No Idea where to start.

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16 Jun 2017 05:25 #287770 by AveryR1988
No Idea where to start. was created by AveryR1988
Alright so in the next 2 months a gym I can afford is opening nearby. I've already signed up and it's costing me under $20 a month.
The only problem is that I have no idea what to actually do. I've been told to just jump on a treadmill or join a group class that suits me. But I don't think I could just get on a treadmill for an hour a day. And the classes haven't been posted so I don't know what's available or even what I like (I've never done a fitness class).

My doctor wants me to lose 70-100lbs. I've already lost some by modifying diet but I need exercise too. I just don't know what to do to start. Anyone have any pointers?

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  • MarVinKra
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16 Jun 2017 05:42 #287771 by MarVinKra
Replied by MarVinKra on topic No Idea where to start.
I was in a similar situation where I knew I wanted to do something but just didn't know what so I downloaded the Nike Run Club app and it has a good goal achiever program. I am not a fitness freak XD but I can say that it helped me! Definitely was a good start for me.

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16 Jun 2017 06:17 - 16 Jun 2017 06:31 #287773 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic No Idea where to start.
I aint no PT or have any qualifications, but I did spend a few years reading a lot and lifting as a passion. My thoughts are sorta based on my own experience, so 2 cents about..... :D If your interested in that side of the gym.

People new to a gym or with health conditions might benefit from approaching like a rehabilitation, and so I'd suggest do a bit of targeted isolation work to prepare the limb muscles (arm and legs) individually, and learn how to do it safely... making sure to avoid tendon injury especially as being mindful of joint alignments in regards to which muscles are the intended target of the work keeps you at the gym.

As obviously an injury takes you out of the gym, stops progress and can reduce your future potential - a classic example is if doing bicep curls; the only joint moving should be the elbow, and if you were to use your wrist doing a bicep curl then you'd potentially be mismatching a large weight for a large muscle (biceps) by using a smaller set of muscles (forearm) and a differently designed joint (wrist).

Once you work out how to do that you can use those lessons to have good form for stepping it up to the compound exercises and different types of functional training which might otherwise have a bit more risk to someone who naturally might not have a muscular frame.... as they can really allow the focus of the gym session to be around building up a strong core, meaning not so much the stomach muscles but more everything connected in and around the spine. That is what is important to tie all the muscles together in movement and then with mindful movement you can achieve better application of your available power.

So learning how to avoid injury, hitting the same muscle group every 3 to 4 days without fail (hence need to avoid injury), getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and balanced healthy diet. Personally for someone starting out, I'd go day 1 arms,chest,back, day 2 off, day 3 legs, butt, stomach, day 4 off, repeat. The body naturally tries to adapt to stress, so if you want muscular growth you need to be consistent for at least 6 months at a go IMO, its not about the weight being used but the proper form, consistency, sleep and diet. After a few weeks you will notice you can go slightly higher to keep the same sensation of effort. After about that 6-9 months I'd take 1-2 months off. Then start again from the beginning. Don't pick up where you left off straight away in regard to weight - but you should be able to progress back to that point fast and resume getting some proper 'growth'. Growth happens when the body realizes it cannot accommodate the repeated demand for work (while avoiding injury), and so naturally tries to increase its capacity. But if you only exercise now and then, the body will just handle it at the time and not grow. The muscle will physically swell a bit in the short term when starting lifting, but then usually stops and people think they've stopped growing and put too much weight on to try and bust out it (risking injury) - but that is not real muscle growth, just proper activation of existing mass. So don't use 'size' to judge progress, use consistency instead and keep at it for health reasons. After a year or so you'll be putting on real muscle which will stay with you.

I don't have a particularly muscly body, and due to an autoimmune illness this was the best way I was able to get the most out of my time and get results. But if your a muscly bloke then there are plenty of different ways and you might be able to get something from more functional training which incorporates aerobic exercise. Here is a good short series with some good pointers from a bodybuilder trainer just to give you some information but not so much as a exercise schedule, learning as much as you can will always be a good thing when starting something new;

and the rest;
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

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Last edit: 16 Jun 2017 06:31 by Adder.
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16 Jun 2017 08:28 #287774 by MadHatter
Replied by MadHatter on topic No Idea where to start.
I suggest starting with body weight exercises ( there are many good phone apps for this). Further exercise bands are not too expensive and are a great way to add weight resistance. Finally, Yoga is a great workout as well. These are the things I am currently doing to help my own weight loss. I am in the same boat so I know the struggle. Best of luck and if I find anything that works well for me I will post it for you.

