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I'm 30/F 5'2" 190lbs<br><br>
I've never worked out before, but I've always had labor-intensive jobs that kept me strong and flexible...though I've always been a little overweight.<br><br>
I've had a desk job for a few years now, and I'm getting fatter every month!!! I'm also very weak now, and need help to do tasks that I used to do by myself... such as throwing away an old tv set.<br><br>
I really miss what it feels like to be strong. I used to buy big bags of dog food without the use of a shopping cart.<br><br>
Now I'm weak, fat, and I'm starting to get little pains here and there.<br><br>
The only gym nearby is a Planet Fitness. I plan to go sign up, but what do I do? What do I say? What should I bring? I've researched this online, but I find it hard to believe that any magical gyms have tons of trainers willing to take me by the hand, explain everything I need to know about working out, and watch me on the machines to make sure I don't hurt myself (I'm very accident prone). EXACTLY what is the staff there for? What do they do, and what can I ask of them?<br><br>
When I say I've never worked out, I mean it!!! I've never even stretched!!! I've seen pictures online of the inside of gyms, and it looks like a giant room filled with alien cyborgs that appear to be eating people!<br><br>
I am absolutely terrified. This is way worse than speaking in front of an audience, because at least then you have a clue as to what you're supposed to do in front of them. In a few days, I will walk into a gym. Assuming I don't leave right away while pretending I'm lost and entered by mistake, I don't know what to do besides stand in the middle of the room next to tears and wait for someone to come help me.
 

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First off, congrats on deciding to be healthier!<br><br>
To answer your questions, you go in, tell them you'd like to join, but let them know you've never been to a gym before. Ask them if they can show you what to do (if they're worth anything they'll be able to). They should also be able to help you devise a workout routine (you don't need to use every machine in the place). You should be able to ask them anything! They're there to help you, don't be intimidated. You might even be able to have a personal trainer, for an extra fee. I think they're worth it. It helps motivate you, and you have someone spotting you to make sure you don't do the wrong thing or hurt yourself.<br><br>
My last piece of advice is to not, for one second, fall for any hogwash they tell you about needing animal protein to be healthy. I know you know that, but they most likely will try to tell you that. Every gym I've gone to has done it, and they're always flabberghasted that I don't eat meat.
 

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Most gyms should give you an intro/do you up a workout plan, and getting a PT session or two to start out probably isn't a bad idea, just to make you feel more at ease. Be fairly assertive when you tell them what you're trying to achieve, and don't let them try to steer you to [some other random goal].<br><br>
If you forget how to do any exercises, this site has a list of just about everything, with animations:<br><a href="http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html" target="_blank">http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html</a>
 

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You're gonna find that what they tell you is a combination of good advice and salesmanship. Most of them do at least have an understanding of basic fitness, as they should, but they also have a little store at the front of the gym full of protein powders, energy drinks that aren't any better for you than soda, etc. I would suggest doing some research.<br><br>
Also, though jumping in and going right into a routine might seem daunting, it's easier if you think of each individual exercise as a skill that must be developed before you can incorporate it into that routine. Just take it one step at a time. One day, practice doing one type of lift just to practice the skill of doing that lift. Once you get the hang of it, add another type of exercise. Once you have learned how to do a few different types of exercises, you can begin incorporating them into routines.<br><br>
Most gyms have group sessions for various types of activities that might be useful for learning the basics as well.<br><br>
The most important thing is not to get intimidated and turned off as a result. Doing SOMETHING, even if not doing it perfectly, is better than not doing it.<br><br>
I personally despise gyms and prefer to utilize advanced calisthenics, but that's just a matter of preference <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> If the gym turns out not to be your thing, however, let me know and I'd be happy to set you up with some routines that can get you a workout every bit as good as anything the gym can offer without even having to leave your house. The disadvantage to this, however, is the lack of a social group. Perhaps the best part of going to a gym is being able to do your workouts with a bunch of other people with similar goals who you can talk to.
 

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The first day is the worst. You will soon get comfortable and feel so good after working out. Good luck.
 

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You will be absolutely fine! Just explain your situation to them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> If you feel weak it might not be best to start off with anything too crazy. They will show you how to use all the equipment etc. Also, swimming could be a good thing to start with?
 

