I’m inside the gym… now what?

If you are new to exercising and working out, going into a gym can be really intimidating and scary.  There are machines everywhere and people doing their own thing.  How do you even attempt to get started on a program?  I’ll tell you what worked for me and hopefully some of the things I did can help you.

When I first started exercising I did group fitness classes.  This is probably the easiest thing for beginners to do to get their feet wet.  There are so many different choices, you can do a different class every day of the week and never repeat yourself!  My favorite class was Body Pump.  There are several spin offs but this is the class where you lift weights to music.  Each song is a different body part and you work your way through all the major muscle groups in an hour.  It was a great intro to weights because you learn exercises you can do in the weight room and you can practice good form since you use a lighter weight.  If you haven’t tried this type of class I highly recommend it!  I was also a big step class fan, I don’t think this is offered much anymore 😦

When I decided to start lifting weights and using the machines I decided to get some personal training sessions.  I definitely recommend this if you are new to the weight room.  I only got a handful of sessions (because of my budget but if you can afford a trainer on a regular basis that is a great way to go) and I asked the trainer to put me through 5 different workouts that would hit all my muscle groups.  I took notes on everything we did and when my sessions were over this is the workout I did for a couple of years (don’t stick with the same routine that long, change it up every month).  Another great resource I used was Oxygen Magazine.  This is by far my favorite magazine!  They have really good workouts every month (they also show home workouts and ones you can do when traveling).  They have great pictures and explanations on how to do the moves.  They also show different levels for beginners, intermediate and advanced people.  I have folders full of workouts I have pulled from this magazine.  Every month when it was time for a new workout I would pull out my folders and put a new plan together for the month.

No matter which route you decide to go, if you don’t know how to do a move ask for help!  Class instructors are there to help you.  If you are in the weight room and are not sure about an exercise you are doing, ask a personal trainer in your gym.  The last thing you want to do is injure yourself!


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