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16 Jun 2017 10:34 #287775 by JamesSand
Replied by JamesSand on topic No Idea where to start.
I'm about to start back at the gym (I say "about" it's another 6 or more weeks away) Once Dr Frankenstein puts all my bits back where they should be - I'll be updating something here with all that (my journal, the workout thread, or something) so you can play along if you like :)

Much like Adder - my views are "my opinion" not based on any particular qualification -

I absolutely recommend Yoga and body weight stuff. (Not much need to join a Gym for that though)

To get value from your gym membership - use the weights!

You're absolutely right, running on a treadmill for an hour is boring as all get out.

I'll do the odd 10km, but unless you have some desire to do marathons, Try the other toys (Stairclimbers and ladder machines can be quite a challenge!)

You can access plenty of routines on the net, from the simple to complex, beginner to advanced.

And...well most of them are probably more or less fine?

But, for the sake of putting it out there, for my rehab I'll be doing a combination of a Joe Defranco program (3 days a week, upper/lower/upper) and triathlon training (so I guess I will be putting some time in at the treadmill, but getting my run back to where I was 10 years ago is all part of the rehab plan, so whether I enjoy it or not is beside the point)

Which I guess raises the point of Motivation - Picking a plan or something is fairly straight forward, anyone will sell you one, and some people will give you one for free.

Doing it (and enjoying doing it) is the main issue - If you go to the gym because you feel guity if you don't, your head ain't in the right space, and if you don't know why you're going, you won't (or when you do, you won't enjoy it)

So Come up with your Goal, and how you're going to measure getting there (My goal is to rebuild my decaying meatsack until I am powerful enough to go back in time and beat 2007 James in a fight). I'm fortunate enough to know 2007 James' fitness level so I can measure that ;)

I've never tried to lose weight, but I have a sneaking suspicion that just jumping on the scales every saturday isn't the motivator it could be (especially if you don't lose weight, 'cause you'll be getting swole from picking up the heavy things and putting them down again), but maybe some before photos (don't need to show anyone) so you can assess visually how things are going as you get "shredded" as the kids say.

Some other "benchmarks" - like Maximum Pushups or Pullups, or fastest 5km run, or other things that are not necessarily "weight" based, but will definitely tell you you've become a mean, lean, fitness machine.

At risk of spruiking my own product - I think the first step in my Goals Exercise is to know where you've come from/are now.

So step one - Go to the gym, and run for 10mins, see how far you get. Gives you somewhere to start.

Same again for Pushups or whatever you want to use as a measure.

I'm sure you can internet with the best of them - but the following is a pretty low-tech site with some good info, and not backed up by ads or people trying to sell you something

I think I've rambled incoherently for long enough, best of luck to you :)
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16 Jun 2017 12:51 #287779 by steamboat28
Replied by steamboat28 on topic No Idea where to start.
A lot of people start with bodyweight exercises, but i was a bit heavier when I started working out so they were a little frustrating to me at first. Free weights are good, and cardio is good. It just depends on how your body reacts to each.
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16 Jun 2017 13:49 #287783 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic No Idea where to start.
From my time in the Forces, and working with the fitness staff there, one big thing is this:

"Always do your best!"

"Never give less than 110%!"

"Love the pain, it means you're pushing yourself!"

"Work like your life depends on it, because one day it may!"

And finally, "Pain is weakness leaving the body! Rejoice in it!" ;)

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16 Jun 2017 16:23 - 16 Jun 2017 17:32 #287796 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic No Idea where to start.
The very first thing is you have to prioritize you goals. Youve got that by fiat because the dr says lose weight.. cool.

Weight loss is almost totally about diet (especially calories). Thats important. Ive personally seen big people in the gym working hard and consistently for over a year and be exactly the same size going in to the second year. So thats the first thing- weight loss happens in the kitchen

I second the idea of joining the group classes for the simple fact that they provide easy structure.. something that focuses on burning calories and increasing cardio... could be anything from aerobics to zumba to fitness muay thai, theres all kinds

The three main categories of cardio training as i understand it are steady state cardio, interval training, and high intensity interval training/HIIT

Steady state cardio basically is when you pick a medium to long amount of time or distance, and your goal is to maintain a steady rate of effort until you reach the time limit or cover that distance.. you might begin by jogging for thirty minutes or joggin for one mile, whatever. Even if you cant keep the pace at first, eventually you will. The point is just to maintant a steady state of output for the duration of the exercise.

Interval training is when you change your effort level at specific points in the exercise. This is great for people at every fitness level. A beginner might not be able to jog straight for thirty minutes, but could jog for three minute intervals with a two minute walk between each interval, until theyve reached thirty minutes.

