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Old 01-10-2019, 12:49 PM   #21
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One thing you hear a lot from females when it comes to working out...none of them want to look muscular or more masculine. Trust me...you wont have to worry about this. The fact that youre a casual lifter or gym goer will prevent you from ever looking shredded. Unless you work out a lot, most people have no idea what it takes to look shredded/muscular. Years and hard work.

You'll probably want to stick to machines from the get go. They're user friendly, almost impossible to get hurt on. Light dumbbells for curls and shoulder raise type of exercises. There are plenty of leg machines too. Try them all. Dont be afraid. If you're not sure how something works, ask someone. You'll figure out which machines you like and target the muscles you're looking to tone the most.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:51 PM   #22
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I agree, proper form is very important.

Planks and a weight sled are good exercises to add into the mix. I also like doing my own version of Farmer's Walk...carrying a pair dumbbells up and down the stairs.
So you're saying someone who's never been to the gym and doesnt know how to use any machines should start off with a weight sled and farmer walks? Sigh.

OP...you'll probably want to visit https://forum.bodybuilding.com/ You'll get better advice there.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:54 PM   #23
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One thing you hear a lot from females when it comes to working out...none of them want to look muscular or more masculine. Trust me...you wont have to worry about this. The fact that youre a casual lifter or gym goer will prevent you from ever looking shredded. Unless you work out a lot, most people have no idea what it takes to look shredded/muscular. Years and hard work.
It takes years of hard work for men too. No one says they won't take up jogging because they're worried that they'll end up looking like a skinny ultra runner, yet somehow they don't want to lift weights for fear of suddenly becoming too muscular.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:54 PM   #24
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I'm far from having any exercise/gym expertise, but beyond the suggestions of using a trainer I'd also suggest tracking your work-outs/routines with a smartphone app. I use JEFit. The benefits are that for a given machine you can keep track of what you've achieved in the past when setting the weights for that machine and your progression against the past. Also on JEFit's website their are a host of work-out routines as well as videos of individual exercises to learn form from. Having and tracking your workout routine on an app prevents you from succumbing to skipping exercises just from feeling lazy on a given day.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:03 PM   #25
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I haven't ever been fond of exercise- I have been a runner in the past, but now live where it isn't practical. I joined a Gym that is sort of on my way home from work as that's the only real time I have to do it thanks to the kids' schedules and my own. SO- I know how to use the cardio machines, and I plan to start with those. I'm not sure I've ever used the weight lifting stuff, but after reading Younger Next Year, I get that I need to. So here are the questions:

All I own or have ever owned (in athletic shoes) are running shoes. Is that fine or do I need "trainers" whatever that means. If I do need something different- tell me what I'm looking for please.

There are a million machines in there. They assured me they'd show me how to use them properly, but how do I know WHICH ONES are important? Any website references would be great, because I'm confused. There are so MANY. How do you tell?

The goal here is to be fitter. Don't need to lose weight, and don't want to be noticeably more muscular. I like goals- what should my goals be- i.e., how do you track progress here, and what should I expect?

I think I want a heart rate monitor- got any recommendations?

In my 30s (37) I've found muscle confusion to work the best. Do upper body one day, lower the other. Run for 30min everyday. I just workout with running shoes. No need to go higher than 20lb weights really. I am a guy but DW runs 5miles a day and admits she needs to introduce weights...she does some sit ups and push ups occasionally but not much.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:25 PM   #26
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It takes years of hard work for men too. No one says they won't take up jogging because they're worried that they'll end up looking like a skinny ultra runner, yet somehow they don't want to lift weights for fear of suddenly becoming too muscular.
Reminded me of when I worked out in Toronto in the mid 1970s.....newbies would periodically come into the weight room and ask the guy overseeing the place for some exercise suggestions.....invariably at one point they'd almost all say "But I don't want to get too big"........("Don't touch that dumbbell or you'll never be able to squeeze back through the door".)
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:01 PM   #27
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Use a trainer to learn machines if that is what you are interested in. Just because you use a machine doesn't mean that you will have proper form as someone suggested. I've seen people set the seat at the wrong height, position their hands/arms incorrectly, use too much weight and not sit up straight. I use a trainer off and on over the year as a refresher course and to learn new routines, you don't want to get tired of the same exercises. There are cross fit ellipticals at my gym where you can adjust the incline and resistance. I find they work my legs and glutes better than the treadmill. Get trainer to teach you the proper form for doing planks, squats, lunges, Russian twists (I like all of these) all of these exercises you can do at home if you can't get to the gym for some reason. I have a set of free weights at home that range in size from 5# to 20# plus a set (3) of kettle bells. Which are pretty cheap, you can buy over time and don't take up much room. I go online to check out different versions of exercises (like different types of planks) and have my trainer check that I am doing them correctly. Hope you enjoy yourself while improving your body.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:11 PM   #28
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Running shoes are lightweight (meshy) and generally have a taller heel area with more cushion to absorb the impact of running. Training shoes are typically lower profile, sturdier, designed more for stability. For basic working out, if you'll be using the treadmill, I'd just use running shoes.

