Author Topic: Advice for Newbies  (Read 2503 times)

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Offline DRmeg378

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Advice for Newbies
« on: April 30, 2012, 12:03:09 PM »
The last time I went to a gym was a long time ago. This is kind of a good thing for me, but now I want to try and start working out again. I am thinking specifically about weight training - I kind of know how to run.

The question is, how should I go about building up strength, and where can I get a good overview of all I should be paying attention to? The other threads are awesome in terms of information, but I'm looking for guidance. Is it worth hiring a personal trainer? How should I go about choosing one and what should I tell them? I am okay with my weight (well, not okay, but not ready to start an actual concerted effort to change it), I just want to replace fat with muscle, and be generally stronger/more fit.
"I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that may be, is likely to get me into trouble. Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in." - Carl Sagan

Offline jaypee

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 12:11:11 PM »
The last time I went to a gym was a long time ago. This is kind of a good thing for me, but now I want to try and start working out again. I am thinking specifically about weight training - I kind of know how to run.

The question is, how should I go about building up strength, and where can I get a good overview of all I should be paying attention to? The other threads are awesome in terms of information, but I'm looking for guidance. Is it worth hiring a personal trainer? How should I go about choosing one and what should I tell them? I am okay with my weight (well, not okay, but not ready to start an actual concerted effort to change it), I just want to replace fat with muscle, and be generally stronger/more fit.

It couldn't hurt to have a personal training session or two just to make sure you're not putting yourself at risk of serious harm through incorrect body positioning when lifting free weights, etc.. It might also help you to avoid to make the types of idiotic mistakes I made such as not figuring the 45lb weight of the barbell into how much weight I was trying to bench press my first time.
"If I were an Algebra teacher I'd give everyone a letter grade but they'd have to figure out the value of the letter" -- A friend of mine

Offline Samhain

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 12:40:50 PM »
Just be careful with what kind of personal trainer you get.  The big chain of gyms usually hire trainers with the most minimum of qualifications.  Squatting is something that is very difficult for someone who has never squatted before.  Yet I've seen trainers try to teach an absolute newb to barbell squat on a bosu ball. 

This site has a lot of good information.

http://www.exrx.net/

Best advice I can give...take it slow...trying to get back to wherever you once were won't take long, but it will take longer if you injure yourself along the way.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 01:29:23 PM »
Just be careful with what kind of personal trainer you get.  The big chain of gyms usually hire trainers with the most minimum of qualifications.  Squatting is something that is very difficult for someone who has never squatted before.  Yet I've seen trainers try to teach an absolute newb to barbell squat on a bosu ball. 

This site has a lot of good information.

http://www.exrx.net/

Best advice I can give...take it slow...trying to get back to wherever you once were won't take long, but it will take longer if you injure yourself along the way.
My experience with the big chains is that their trainers are more interested in selling supplements than providing useful advice. 

Offline Plastiq

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 01:38:34 PM »
I'd say either do plenty of research, or get a good personal trainer to show you the ropes. Depends on how much time you have and how involved you want to get. Definitely worth learning how to do it correctly to preclude injury, though.

Offline Karyn

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 01:55:36 PM »
I have used big gym personal trainers, personal trainers that had their own small space that only they used and I have a sister that did a few sessions with me at my home.  There were pros and cons to each.  I think having a personal trainer when you are getting back into it really helps with the motivation and education, and are generally a good idea for newbs.

Big Gym trainers: Pros: It helped me get comfortable with the gym I was planning on continuing to attend after I was done with the initial set of sessions, and it got me into the habit of going to the gym.  Plus, they gave me a permanent discount on my monthly fees and waived my start up.  The trainers themselves were a little cheaper than the average.  Cons:  Yep, they try to sell you their supplements.  They aren't to pushy about it, though.  Also, my personal trainer ended up going back to school and I had to switch to a new trainer.  I don't see a huge amount of turnover at my gym, but many of them are students.  Of course, since there are so many trainers, it's easier to schedule when I want to be scheduled.

