Where to start at the gym?

First day at the gym today. Kind of disappointed in myself. I only lasted 20 minutes power walking on the treadmill. Both of my feet were hurting so bad and now I'm home and both heels are cracked and bleeding. I got these new Nikes that are supposed to have good support and comfort so I'm not sure exactly where I went wrong.



  • moderndadbod
    moderndadbod Posts: 15 Member
    Try the bike, it should be alot easier to get started.
  • susanp57
    susanp57 Posts: 409 Member
    3hat kind of socks were you wearing?
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,645 Member
    edited January 2018
    Maybe start with 15 minutes of regular walking?

    I doubt that 20 minutes of walking will be dramatically impacted by shoe choice, assuming were not talking about high heels or something similarly extreme... so going to get fitted for new shoes probably isn't a requirement at this point.

    Socks do matter... but again, I doubt 20 minutes is long enough for them to be the miracle solution.

    The cracked and bleeding heels... is that a dry skin/callous issue, or..?

    Ultimately, I just think 20 minutes of power walking is more than your body can handle right now. Start slower/shorter/easier and progress from there. Be patient.
  • ejg1010
    ejg1010 Posts: 48 Member
    First of all, don't feel disappointed! You should feel proud of yourself that you achieved your goal by getting back into the gym. We don't always get things right straight away though...

    Try something more low impact such as a cross-trainer or a rowing machine. You could maybe mix in some time on the treadmill too if that is your preference, but no workout is worth that kind of pain.
  • CowboySar
    CowboySar Posts: 405 Member
    A couple suggestions from me;

    1. Try a reputable shoe store that will measure your gait on a treadmill and will pick the right shoes for you.
    2. Try a better pair of socks that are meant for runners
    3. Stationary bike to get you going, then try the treadmill. Or start with less time on the treadmill and build the time on the treadmill up.

    Don't lose hope or faith your body will adapt.

  • HedgehogsAreCute
    HedgehogsAreCute Posts: 6 Member
    If you're starting from zero at the gym, you will be sore your first week, since it's the first time your muscles have been worked like that in a while. Not sure why your feet were affected the way they were; may be a skin care issue more than a fitness one.

    In either case, the most important thing you can do in the first week at the gym is to work out a permanent place for the gym in your weekly schedule. I'd recommend a low-weight, full-body workout for strength exercises (to learn the form correctly), and what you were doing is good for cardio. The bike is also a good option, as is the elliptical.
  • Sharon_C
    Sharon_C Posts: 2,133 Member
    20 minutes is great! You have to work up to it. You can't expect to run a marathon on day 1. Even the greatest athletes had to start from the beginning.

    Keep it up! Next year at this time you'll look back at this day and pat yourself on the back that you can do so much more.
  • bogwoppt1
    bogwoppt1 Posts: 159 Member
    If your heels are cracked it may be that you have calloused feet that need some attention. If your heels are very dry and hard you might benefit from an appointment to remove the callouses and soften up your feet. Gotta look after the things that carry you!

    Good job for 20 minutes, a great start.
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,564 Member
    You might want to start out on a the RECUMBENT bike - the one with an actual seat that is like a chair to sit on - just to get started - you will get saddle sore sitting on a regular stationary bike, lol

    Now - you need to give yourself a HUGE HUGE HUGE pat on the back! You did amazing!!! But you may have over done it for your first go. After your feet feel better and you get your shoe situation solved (great suggestion to go to a running store to be fitted)

    You may also find the elliptical to be gentler on your body to start - then move to the treadmill.

    Work up to 20 mins - start with 10 mins, then 15, 20...then push to 25, then to 30 - you'll be amazed at how quickly you progress.

    Eventually you will want to familiarize yourself with the other equipment - I start with the treadmill or elliptical for 15-20 mins and then do a small circuit - I hit the ab machine, the shoulder press, biceps curl, chest press. If your gym has these that is. It might be worth it to pay for a day or two of personal training to learn how to best maximize your workouts without hurting yourself.

    Good luck! 3 cheers for going to the gym - now, get back in there and go again!
  • jacqueline0821
    jacqueline0821 Posts: 667 Member
    Do not be disappointed! You went to the gym. That is a huge accomplishment. I could only run 2 minutes at a time on the treadmill yesterday but I did it and today I will do better. Start slow and each day do a little more even if it is 30 seconds.
  • girlinahat
    girlinahat Posts: 2,956 Member
    don't feel disheartened - you went to the gym and you DID stuff!!