If you want to tone versus building muscle, you generally use less weight and do more repetitions. You do want to give your muscles a day of recovery after strength training.

Before I got lazy, my routine was an hour of cardio every other day and the other days a half hour of interval training cardio plus a half hour+ of strength training. For strength training, I limited my leg workouts to squats (since the cardio workouts put a lot of effort on the legs), some arm curls with weights, pushups, situps (yes, I know they're generally accepted as bad nowadays), and planking (to work my core).

I'm trying to get back into it by first building my cardio back up.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:22 PM   #29
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You might wish to pay a trainer for several sessions to get you started.

Also, beware the 'gym rats' who give advice and are always exhorting you to do more reps, add more weight, try a harder way etc. etc. etc. Nothing you do will satisfy them, and you might injure yourself. One injury can knock a person out for weeks, maybe a month of more, thus undoing a lot of the hard work. If the injury is severe enough (like damage to the shoulder) your gym days could be over.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #30
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I'd go with free weights, using a trainer or a good book or videos to learn the correct form. Free weights make you use more, different muscles for balancing the weight and allow for more variety of motion to accommodate the mechanics of each person's body. Good form is not difficult to learn, and is not a given just because you use machines. I've seen plenty of people using poor form on machines!

Whether you go with free weights or machines, learn which exercises could hurt you in the long run, such as overhead presses, especially behind the neck. There's lots of good info on the web about potentially harmful lifts.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:51 PM   #31
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Some thoughts and suggestions for you:
  • Strength training is just as, if not more important to some people, as cardio. Glad you are doing both.
  • The first week or two of strength is going to be a bummer. You will be sore, I got nauseous, etc. but it gets better
  • Consider starting out with success...defined by if you are doing two sets of 15 elect weights that let you get to 15..don't push it early.
  • I'm fond of allowing your progress dictate when you go up in weight. Using the 2 sets of 15 example, if you can't do 10 you have too much weight, if you hit 15 you need to add more weight next time.
  • If you take a break...don't go cold turkey. On vacation do something every third day at least. Otherwise, you may have to go through that soreness/sick feeling again when you get back.
  • Bring a towel with you, and wipe after yourself. The former because many people don't do the latter.
  • Shoot for 3 days a week or every other day if you are doing your whole body. If you are going daily for cardio, then for strength do upper one day, lower the next
  • i believe free weights are better as they require your core to help balance them as you use them, but machines are beneficial for most starting out. Just move on when you hit a plateau
  • As others have said, any closed comfy shoe is fine
  • As others have said, try out a personal trainer. Even one time and tell them to give you 8-10 machine exercises to get a bit more muscle but not bulk up and they should give you a starting routine and weights/reps. Do those, adding weight as you can and progress, and hit them up again in a month or three when you hit a plateau.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:52 PM   #32
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Running shoes are lightweight (meshy) and generally have a taller heel area with more cushion to absorb the impact of running. Training shoes are typically lower profile, sturdier, designed more for stability. For basic working out, if you'll be using the treadmill, I'd just use running shoes. ...
Forgot to mention this^^. My trainer was just talking to me about a pair of running sneakers that I wore on a weight training day. Running sneakers can make you wobble and throw off your balance when lifting weights, doing lunges or squats.


