New to exercise, help me learn how to use the gym!

Hi guys!

So I just joined the gym, after a long recovery of an illness. Exercising and using the gym was recommended as a better overall part of long term recovery. However, I know it would be smart to hire a physical trainer to help me learn the basics, one is currently not available from the gym for the time slots I need.

I was hoping I could get some suggestions, or perhaps a general basic routine. I'm 5'8" woman and around 200lbs. I have zero experience with knowing reps & sets. So I've been researching and trying to educated myself as best as I can. If you were a beginner and in my boat, where did you start out?

Thank you!

Replies

  • Check out bodybuilding.com for workout plans. Don’t be overwhelmed and start off with some of the preloaded machines. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who looks like they know what they are doing for help either. Us gym junkies most love to help out others cause we all have to start somewhere.
  • moonangel12
    moonangel12 Posts: 971 Member
    At one point in time, years ago, our old YMCA had people available to float around and assist as needed. Even if it’s not a full one-on-one training session your gym might have someone available to get you started - show you the machines, how they work, what they work, etc. The pieces of equipment we had were part of a big set and were numbered so you could look on posters on the wall for routine options and other information. It was a pretty neat set up. Take it slow and easy... if the cardio machines are in the same area you could watch and learn while you walk/bike/row.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,381 Member
    There is a whole lot of programmes and info here:-

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    Start with something simple, and easy to get you comfortable in the gym, and your muscles used to working.
    You may get a bit of soreness, we all do, it is known as DOMS, nothing to worry about, just your muscles recovering.

    I started with the Nerdfitness bodyweight, then dumbbells. When I had built a bit of strength and confidence I moved to a barbell routine.

    You start where you are comfortable.

    Cheers, h.
  • neugebauer52
    neugebauer52 Posts: 1,115 Member
    We have a male and a female gym instructor in our gym - it is their jobs to be on the floor all the time and help and assist where help or advise is needed.
  • Anabirgite
    Anabirgite Posts: 372 Member
    I love group fitness classes. They have been a wonderful place to start for me, the instructors who teach the classes are usually well trained and usually happy to help with form and guidance. I do the Les Mills Body Pump class ( many gyms have these classes or classes like this) which is a class where you use weights and as a newbie helped me over my phobia of the weight room. I may soon start one of the weight programs recommended on the stickies.
  • WC1982
    WC1982 Posts: 137 Member
    Research superset routines. They are fast and effective with keeping your heart rate up and building muscle. Shoot for reps between 8-12 for 3-4 sets. Pick a weight you can get 8 reps, once you can hit 12 reps on all sets with that weight go up about 10 lbs and start over at 8. If that makes sense. Good luck
  • kjm3579
    kjm3579 Posts: 3,976 Member
    Check out StrongLifts 5x5 if your interested in strength training. You can run or walk on a treadmill or ride and exercise bike without any training just to get started on some cardio. Watch others using equipment around you and that will give you some ideas of what might interest you. Also, if you give your location, you might find someone on here who is near you and willing to help.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,103 Member
    Best: individual training, 2nd best: group training, 3rd best: videos (Popsugar Fitness on YouTube); 4th best: books.

    Now, books contain the most information of all sources, but it's hard to describe how to do various lifts in good form with just pictures and words. Along the same lines, it is very helpful when starting to have feedback about your form (e.g, from a trainer).
  • Annie_01
    Annie_01 Posts: 3,115 Member
    This is the program that I am using...

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/the-beginner-weight-training-workout-routine/

    It is short so that there is not so much to learn at one time.

  • Silentpadna
    Silentpadna Posts: 1,305 Member
    There is a whole lot of programmes and info here:-

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    Start with something simple, and easy to get you comfortable in the gym, and your muscles used to working.
    You may get a bit of soreness, we all do, it is known as DOMS, nothing to worry about, just your muscles recovering.

    I started with the Nerdfitness bodyweight, then dumbbells. When I had built a bit of strength and confidence I moved to a barbell routine.

    You start where you are comfortable.

    Cheers, h.

    This.

    The section that I put in bold about DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is something that you may get initially, but should not last if you use one of the programs listed in the link.

    When you have not done strength training, or even if you've been off for awhile (2 weeks or more), it is common to have DOMS for a few days. However, if you do these programs correctly, you will not be overworked - you'll be stressed at the proper dose. When that happens and you are training regularly, soreness is rarely an issue. So bear with first few days and then you should be fine.
  • Cahgetsfit
    Cahgetsfit Posts: 1,913 Member
    If you can afford it, get a trainer to show you how to use the equipment at the gym.

    Worth every cent.