familiarise myself :)
  • moondrake
    moondrake Posts: 37 Member
    So I joined Planet Fitness, and my best friend and I go 3 days per week. We do 30 minutes on the treadmill (25mins brisk walking plus cool down), then go to the weight area and work our way down the arm and chest machines and up the ab and leg machines (about 20 machines) spending about 45 minutes at this, then finish up with 10 minutes on the upright bikes. This results in about 1.5 hours of workout. I haven't done weights before, I'm over 50 and way out of shape, so I am keeping it conservative on the weights. I choose a weight level that I can do 15-20 reps which is 10-30lbs for upper body stuff, some of the leg machines I'm able to do 30-50 reps on 100lbs, so I do that. Does this sound good? There's a fitness guy there but he isn't much help, more rah-rah than info. What do you think? I am following a 1200 calorie diet and have a substantial amount to lose.
  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    moondrake wrote: »
    So I joined Planet Fitness, and my best friend and I go 3 days per week. We do 30 minutes on the treadmill (25mins brisk walking plus cool down), then go to the weight area and work our way down the arm and chest machines and up the ab and leg machines (about 20 machines) spending about 45 minutes at this, then finish up with 10 minutes on the upright bikes. This results in about 1.5 hours of workout. I haven't done weights before, I'm over 50 and way out of shape, so I am keeping it conservative on the weights. I choose a weight level that I can do 15-20 reps which is 10-30lbs for upper body stuff, some of the leg machines I'm able to do 30-50 reps on 100lbs, so I do that. Does this sound good? There's a fitness guy there but he isn't much help, more rah-rah than info. What do you think? I am following a 1200 calorie diet and have a substantial amount to lose.

    I'm not entirely sure why you'd pick 30-50 reps... but ok. I'd say 1200 is a bit low but if you feel comfortable at it. keep eating at it (as long as you're netting 1200).