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Joined the gym


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52 replies to this topic

#1 of 53 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 16 2006 - 02:48 AM

Last Tuesday my wife and I went in a signed up at the local Gold's Gym. Its $68 per month for the both of us and we each get 5 weeks with a personal trainer to get us tested and on a routine. Our neighbors joined a few weeks before we did and so we have some support for each other to keep going.

About 2 months ago I changed my eating habits and started walking about 2 miles 5 nights a week. I lost about 10 lbs and dropped from a 36" to a 34" waist with room to spare. It was time to take it to the next level, thus the gym. I'm not after getting huge but just to tone up and drop a few more pounds.

This past week I met once with my personal trainer and did all the testing to get set up on a program. My body fat came in at 21%, a few percentage points too high so that needs to come down. Tomorrow night we met again.

I've got myself set up on a basic routine until the trainer can refine it. I do a 2 mile walk (about 30 minutes) on the treadmill, which is a bit more of an aggressive workout then around the block, and then I hit about 8 of the weight machines and then on to a few dumbbells. All-in-all it's a little over an hour for the workout.

One thing is for certain, I have not felt this good in a very long time. I've gone 5 times in the last 6 days and love it. My goal is to work out Sunday through Thursday with Friday's and Saturday's off.

Anyone else here gym members? I gave some thought to not joining and investing in a home set up but after seeing what Gold's has to offer you can get that at home.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#2 of 53 OFFLINE   Robert_Z

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Posted January 16 2006 - 03:01 AM

My girlfriend and I joined a gym last January (like many other Americans who vow to "get in shape this year").

By March we stopped going. It was such a drag to

-- go all the way to the gym,
-- be in a room with many narcissistic people who are all checking each other out,
-- have meat heads breathing down my neck because they were in a hurry to use the machine I was on, and then
-- try to concentrate on exercise.

A gym environment is truly not for me. A few years ago, I lost 25 pounds and was in the best shape of my adult life using only a treadmill and some dumbbells.

My goal was never to have a muscular body like the Soloflex models you see in the commercials. I just wanted to look good and more importantly, lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

I agree gyms have equipment to work out every inch of your body, and it would be impossible to have a similar setup at home unless you have near unlimited funds.

For me, exercising every inch of my body was not a priority, just the inches around my waist and neck. Posted Image

I hope you achieve your fitness goals!

#3 of 53 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 16 2006 - 03:12 AM

I do see your points, even the trainer that signed us up said this is their busiest time of the year for new enrollment.

The nice thing, the gym is literally across the street, less then a half a block away. We go at the off peak times so it's not crowded. We did go once at what they told us was one of their busiest times and there were plenty of open machines. Yes, I have seen a few of the "Hulks" in there but the majority is just average people exercising.

I'm not after becoming huge and bulky just to tone and tighten up and stay fit. But, it's something I cannot do around the house so this was the next logical step. I'd have little to no motivation if I did it at home in the garage.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#4 of 53 OFFLINE   Evan M.

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Posted January 16 2006 - 05:00 AM

I was an excercise/Gym freak in college.......that was more to meet girls then for myself though Posted Image. After I met a girl and got married to her I kind of let myself go. I turned 30 and looked it the mirror 10 months ago and was shocked at what I saw. I personaly HATE going to a gym and can't justify paying the amount of money for it. I was in Dicks that day and saw they had a "cheep" 300$ version of the Total Gym that you see on the infomercials with Chuck Norris. I looked at it and thought it was the most rediculous thing I ever saw. Then I got on it and did a few excercices that I saw demonstrated on TV. Let me tell you....the thing really suprised me. They had none left but I saw Sears had basicaly the same thing so I bought it. We also had a treadmill that my wife bought years ago. It takes me 20 minutes do do a FULL GOOD workout on the Total Gym and I walk fast on the Treadmill more 15 minutes and do 150 crunches on an excecise ball (which is a great thing for your core....BUY ONE). I do this 5 times a week. The whole routine takes about 35 minutes. If I am in a rush I don't do the treadmill (because I am on my feet all day at work) and that takes me about 20 minutes to do.

I have had a few injuries that have prevented me from doing the routine for awhile but I just started it again 2 weeks ago and already see and feel results. I know I sound like an infomercial but the Total Gym is a fantastic machine if you stick with it. It is built solid as well. If you ever are thinking about getting ahome system I highly recommend going to Dicks or Sears and checking it out. You never need a spotter and to me the motions are much more fluid and nicer feeling then a machine. You get a bigger range of motion I find as well and really doesnt take a lot of space either and it folds up.....although it is a pain so I just made a "workout room" in the basement.