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Most gyms give you at least an initial training session. It might be worth paying a bit extra at first to have a Personal Trainer help you through your first week or two. A lot of gyms also offer aerobic classes. If you're interested in those, go a few minutes early, introduce yourself to the instructor and tell him/her that you're brand new and that instructor will help you find a comfortable spot and guide you on any of the equipment they plan to use.<br><br>
By all means, tell the person at the front desk that you are terrified and ask them to pair you with the nicest instructor there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:"> They are used to new members - it's their job to make yo feel comfortable.<br><br>
And even before you go in, look at the the members in the parking lot - you will see that they come in all sizes, all kinds of outfits and all ages.<br><br>
Good luck - and congratulations! I'm sure it will be much easier than you imagine. Heck, you'll probably bump this thread in a few months with tales of glory in the weight room! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959505"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You're gonna find that what they tell you is a combination of good advice and salesmanship. Most of them do at least have an understanding of basic fitness, as they should, but they also have a little store at the front of the gym full of protein powders, energy drinks that aren't any better for you than soda, etc. I would suggest doing some research.<br><br>
Also, though jumping in and going right into a routine might seem daunting, it's easier if you think of each individual exercise as a skill that must be developed before you can incorporate it into that routine. Just take it one step at a time. One day, practice doing one type of lift just to practice the skill of doing that lift. Once you get the hang of it, add another type of exercise. Once you have learned how to do a few different types of exercises, you can begin incorporating them into routines.<br><br>
Most gyms have group sessions for various types of activities that might be useful for learning the basics as well.<br><br>
The most important thing is not to get intimidated and turned off as a result. Doing SOMETHING, even if not doing it perfectly, is better than not doing it.<br><br>
I personally despise gyms and prefer to utilize advanced calisthenics, but that's just a matter of preference <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> If the gym turns out not to be your thing, however, let me know and I'd be happy to set you up with some routines that can get you a workout every bit as good as anything the gym can offer without even having to leave your house. The disadvantage to this, however, is the lack of a social group. Perhaps the best part of going to a gym is being able to do your workouts with a bunch of other people with similar goals who you can talk to.</div>
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as strongly as i disagree with your diet, i agree with you on my hate for gyms. every time i've joined a gym as an adult, it turned into my throwing money down the toilet because i quit going after a few times, because it's such a pain in the ass to get ready and then drive to the gym. etc. it's so much more sustainable for me to work out at home. as i type this, i'm once again dodging an hour of elliptical <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">.<br><br>
for what this poster is trying to do, if i were him i'd just pick up a used elliptical and do that with some stretching/yoga for the first several months before adding strength exercises. the beauty of the elliptical, imo, is you can just aim for total minutes during the week, and increase the intensity of those minutes as you're able. it works your major muscle groups well enough. certainly it's not going to get you in nearly as good a shape as your routines, but it's a lot more doable for someone who's totally out of shape.
 

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1. Try to do compound exercises.<br>
2. Learn them good<br>
3. The staff can be helpful, but from what I've heard, most of them at PF are borderline whackos when it comes to training.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959505"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
but they also have a little store at the front of the gym full of protein powders, energy drinks that aren't any better for you than soda, etc.</div>
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no, just....no.<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959505"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Perhaps the best part of going to a gym is being able to do your workouts with a bunch of other people with similar goals who you can talk to.</div>
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or the fact that you have heavier things than a gallon of soy milk to lift there.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>papayamon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959811"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
if i were him i'd just pick up a used elliptical and do that with some stretching/yoga for the first several months before adding strength exercises. the beauty of the elliptical, imo, is you can just aim for total minutes during the week, and increase the intensity of those minutes as you're able. it works your major muscle groups well enough. certainly it's not going to get you in nearly as good a shape as your routines, but it's a lot more doable for someone who's totally out of shape.</div>
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<br><img alt="" src="http://coventina.blogg.se/images/2010/20070902-facepalm1_75982126.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959097"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I really miss what it feels like to be strong.</div>
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<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>papayamon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959811"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
for what this poster is trying to do, if i were him i'd just pick up a used elliptical</div>
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Did you even read the OP?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959097"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The only gym nearby is a Planet Fitness. I plan to go sign up, but what do I do? What do I say? What should I bring? I've researched this online, but I find it hard to believe that any magical gyms have tons of trainers willing to take me by the hand, explain everything I need to know about working out, and watch me on the machines to make sure I don't hurt myself (I'm very accident prone). EXACTLY what is the staff there for? What do they do, and what can I ask of them?</div>
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I can vouch for Planet Fitness. I've been a member of two so far, and I think they are the best no-frills gym around. They have classes you can sign up for that are free, and usually focus on a specific muscle group. The only catch is that you have to do it with other people who have signed up for that session, and the classes are usually held during regular work hours "9-5".
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>leth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Did you even read the OP?</div>
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he said: "Now I'm weak, fat, and I'm starting to get little pains here and there." the elliptical will help him will all of that, plus it's very easy to get started on and progress with. it works all the major muscle groups.<br><br>
did you read his post, or do you not understand what an elliptical can do for you?
 

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I thought Hazelnut was a lady. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sequoia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959939"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I thought Hazelnut was a lady. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:"></div>
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heh. on that, i stand corrected <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">. that's a victory for an excellent raccoon.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>papayamon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959946"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
heh. on that, i stand corrected <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">. that's a victory for an excellent raccoon.</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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I liked going to the gym. I found that it gave me more motivation to exercise because I'd coughed up the money to go.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Envy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959814"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
or the fact that you have heavier things than a gallon of soy milk to lift there.</div>
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A backpack full of sand bags, or a good weighted vest, can do wonders combined with some basic calisthenics <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ocrob37</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959960"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I disagree. The gym has a lot of different exercises you can do and it is a great place to build muscle.</div>
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there are many ways to do it. what matters is that you do it consistently. for me, the convenience of doing it at home far outweighs the gym's additional equipment, and i get much better results because of it. for you, the gym is a better place. either way is fine.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2959969"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
A backpack full of sand bags, or a good weighted vest, can do wonders combined with some basic calisthenics <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"></div>
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no doubt you are in a lot better shape than even most gym rats. the idea that you need all these elaborate machines is bunk.
 
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