HIIT or high intensity interval training takes the concept of interval trainng and spikes the punch with rocket fuel.. the time durations for the higher outputs/effort levels are a lot shorter and the actual outputs are way higher.. so you might go to a track and jog for two minutes and then sprint as fast as you possbly can for 45 seconds.. the essential principle in HIIT is that you have preset time limits, and during the heavy output times you give 100% all out effort. The poverbial "everything youve got"

HIIT is not something most people cant do at first.. youve kind of got to be at a certain level of fitness already to pull it off without dying lol
It taxes the central nervous system, so it should only be done once or twice a week, with rest days after each HIIT workout.

HIIT is basically the best protocol for becoming a badass lol it will burn fat and make you so much more....alive.
It takes time to get there but its worth it!

The Interval and high intensity interval concepts can be applies to almost any exercise, including weights. People with higher body fat levels sometimes (not always) find it easier on their joints to start with elipticals, rowing machines, or stationary bikes, than to run. If youre gym has a pool or if you have access to a pool, swimming is imo one of the best exercises ever.. it gives resistance to your musckes, forces you to focus on your breathing, allows whatever level of intensity you lre capable of

"Tabata" is a particular formula for HIIT thats pretty popular right now and id recommend anyine who wants to exercise for weight loss to look into it, building your way up of course.
On the note ofnpopular: the fitness industry is very fad-ish. Most of the exercises that become popular are legitimate in the sense that they do basiclally what you would expect them to do if you stick with them, but theres no magic bullet or super exercise program- the key is to stay consistently on a good program -- its ok to switch programs after a few months but you have to stay consistent in working out for three or four years at least. Thats the way you should look at it starting off.

At some point you might want to do more than just lose fat.. you might hear that muscle burns more calories than fat and decide to build muscle.. or maybe you just decide that this is a new chapter in your life and you want to make fitness a serious priority and transform yourself into something new.. at that point youll want to look into getting stronger, which means resistance training

The first most important thing to understand about weight training and body-weight training, (both are forms of resistance training) is that every exercise has got a proper form -- or better to say that most exercises have the potential for injury if you do them wrong. There might be more than one right way to do them, the important thing is to know the right vs wrong ways. Injuries kill workout programs, (trust me i know!) and even seemingly simple exercises (like the bench press or the push up) have a lot of potential for pain if you dont know how to do them correctly. Anything that involves the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, ankles or knees can be done in a way that causes temporary pain which will turn into serious injury over time (so basically everything lol)
Some exercises (like the deadlift) can hurt you in a single rep. So learn the form!

The next thing most important thing to understand is that there are different parameters to resistance training that produce different results-- the major factors are 1) how much weight are you lifting (intensity), 2) how many times are you lifting it without putting the weight down and resting (reps) how many times do you put the weight down, rest, and then lift it again (sets) and how long do you rest between sets (rest time). Finally, there is how many total reps youve done of a particular exercise in a single workout, or in the whole week, or even the entire month (volume)

The simplified explanation for the different parameters is that you can train for endurance OR for muscle growth OR for increase in raw strength.

In weight training, there are "rep ranges" -- 1-5, 6-12, and 12-20+
The way this works is that you lift the most amount of weight you can to complete the reps-- if youre going for 5 reps, you want the weight to be heavy enough that you just barely finish that fifth rep and absolutely CAN NOT lift it one more time.. thats called the 5RM or 5-rep maximum

The real limits of how many reps you could do becomes "fuzzier" the higher you go-- when youre at low rep ranges, like the 5RM, if you got the weight right theres really no way you could get another rep in, not if your life depended on it.. but jf you can lift it 20 times you could usually lift it 21 if you really had to..

1-5 builds pure, raw strength. This rep range taxes the CNS (especially the 1 and 2 RM) and actually makes you stronger at the level of what your nervous system can demand from your body..
6-12 is the proven muscle hypertrophy or muscle building range-- this is the range that makes you get bigger
12+ is best known for muscle endurance, which is a great foundation from which to approach the other two areas

All of these - strength, size, endurance, are important, and there is fair bit of of overlap between the ranges. Each persons body is a little different from everyone elses and you have to learn your own body..

In my opinion, (which not everyone agrees with) a beginner should start with endurance training. For the most part a beginner will experience some small increases in size strength and endurance no matter what they do.
I always start new exercises at the 12 rep range simply to practice the form and let my body learn how to do the exercise correctly before adding heavy weight..

A beginner will usually start with doing two or three sets of each exercise theyre doing, and doing each exercise two times a week. You will increase the weight and number of sets as you improve. The number of times you do an exercise per week will vary depending on the exercise, the intensity, and your development. Basic rule of thumb is to recover from the last time before doing the exercise again-- usually its three days.

