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Don't Be Gymtimidated

6.03.2014
So last week I mentioned Jon and I joined Planet Fitness. To say I'm loving it is an understatement. I may or may not be a gym Nazi. Whatever that means... Not like the person who goes around telling everyone their form is wrong. More like the person who realizes two hours has passed once in the gym. I start and I can't stop! Until my body screams at me to tell me it's had enough. Oddly enough I enjoy it that much.

The last few months my body has taken a beating with food consumption and lack of exercise. I want to change that for myself now so future me will thank me and present me will have more energy and perk up a bit!

When I look at the people around me in the gym I notice how uncomfortable some people look. They either migrate to the treadmill or they walk around aimlessly looking at machines, staring blankly. No one should feel uncomfortable in the gym. You should go in there and own it!

Gym tips to feel confident and comfortable
I am not a certified trainer, all information is from my personal experience & studying. Consult a doctor upon figuring out what is best for your body.

// Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You don't want to be constantly messing with your clothing while running or lifting so think ahead. 

// Start with a 5 minute warm-up on your favorite cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, stairs) where you feel comfortable to dip your toes in the water. Once there look around the gym and make your game plan.

// Focus on one to two muscle groups and work them to exhaustion. For instance my gym schedule looks like this:

   Mon: 2 miles/legs&shoulders Tues: 3miles/chest&triceps Wed:1.5miles/total body  
   Thu: 2miles/back&biceps Fri: rest. Sat: 2-3miles/abs&toning

// With all exercise movements engage your abs. Not only does this tone them even more, but it supports your body through each movement and gives you proper form.

// If you are having trouble keeping good form in your exercises, lower your weight.

// You don't have to know what all the machines do. Most gyms put machines in a common group. You will find all the "back" machines in a certain area. OR they have those handy dandy little pictures on the machine marking which muscle group it works.

// Look up some information online before you go to get an idea of what your workout should consist of so you have a game plan before heading to the gym. Otherwise you will feel too uncomfortable to walk around aimlessly verses having a plan and knowing exactly what you plan on doing.

// Put your headphones on and jam out. Tune out the rest of the gym and get in your own little world. This is for you anyways!


Commonly Asked Questions:

I WANT TO GET TONED, NOT BULKY. WHAT DO I DO?
If you are looking for muscle tone you need to remember "low weight, high reps". Use smaller weights and complete 12-25 repetitions of each movement.
 
If you are looking for muscle building remember "heavy weight, low reps". Use heavy weight adn complete 4-6 repetitions of each movement. Completing each set should be difficult. And the third set should be almost impossible to finish because you are working your muscles to exhaustion.

WHAT ARE REPS AND SETS?
To challenge your muscles and get a good workout you should complete 3 sets of the desired number of reps. (This depends on if you are toning or strength training, explained above). For example if I am toning I may complete 12 repetitions of bicep curls and repeat this sequence 3 times totaling 36 curls in all.

DOES I LOSE WEIGHT JUST FROM CARDIO?
No! The calorie burning is not just in the cardio! Muscle eats calories too. Even after you have left the gym your body is fighting to recover and continues to eat those cals up.   

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22 comments on "Don't Be Gymtimidated"
  1. This is so helpful Maeg!! Thanks for sharing. I joined Planet Fitness 2 months ago and have yet to step foot in there. I just get so overwhelmed when thinking about going in there alone.

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  2. Great tips!! I'm a total gym rat but opt for classes rather than doing things on my own!! Being with a ton of people always motivates me!!

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  3. very helpful - im super intimidated at the gym, even though i've been going to some sort of gym or another for almost 10 years (wow im old..).

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  4. This is really helpful... thank you for sharing!

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  5. I love these tips! I do a gym schedule too. It gives me much more focus on what I am going to do. We need to find a gym here that we like.

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  6. Great tips girl! I'm such a gym rat but it's great hearing other people's tips and what they do! It motivates me to try new things!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  7. I love your tips. More confidence is something I could use a little more of. I like the gym- I do cardio and bootcamp classes but do get intimidated by all the men at the weight machines. My instructor is leaving next week, so I better get more comfortable. Reason #568974356 I wish we lived closer, I could use a female gym partner!

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  8. Okay- how cute do you guys look working out?! Adorable picture! And love your tips - I'm one of those people who only do cardio at the gym when I'm alone because I have no idea how to work any of the machines, ha!

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  9. I've been curious about Planet Fitness - we got one about 20 minutes away (that's close for my country living life) ;)

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  10. I used my little five pound weights for the first time last night & I feel like my arms are about to fall off at work today! Especially my right one, ha!

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  11. Great tips! I definitely am one of those people who walks around aimlessly, looking confused but I've got to do something to get back in shape!

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  12. Good for yall! Soooo what are your suggestions on "gymtimidation" if we have a gym in our freaking house and I still don't drag my butt in there enough? Hah it's so bad!

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  13. Planet Fitness is definitely the gym to go to without gymtimidation. My hubs and I workout there, and I feel zero intimidation even in the free weights section. Half of the guys over there don't have a clue what they are doing and are lifting less than me. You just gotta act like you own the place :) I think that is why we haven't switched to a less busy gym yet.. I don't want to be judged or intimidated at a fancy gym so PF works for us! Great job lifting and not just doing cardio to burn fat!

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  14. Great post! We would love to join one together but there's just nothing close to us!

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  15. Yay for you and your hubby working out together! I've gotten back into the gym, but my hubby's schedule hasn't allowed it. I'm crossing my fingers that today's the day we can go workout together after work! Our routine usually consists of 30 min of cardio (treadmill for me, elliptical for him) and 15-20 minutes of weights together. The couple that works out together, stays together. At least that's how I think the saying goes ;)

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  16. Awesome tips! Thank you for sharing :) I love that you are so dedicated!

    http://neatly-packaged.blogspot.com/

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  17. You are awesome!!! Not gonna lie, I wish we lived close enough to work out together :)

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  18. I love this! One thing I love is going to classes at the gym. For me it's like having a personal trainer that can help me with my form and tells me what to do. Recently I've gotten more into running and lifting, so Pinterest has been my saving grace. I love the incredible amount of workouts I can find so I'm never wandering aimlessly, wondering what to do next.

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  19. This is a great post! So many of my friends think that they'll bulk up if they lift and it's such a bad way of thinking! There's nothing better than finding the perfect gym that allows you to zone out and focus on just you! :)

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  20. Gyms are quite scary to me--we only had a one month membership to one...now that it's warm out, I way prefer outdoor activities to stay in shape....I don't know why, but gyms remind me of doctor's offices/physical therapy clinics...

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  21. I love Planet Fitness! I had a membership there for years and only canceled when I moved too far away from the gym and opened a membership at a closer gym. When I got this new job that is less than a five minute drive to a Planet Fitness I quickly re-enrolled. These are all awesome tips!

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  22. Thank you for this post. That’s all I am able to say. You most absolutely have built this blog website into something special. You clearly know what you are working on, you’ve insured so many corners. Thanks. runnium

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