    I second the thought about the socks. When I first started running I bought 'sports socks' without really looking at them. Very quickly I realised I got a sensation similar to friction burns from them, and my feet were similarly sore to yours.

    Maybe look at specific running socks, and go back to the gym to use the bike or elliptical while you wait for your feet to heal.
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,564 Member
    With socks I cannot use those little low cut ankle socks! They kill the back of my foot! I must have socks that go up over my shoes!!!
  • mrsloganlife
    mrsloganlife Posts: 158 Member
    You did 20 minutes more today than you did yesterday--focus on those small victories! With new shoes I always slowly break them in or they kill my feet. Like @ladyhusker39 I have a couple pairs in rotation to help break in new shoes. And solid socks are key! I actually have several pairs of Puma socks that I picked up at an outlet that rock. No rubbing, no sliding, they stay secure on my feet which helps with the shoes!

    Just remember...20 minutes today was 20 minutes more than you did yesterday. You will have great workouts and you will have bad workouts. Don't let the bad workouts keep you from the great workouts!
  • fitdaisygrrl
    fitdaisygrrl Posts: 139 Member
    Definitely look into good socks- they make a world of difference. Also, if you're totally new to the gym and don't know where to start- does your gym have personal trainers? Often you can get a free welcome session to get at the very least a tour of the equipment and a basic starting point.

    And as others have already said, don't feel disheartened! Slow it down a bit next time (and get good socks and moisturize your heels if the winter weather is drying them out too) and aim for maybe 10 minutes walking on the treadmill and try 5 minutes on a bike. Then next time, 11 minutes on the treadmill and 6 minutes on the bike, etc. Start small and get comfortable in the environment and before you know it you'll be more confident there. If you're interested in learning to run, the Couch to 5k program (lots of podcasts available for this and look it up online) is something you could work with too (maybe eventually after you get more used to walking on the treadmill and more confident in the gym environment).

    If your gym doesn't have a trainer or staff to show you around, see if there's anyone available to hire for even one session- I remember when I first joined a gym years ago I was so unsure of what everything did and just getting an overview of everything made it less scary.
  • CowboySar
    CowboySar Posts: 405 Member
    I also want to add, if you are completely new to a gym environment and personal trainer for a couple of sessions is worth its weight in gold. I had been in the gym pretty hardcore before I quit and packed on all my weight. When I decided enough was enough and hit the gym again I decided to get a PT for a couple sessions to check my form and show me a couple things I never did in my past life that I could add in.
  • jesse_323
    jesse_323 Posts: 49 Member
    edited January 2018
    You didn't go wrong. If this was truly your first day at the gym you will tire easily and be sore afterwards. You have to keep going no matter how sore you get and work through the DOMS. Don't say "well I'm sore today better not go until I am not sore". Keep pushing through and the soreness will go away in a few weeks and your endurance will go up.

    When I first started going regularly in October, I was (and am) doing squats 3 days a week. My legs were so sore that I literally could barely get out of bed in the mornings but I continued going to the gym and doing squats. My body adapted and now I squat 3 times the weight I was and am never sore.

    As far as the cracked and bleeding, I'm not sure about that. Maybe you just overdid it a bit the first time? Or maybe consult a trainer at your gym or give your doctor a call.

    Your body will adapt, but you must force it to. Good luck!
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,053 Member
    Well shoes aside (some bandaids for now, and moleskin for when your heels are healed) for the treadmill try intervals by which I mean a couple minutes fast, a couple slow, over and over, and eventually up the speeds and lessen the slow intervals. I think someone also suggested using some other cardio machines like the bike? If I'm trying to crack out a lot of cardio I do 20 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes on the stair stepper and 20 on the treadmill, either walking on a steep incline or a slow run, once in a while I use the rower or the bikes.

    And stretch! Every day, after every single workout, take ten minutes, kick off your shoes and get down on a mat and stretch all the things.
  • yelhsalobie
    yelhsalobie Posts: 5 Member
    Thanks everyone. This is a nice community. I'm happy that I reached out.