#5 of 53 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 16 2006 - 06:50 AM

well i joined bally total fitness back in 2002 and lost around 100 lbs. i have kept most of it off but fluctuate 20 lbs here and there.

i guess you can call me one of the meat heads. as it stands now i am 6ft and around 230. i have a linebacker build. but i am 31 now and i am thinking of becoming leaner. i look good at 220 but i have to lift very hard to keep that physique. so i am considering dropping to around 200 lbs so that i don't have so much wear and tear on my body. cardio is alot easier on the body than lifting heavy.

as far as the gym is concerned, i could not have done it without the atmosphere the gym provided me. i actually feel at home at the gym and i know everyone by name. i have never dated anyone there and probably never will. when i go to the gym i am there to work out. i also do my best to help the new folks and not to bully them. it is really easy to do and sometimes it is purely incidental. when someone my size is dripping with sweat and breathing hard and working out in rapid succession with a great deal of focus i can see how that could appear to be something other than what it really is.

listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
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#6 of 53 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 16 2006 - 06:56 AM

oh and concerning the price of the gym.

when you factor in how much money you waste eating stupid stuff a gym membership is very affordable. in the original poster's example he states that, it is just 34 bux a piece for him and his girl to work out.

hmmmmm......

if the average person took the $1 coke and $5 garbage lunch they eat every day and put that toward their membership it would be paid for in a week.

since you are not supposed to be eating poorly anyway that is a great redirection of funds and will help improve your health in the short and the long term!

by the way after i paid of my bally's membership i only pay 8 bux per month for the rest of my life. to me that is a no brainer considering that i have a nationwide membership. (original membership fee was 1200 bux)

listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
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#7 of 53 OFFLINE   Armando Zamora

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Posted January 16 2006 - 07:18 AM

Ron,

Good going. No matter where you go for your workout, the bottom line is that you're working out and exercising. I did the same thing by promising that I had to change and turn over a new leaf. Three years later, here I am still going strong. Granted I had times within the past three years where I didn't either lift weights or do cardio, but those were times where I had incurred an injury. Staying motivated is one of the main challenges in keeping and sticking to regular exercise. Set a goal(s) for yourself. Keep a journal or log of your progress. Not only does it help with keeping track of your workouts, but, for me at least, it's a documented record of how I've stayed dedicated to my goals. It's funny, but flipping back and looking at what I've done gives me motivation to go forward. I have 3 journal-type calendars in which I've documented every workout that I've done in the past three years. There are milestones in those journals that I would not have thought I could have achieved when I began. Also, limit your time in the gym. Get in...get out. If you can, keep your workouts under 45-minutes (I do 6-8 reps for 3 sets of each exercise with one minute rest periods between sets). Stick to exercises that focus on major/big muscle groups (this may also help since your sharing equipment with other folks at the gym). Since you're very close to your gym, don't worry about doing "full" body workouts every time...break up your workout routines and plan to work perhaps certain body parts on particular days. For example, I lift weights 4 times a week with the following schedule:

Mon: Chest and triceps (force=push) and abs
Tues: Legs and lower back;
Thurs: Back, biceps and forearms (force=pull);
Fri: Shoulders, traps and abs.

Don't make going to the gym and your workouts laborious. Keep your workouts fresh by changing your routines often...prevent from getting bored...dont get stuck in a rut.

These are some of the things that have helped me stay focused, not to mention all the complements and support that I get from friends and my wife. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress..

#8 of 53 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 16 2006 - 07:52 AM

good advice armando.

especially the compound muscle group movements. what is funny about that is that i have found that most people don't do these types of excercises (with the exception of the bench press) so i don't have to wait to use equipment at the gym.

for instance, i can name only a handful of people at my gym that actually perform barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, free weight bent over rows, dips, pull ups and other leg and back excercises. since i spend a lot of time on my legs and back this works out great for me.

listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
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#9 of 53 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 16 2006 - 08:20 AM

Thanks for the tips Armando. You've got some great suggestions. Once I complete my 5 weeks with the personal trainer I should have a good routine and then I'll modify that to fit my personal needs. I do like your idea of breaking up the week. This past week I followed the same routine.

Quote:
Staying motivated is one of the main challenges

Yes, I agree. What works out great for us is that the neighbors directly across the street recently joined and then two other women from down the street joined so we can all hold each other accountable.


Quote:
well i joined bally total fitness back in 2002 and lost around 100 lbs.

Diallo, that's awesome, congrats! My wife has done the same, she lost just over 100 lbs 3 years ago and has kept it off, without going to the gym, just home exercise and eating healthier. She wanted to join to tone up better.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#10 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted January 16 2006 - 12:52 PM

Quote:
i am 6ft and around 230. i have a linebacker build
That kicks ass Posted Image I also go to Bally's, very nice atmosphere there. No 'bullies' and people are always willing to spot.

Personally, I've been going on and off since freshman yr of college, but once my friend who's a military policeman came back in town, he got me going regularly now. I really like to challenge myself each time I go.