The next thing you need to know is that there such a thing as muscular imbalance-- mostly this affects guys because we want to do bench presses and overhead presses more than we want to do the pulls -rows, pull ups and lat pulls.. for every two pressing motions you do its recommended that we do three pulls. There are variations of this theme, some say we should do twice as many pulls as we do pushes.. ymmv
I can tell you that ive hurt my shoulders and its caused me a lot of pain and a lot of lost progress because i didnt balance out my program. So, dont do what i did!
Also, working the upper body and not working the lower body can lead to joint injuries and lower back injuries. You have to work the lowers if you want to work the uppers!

Next, its very VERY tempting to skip the stretching and the warming up, but youll never perform as well cold as you will after a 20 minute warm up and going into a lift cold is a guarnteed way to injure yourself, its just a matter of time.

Every lift has specific stretches associated with it, learnthose..
Warming up as i understand it has two elements.. first is to literally warm your body up and increase your body temperature by exerting yourself for ten-twenty minutes.. this can be anything at all. I use a jump rope usually but the treadmill works, jumpijg jacks work, yoga works (the more demanding poses) whatever, just increase body temp..
The next is exercise specific warm up, which means to target the soecific muscles that you want to exercize in the workout.. so that means doing short sets of push ups before the bench press or doing a few sets of very light weight on the bench to warm up the muscles. Many athletes and trainers say that the best warm up for any particular lift is to do the lift itself with low weight and focus on activating the muscles that the lift requires..

The other half of building muscle is nutrition-- if youre not eating then you arent repairing the damage that you do to your muscle and you cant get stronger. If youre not eating a calories surplues its hard to add bulk to your frame, which is how you get bigger.
For this reason people who are wanting to burn fat often dont focus on muscle building quite as much as endurance or strength training.. you still have to eat right and get enough protein to repair the muscle damage, but you dont have to maintain a strict calorie surplus for strengh and endurance the way that you do with hypertrophy (muscle building)

Supplements are mostly gimmicks-- eat real food instead.
Protein powder does work, whey protein is good, especially post workout, casein protein has a slower rate of digestion which its a slower release of amino acids which means it lasts longer. For a beginner it really doesnt matter much, just work out and eat right.
Creatine does what it says it does but you have to use it right or its a waste of money.
BCAAs are great, especially if youre losing fat becauze they help you maintain muscke mass while cutting weight.. do research

See also

Calories and weight loss
Exercise intensity and heart rate
Exercise and breath
Progressive overload
Mind-muscle connection
Breaking the bar
Online calorie counter
Macros and Micros nutrition
Low calorie/high protein foods

People are complicated.
Last edit: 16 Jun 2017 17:32 by OB1Shinobi.
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16 Jun 2017 19:46 #287810 by AveryR1988
Replied by AveryR1988 on topic No Idea where to start.
Thanks for all the responses everyone, they have certainly been informative. They gym is under construction still. It's about 2 months from completion due to some permit issues, or so they say. So until they open I'm focusing on the nutrition aspect. My blood protein levels are normal (despite me being low income and vegetarian) so my doctor says I don't need to increase it. This morning I've invested in smaller plates and bowls. I didn't know that in the 60's the average plate size was 8-9 inches but today they are 11-12 inches. That is almost a 50% size difference (by sq. in.).
My blood test came back this morning too and my Doc. has cleared me for basicly anything.

But I have a few questions based on the feedback you all have given me so far.

Yoga: A few of you have mentioned it. I did some research and I'm a little confused on what types everyone ment.
Also I was under the impression yoga was primarily used to develop flexibility. Can it really be an effective workout?

Weights: I don't mind getting stronger but I don't really want to bulk up (being female and all lol). So correct me if I'm wrong but, I should be working on 1-2 sets of 1-5 reps of heavy weights, and 1-2 sets of 12 reps with a weight that pushes me to the limit for endurance with a rest period of 2-3 days for each muscle group? can/should I do the strength and endurance sets the same day or split them up? Also is it good to do 1 exercise for 1 set and another for the 2nd, or should I just stick with 1 exercise for both? Honestly weights confuse me because they seems so technical.

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16 Jun 2017 21:01 #287812 by Trisskar
Replied by Trisskar on topic No Idea where to start.
In all honesty - Just a casual observation - I know it won't help as far as Gym and Membership goes....But it is free.

My group started doing one and a half hour hikes in the local park. They have trails that you can take into the woods or around a track. We keep a good pace with a heavy backpack (mine is a hydration water pack) on our shoulders.

I have seen more results with this in just 2 months than I have ever seen from my gym attempts 0_0 I have lost nearly 10lbs after 7 years of failed results

Just something to think over/concider

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