OMG, Sunny, if you are nauseous after working out you are doing something wrong. I have never heard of being sick, sore muscles yes but never nauseous.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:08 PM   #33
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Something else...you don't have to go all crazy and pound down protein shakes like they are candy, but consider increasing your protein.

Recommended daily protein intake may be 0.36 grams per pound you weigh, but that is the bare minimum. Many people need more. Athletes and people trying to build muscle mass need twice that at least, people trying to lose weight should be at 0.7 grams per pound they weigh, older people (60 and over) should shoot for at least 0.6 grams per lb.
Sources: https://www.consumerreports.org/heal...to-be-healthy/ and https://www.healthline.com/nutrition...rotein-per-day after a quick google search, but really many, many reports indicate a lot of people should increase their protein intake.

While I think protein as food is better. I do do a shake of dynatize iso 1000 when I can't eat enough protein in a day. But when I started tracking what I ate, before I read about adding protein, I was averaging around 30 grams of protein a day. I shoot for 140 now, although many calculators and calculations actually say I need more than that. Still working on it.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:22 PM   #34
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Before I got lazy, my routine was an hour of cardio every other day and the other days a half hour of interval training cardio plus a half hour+ of strength training. For strength training, I limited my leg workouts to squats (since the cardio workouts put a lot of effort on the legs), some arm curls with weights, pushups, situps (yes, I know they're generally accepted as bad nowadays), and planking (to work my core).
I'm "lazy" in the sense that I've pared my workouts down to about 20-25 minutes a day. I could work out longer but have found that's enough to maintain a lot of strength and endurance.

Day 1: upper body (5 sets of a push and 5 sets of a pull exercise)
Day 2: cardio (usually treadmill or outside run)
Day 3: lower body (squats or lunges, or sometimes deadlifts or good mornings)
Day 4: cardio
repeat
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:23 PM   #35
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1.Set your goal(s) first.
2. Use a trainer to learn how to use the machines properly as they isolate certain muscle groups.
3. Form is very important. Proper movement in the full range of the machine; that is let the plates barely touch and go to your full extension as your body allows. Doing 4 reps correctly in the full range is more advantageous than 20 buzz saw reps that I see a majority of people do.
4. Heavier weights/ few reps add more strength and bulk.
5. Lighter weight/ more reps add endurance, increase strength, and add a small cardio element to your routine.
6. Sweat, but have fun.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:26 PM   #36
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[*]The first week or two of strength is going to be a bummer. You will be sore, I got nauseous, etc. but it gets better
No need to get nauseous...start light and only do a set or two. Minor soreness is normal, but you shouldn't be excessively sore or feel like throwing up.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:45 PM   #37
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Some thoughts and suggestions for you:
  • The first week or two of strength is going to be a bummer. You will be sore, I got nauseous, etc. but it gets better
I hope you didn't push it too much. Muscles release toxins when you have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), a.k.a., sore muscles a day or so after lifting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly. Symptoms may include muscle pains, weakness, vomiting, and confusion.There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat.Some of the muscle breakdown products, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.
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So I joined a Gym and need advice...
Old 01-10-2019, 03:45 PM   #38
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So I joined a Gym and need advice...

Like many others have said - get a trainer. At least to get started. Many people (that do not know you or ever met you) giving advice online will give you advice on what works for them. You will need advice specifically for you.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:53 PM   #39
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Like many others have said - get a trainer. At least to get started. Many people (that do not know you or ever met you) giving advice online will give you advice on what works for them. You will need advice specifically for you.
A trainer can be very helpful for a beginner, but there are no real secrets to working out. A few basic exercises done correctly with the proper weight and the right amount of rest will work for every single person unless they have physical limitations.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #40
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I hope you didn't push it too much. Muscles release toxins when you have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), a.k.a., sore muscles a day or so after lifting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly. Symptoms may include muscle pains, weakness, vomiting, and confusion.There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat.Some of the muscle breakdown products, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.
While I didn't have it that bad (the brown output) most of the other symptoms occurred and I was told the same thing when it happened (about the toxins making me sick). Lots of water, a bit of rest, and going easier helped.

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No need to get nauseous...start light and only do a set or two. Minor soreness is normal, but you shouldn't be excessively sore or feel like throwing up.
Now you tell me. But that is what I was trying to convey to the OP...go easy at first. You put it in a better way.
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