Personal Trainers in their own space:  Pros:  They tend to know their shit, but I imagine you really don't know what you are going to get.  I went to a group of girls that focused on women.  They were really good about helping you track nutrition and goals, without trying to push products on you  There was sometimes one other person in there being personally trained, but there were never problems with random people stealing the equipment you are trying to use. Cons: Unfortunately, that also meant you had to get a separate membership if you ever wanted to do anything on your own.  Since there were only 3 of them, and they were good at what they did, scheduling time for sessions could be difficult. They were also about 30% more expensive than the big gym trainers.  If you are going to go this route, I strongly suggest you shop around and find someone that focuses on the goals you want to achieve, since there are so many little things that may or may not be included in your training.  These ladies did a lot with diet tracking since one of them had her graduate degree in that.

Sister:  She was cheap as hell since she was my sister, and she was also new.  She came to my house to train me, and usually bought minimal equipment. Some trainers will come to your house, but only if they are just out of school.  One problem I had was with equipment.  I had a few weights, so most of my training was done with stretch bands, balls or 5lb weights.  I prefer to lift, personally, so this kinda sucked.

Offline DRmeg378

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 03:51:18 PM »
How feasible is it to aspire to have a personal trainer who will say *nothing* about what I eat? It's kind of important for me.

I will definitely look into that website, Samhain, thanks!
"I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that may be, is likely to get me into trouble. Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in." - Carl Sagan

Offline Karyn

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 03:54:56 PM »
How feasible is it to aspire to have a personal trainer who will say *nothing* about what I eat? It's kind of important for me.

 I've not met a personal trainer that doesn't bring food up at the beginning in some form.  It's normally a very important part of reaching the goals you want.  However, I'm sure if you just tell them about that up front, they will probably oblige.

Offline Plastiq

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 04:14:12 PM »
How feasible is it to aspire to have a personal trainer who will say *nothing* about what I eat? It's kind of important for me.
If you're paying for service, demand it.

Why is it important?

Offline DRmeg378

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 05:22:54 PM »
How feasible is it to aspire to have a personal trainer who will say *nothing* about what I eat? It's kind of important for me.
If you're paying for service, demand it.

Why is it important?

The last time I was in a gym I was anorexic and exercised obsessively. I am ready to work out in a non-obsessive way, I think, but I need to find a good way to go about it, one that doesn't lead me back down a path I don't want to go. My weight is well within the healthy territory. It could be lower, but I care about health and fitness and feeling good, I don't want to start feeling inadequate. In other words, I don't want to change anything specific, my only goal right now is to work out in and of itself.
"I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that may be, is likely to get me into trouble. Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in." - Carl Sagan

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 06:31:52 PM »
You should do this trick I learned from the first season of Scrubs: tell them up front that you don't want to discuss your diet and then every time they bring it up, flick them in the ear.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Offline DRmeg378

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 06:36:40 PM »
You should do this trick I learned from the first season of Scrubs: tell them up front that you don't want to discuss your diet and then every time they bring it up, flick them in the ear.

Awesome. Realistically, I won't have access to a gym until July when I move (in the meantime it's back to running!) but I am curious and feel like I need to digest a lot of information.
"I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that may be, is likely to get me into trouble. Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in." - Carl Sagan

Offline jaypee

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 05:33:06 AM »
Alternatively, you could just join a really decrepit boxing gym. No one is going to bother you about your diet there, except maybe when they try to stab you with a sharpened toothbrush so that they can steal your fruit cocktail.
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 05:44:59 AM »
How feasible is it to aspire to have a personal trainer who will say *nothing* about what I eat? It's kind of important for me.

I think if youre comfortable actually telling them about your anorexia, that would probably do it for most trainers... Just be up front and say "I used to have anorexia and it was related to gym and exercise. Therefore, I dont want to hear anything about diet or weight loss."

And honestly, if they then do mention something about it... find somebody to report them to.
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Advice for Newbies
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 07:19:12 AM »
Be sure to work muscle groups in balance. That is, if you do biceps be sure to work triceps as well.

Be sure to to allow muscles to rest. Allow at least a couple days before working the same group again.
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