Gained 20 lbs of muscle since Summer and I feeeel good. I sleep better, work better, have more self-confidence, less stress, think more clearly, get checked out by women, men, pets... Everything just gets better, except your free-time of course.

Congrats Ron, it's certainly a challenge to go 5-6 times a week (especially when you're married & employed) so hats off to you.

#11 of 53 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted January 17 2006 - 01:39 AM

Thanks Scott, I'm going to give it a serious try. I love how I feel after a good workout and that is a great motivator.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#12 of 53 OFFLINE   John Alvarez

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Posted January 17 2006 - 04:06 AM

Quote:
for instance, i can name only a handful of people at my gym that actually perform barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, free weight bent over rows, dips, pull ups and other leg and back excercises. since i spend a lot of time on my legs and back this works out great for me.
That is because you go to Bally's which is more of a spa than a hardcore gym. Bally's and Golds are nothing like they used to be.

#13 of 53 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 17 2006 - 07:31 AM

John,

i agree with you and i don't agree with you. i think bally's has that image and to some point it is well deserved.

however, the bally's that i go to has an extensive free weight area comapared to most bally's and is the only 'big' gym in the immediate area. there are alot more men there than tend to be at other bally's. but for whatever reason they still do their pretty boy workouts of chest and arms only.

i think that is more of a man thing vs. bally being a spa thing. men go to the gym attempting to build up their chest and arms without realizing that if you want that you also have to build leg, shoulder and back strength as well.

listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
_______________________________________

#14 of 53 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted January 17 2006 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
i am 6ft and around 230. i have a linebacker build
Basically you look like your sig Posted Image.

I've let myself go since the last time I was in decent shape some 2 years ago. I've always had an imposing frame, and been blessed with pretty good genetics (I've always been erm... naturally muscular and with the amount of food and booze that I regularly ingest, I should be fat instead). But even with 6'3" height, at nearly 300lbs, it's time for some dramatic lifestyle changes (the beer gut is getting harder and harder to suck in Posted Image).

I wanna go back to being handsome young man instead of just... scary Posted Image.

Mostly, I need to find that undescribable feeling that comes with nurturing your body, being in shape and being FULLY healthy.

--
H - working on it.

#15 of 53 OFFLINE   Hunter P

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Posted January 17 2006 - 09:23 AM

If you want to cut corners in the intrest of saving time then try doing one set instead of three. Do one set at a weight designed for failure around 8-12 reps. This is just about as good as doing the traditional 3 sets.

if the average person took the $1 coke and $5 garbage lunch they eat every day and put that toward their membership it would be paid for in a week.

since you are not supposed to be eating poorly anyway that is a great redirection of funds and will help improve your health in the short and the long term!

So how do you account for the money spent on the "healthy" lunch? Eating healthy is often more expensive than eating crap.



Anyway, Ron, good luck on your gym endevor. Thankfully you have a support system.
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#16 of 53 OFFLINE   benjaminBen

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Posted January 17 2006 - 09:41 AM

Not to cause a fight, but i am a certified personal trainer and doing one set to failure is not the same as 3 to 4 sets. That is a myth. Most people assume that other people at the gym are looking down on them and that is not the case. In fact most people are afraid to try to help other people. I am very hesitant to give people advice, because people think that they know everything, because they have a friend that is big.
The nice thing is if you drive to the gym you are going to work out. If you are at home it is very easy to just not work out. And as far as cost if everyone worked out 30 mins. 3 times a day, healthcare costs would go down by billions.

#17 of 53 OFFLINE   RyanAn

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Posted January 17 2006 - 10:45 AM

Congrats on taking the iniative.

I joined the gym across the street, Fitness USA - about 2 or 3 years ago, and I have been going sparaticly. I had lost over 120 lbs total since my highest weight, and still need to loose more, at least to myself.

Just keep in mind that you can over do it, and don't get in the mindset that if you do not immediately see results, that it is not working. I was going 5 days a week and after awhile I lost a lot of weight, but then there was a standstill - I personally did not see any new changes and gave up for a few weeks. Now, I am about 20 lbs heavier, and that means I have to loose 20 lbs more again, just to get back where I was a month ago.

It's a great thing to do, and make it a life change, not a resolution. Posted Image

If you or anyone wants to talk about techniques, work out rountines, or anything, just message me.

Ryan

#18 of 53 OFFLINE   John Stone

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Posted January 17 2006 - 11:38 AM

Quote:
Not to cause a fight, but i am a certified personal trainer and doing one set to failure is not the same as 3 to 4 sets.
I totally agree with this.

Generally speaking, if your goal is to gain strength you should use very heavy weights and do 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps. If you can do more than 3 sets of 6 without failing or breaking form, increase the weight next time.

