New to the Gym

My husband and I have decided to start going to the gym together. I haven't lifted since high school which was over 6 years ago. I don't even know where to start on setting up a workout other than kill myself on the elliptical and try not to die under the squat bar. I have 3 weeks until school starts and I'd like to be down a pants size by then. It would be great if my students this year wouldn't repeatedly ask if I was pregnant. Suggestions?


  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
    edited July 2015
    You didn't really say what you wanted help with... but seeing as you mentioned a barbell I'll throw you in the direction of barbell orientated things;
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    3 weeks? Most of your results will come from a calorie reduction, cardio, and Spanx.
  • shelbymkoenig
    shelbymkoenig Posts: 59 Member
    Well really it's only about half a size to get in the pants I want to wear.
  • DawnVanHaaften
    DawnVanHaaften Posts: 11 Member
    I think it's doable! Don't be afraid to ask the workers at the gym or others for help! I utilized some ladies in my gym that appeared to be at my exercise level and asked if they wouldn't mind familiarizing me with some of the machines. However, the best thing to do is seek someone that works at your gym so they are showing you proper form. Strength training is great. Calories seem to burn longer than if you were just utilizing treadmill or elliptical. Switch up your routines to keep your body guessing. If you aren't sweating and super exhausted.....ramp up the level you are working at. If you can breath comfortably, you aren't quite there!!
  • moesis
    moesis Posts: 874 Member
    If you're planning to lift, start with a trainer. By cutting calories and cardio, you can safely lose 6 pounds before school starts. More if you really work your butt off in the gym.
  • Brolympus
    Brolympus Posts: 360 Member
    Congrats on getting back in the gym. But its also important to be realistic with expectations also. The most you could drop in 3 weeks at a healthy rate is 6 lbs.
    You didn't really say what you wanted help with... but seeing as you mentioned a barbell I'll throw you in the direction of barbell orientated things;

    Even more options:

    I'm personally on a modified version of Stronglifts 5x5 (very similar to the concept of Ice Cream Fitness), but you can honestly pick any of these and will see vast improvement over standard weight machines or trying to build your own program starting out.
  • colors_fade
    colors_fade Posts: 468 Member
    edited July 2015
    First step to failing at fat loss is.... having unrealistic expectations.

    Listen, even if you did everything perfectly, realistically you could only lose about 6 lbs. in three weeks (and that would be a very, very aggressive plan), which probably (maybe) would get you half a pant-size, but probably not.

    If you really want to be successful at this and change your body, then you need to realize that this process takes time. Change your expectations. Think long-term. Not three weeks from now, but more along the lines of 6 months from now.

    You need to understand what needs to be done, and why you're going to do certain things. Just throwing yourself at a gym isn't going to produce the results you want.

    Step 1: Understand that weight loss is produced by a calorie deficit. You have to eat fewer calories than you burn. Generally speaking, a 3,500 calorie deficit produces 1 lb. of weight loss per week. So start weighing and measuring your foods and liquids, and start tracking in MFP. This is the thing that can produce the BIGGEST IMPACT in your journey to lose fat. Also understand that exercise can burn calories, and help you create a larger deficit, but exercise also requires fuel. You will probably be more hungry if you exercise, so you'll need to fuel that activity.

    Step 2: Understand that if you eat at a calorie deficit you will lose weight - but it will come in the forms of both fat loss and muscle loss. You will lose both.

    Step 3: Understand that if you want to lose more fat and less muscle, you will need to lift heavy 3x per week. Good programs to follow for this include Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength, etc.

    Step 4: Understand that in order to achieve results, you have to be consistent day-in, day-out, week-to-week. This is a process, and you can't rush it. There are no shortcuts; you can't cheat the biology of this process.

    Step 5: Understand that in order to achieve results over time, you need to have a plan that is sustainable. That means no crazy, restrictive eating diets, and no exercise plans that you cannot stick with. Whatever you do for food, do something you can live with; something you can sustain. Whatever you choose for exercise, do something that you can stick with. Consistency is the key!

    Step 6: Understand that strength training is for you to preserve your lean muscle mass. You are not going bulk up lifting on a calorie deficit. But you will lose more fat than muscle, and this will reshape your body.

    Last: There's a ton of exercise you can do to help burn calories; true. But the simplest thing you can do is also very effective: walking. A simple 30-60 minute walk every day (fasted in the AM, or after supper in the PM are good ways to go) can do wonders for maintaining the calorie deficit.

    Mostly... just understand that three weeks isn't really enough to do anything that is going to make you happy. This is a road that, once you're on, you're on it for life.