If your goal is pure hypertrophy (muscle gains), then the general rule is to use moderately heavy weight and do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.

I also feel that form is important, especially for the new trainee. Good form will help prevent injury and allow maximum stimulation of the targeted muscle(s). Your personal trainer should be very helpful in this regard.

Don't forget that your body grows outside of the gym. It needs rest and proper nutrition to grow. Post-workout is a particularly important time: a protein shake with dextrose is a common, convenient and effective PWO "meal".

Most body parts should be thoroughly thrashed and then allowed to recover fully before training that body part again. With the exception of traps, I train each body part once per week. Here's my current split (5 days on/2 off):

Monday: Stationary bike, 45 mins (aerobic)
Tuesday: Weight training: back, & traps
Wednesday: Weight training: chest & abs
Thursday: Stationary bike, 45 mins (aerobic)
Friday: Weight training: legs
Saturday: Weight training: delts & traps
Sunday: Weight training: biceps & triceps (antagonistic supersets)


These are the training principles I'm following:
  • 3-4 exercises per body part (with certain exceptions, such as traps and calves).
  • 4 sets per exercise.
  • 8-10 reps per set.
  • Keep it intense: 1 minute rest between sets, 2 minutes rest between exercises. I take two minutes between sets for squats and deads. I do supersets for my biceps and triceps.
  • Strict form.
  • Approximately 2 second concentric, squeeze, 3 second eccentric.
  • Mind/muscle connection at all times - FOCUS.
  • Change exercises every 3 weeks or so.
Everyone is different, I only mention this as something to consider. Experiment, talk to your trainer, talk to your friends and find what works best for you!

Don't neglect the "big 3": squats, bench press and deadlifts. As mentioned above, these compound exercises will do wonders for your entire physique. Make sure you have your trainer evaluate your form on these exercises, because they are generaly done with heavy weights; the potential for injury is high if done incorrectly.


Quote:
The nice thing is if you drive to the gym you are going to work out. If you are at home it is very easy to just not work out.
I think that's an unfair generalization. It's really up to the individual. Some people require the atmosphere of a gym to get motivated to workout, but often the drive to and from the gym turns into an excuse to not go at all. Some people (like yours truly) hate going to the gym, and are self-motivated enough to stay disciplined using their home equipment. In fact, I'm so competitive that if I went to the gym I'd probably be injured all the time because I'd be lifting with my ego, and not with my muscles. Posted Image

Quality home gym setups are certainly not out of reach for most people. I started off (and made fine progress) with nothing more than a crappy DP bench, plastic weights and some hex dumbbells. Later, as I became more serious, I upgraded to a Powertec Power Rack so I could do heavy squats and bench presses in total safety without a spotter. Last year I went a step further and invested in the Titan T1, which allows me to perform nearly every exercise available in a commercial gym at home. The Titan combined with a set of dumbbells is everything I'll ever need for strength training for the rest of my life, and the total investment was less than most of us spend on HT equipment or even just software. Here's the evolution of my home gym, from 2003 - present.

I think it's great, Ron, that you and so many other are getting bit by the fitness bug. It doesn't matter where you workout, so long as you can stick with it. Best of luck!

#19 of 53 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 17 2006 - 11:45 AM

Quote:
So how do you account for the money spent on the "healthy" lunch? Eating healthy is often more expensive than eating crap.


well this is how i do it.

i buy GROCERIES and prepare my own food. this is a forgotten art among young folks. if i buy my own food and prepare my own food i can cut my eating costs by close to 75 percent. (That is a real number based on how I eat)

i do not eat processed foods. for the most part if it comes in a bag or a box i don't eat it. i eat fresh meat, veggies and fruit and cheese for the most part. i also eat a limited amount of bread and potatoes.

i also buy in bulk. for example, if i see a sale on porterhouse steaks (my favorite cut) i buy them up and vacuum seal them. if i were to eat lunch out everyday i would easily spend 50-80 bux a week. but since i prepare my own food i spend about 60 bux on groceries every two weeks. yeah i live by myself......

that means that i have more disposable income to invest in money making ventures instead of waist growing escapades.

listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
_______________________________________

#20 of 53 OFFLINE   ChrisHeflen

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Posted January 17 2006 - 11:53 AM

I joined a gym three years ago and go off an on in spurts.

I only use machines as I don't have a spotter and I get embarrassed.
I must be doing things wrong cause I would go 3-5 times a week for like 3 months and not see any results or minimal at best.
Before the gym, I used to do like 40 push-ups every nite and bike 5 miles three nites a week and I got "bigger" doing that in a shorter amount of time.

I'm too nevrous to ask the trainers at the gym for help.
But at 35 yrs old, 5'9" 153lbs., I need to do something soon to get in shape before it's too late.


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