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Gym for the First Time

terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
edited June 2012 in College Life
So, I used to do sports in high school but stopped senior year. Back then I was pretty in-shape so I never had to work out, but now I'm out-of shape, and running for 30 seconds gets me out of breath. I'm not overweight or anything though. I'm not really going to start doing sports again because it just takes too much time.

So how does someone go about going to the gym (in college) for the first time? Do I take a class?
What about going to a normal gym back in my hometown for the first time?
Post edited by terenc on

Replies to: Gym for the First Time

  • soccergurl7988soccergurl7988 Registered User Posts: 896 Member
    It really depends on a lot of different variables, but generally speaking, I'd recommend doing something along the lines of what your interests are. If you don't like running, don't hop right on the treadmill.

    My school offers a lot of different classes geared towards all activity levels and at different times of the day. When I'm coming off a particularly busy period when I couldn't do a lot of working out, I take a couple classes to get back into the 'fitness' mindset. A lot of my friends swim as cross training or just something different.
  • spydersixspydersix Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    How do you play sports in High School and never been inside of a gym before. That sounds absurd.
  • Islander4Islander4 Registered User Posts: 1,532 Senior Member
    There are some runners that could probably get away with that.
  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    I did martial arts.

    I've never used a machine or weights or anything.
  • lullababylullababy Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    My last college had a gym inside it. It was nice and new, had everything I wanted. I basically just went there everyday. Its free to use for students so I took advantage of it.

    When I first started (note: first time in a gym), I rotated between the bike and elliptical. I preferred the elliptical so I ended up just doing that for a full hour. Then I spend about 30-45 minutes doing weights and sit-ups/push-ups. After about 2 months of this, I started elliptical as warm up, treadmill, then weights.

    I'm currently back in town for the summer as well and I go to the gym w/ my friends and we play tennis in their indoor courts. Before/after, I'll do elliptical if I feel like it because I really found a liking for it LOL. I honestly LOVE working out now, hahaha.
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    running 30 seconds gets you out of breath??? man you got some work to do.

    If you want to work cardio, run. In your condition, start out with the mile shuffle, and work your way up from there.

    If you want to beef up, do bench press, pullups, squats and if you want, deadlifts. Look up deadlifts before you do them though. You can also do shoulder press and seated rows to blend in with the bench press and pullups. Basically, it gets your body to pull and push using different muscle groups. Curls and other worthless isolation movements are for bodybuilders, but for you, stay with compound movements.

    And eat organic stuff.
  • Islander4Islander4 Registered User Posts: 1,532 Senior Member
    It's not uncommon for someone like a martial artist to do freeweight type of stuff. None of those things require machines.
  • Johnson181Johnson181 Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    running 30 seconds gets you out of breath??? man you got some work to do.
    Not necessarily. I'm really in shape, and I HATE running. Can't run for more than a minute before I feel like I'm going to die.
    That being said, I have no problem doing 2 straight hours of cardio... so long as it's not on a treadmill.
  • choatecolatechoatecolate Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    not sure if this is just **** but why dont you just ya know...try each machine out? see which one elevates your HR to the aerobic zone you want and use it??
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    Not necessarily. I'm really in shape, and I HATE running. Can't run for more than a minute before I feel like I'm going to die.
    That being said, I have no problem doing 2 straight hours of cardio... so long as it's not on a treadmill.

    hold on let me get this straight... you can't run at a 7:00 mile pace for 1 minute without feeling like dying? You're not doing those elliptical exercises are you? If you really want to get in cardio shape, you don't have to do anything fancy. Just run.
  • beoleinbeolein Registered User Posts: 645 Member
    First, decide what you want. Do you want to build muscles, get in general shape, or be able to run for more than 30 seconds without getting out of breath? If you want to build muscles, go to the gym and ask them to start you with a trainer who teaches you how to use each machine. Once you learn, you will use each machine on your own. If you want to get into general shape, save your money and do exercises at home. You can find guides online or in the bookstore. If you want to run, again, save your money and job for free.
  • jim123jim123 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    Hi beolein,
    This is a good question that what is the need . Building muscle need gym but to get fitness running is good one. Running is the best way to stay fit but this will not give you muscular shape. You may start running in step wise. First try to jog for some day and when you get the rhythm then you may start running.
  • Johnson181Johnson181 Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    hold on let me get this straight... you can't run at a 7:00 mile pace for 1 minute without feeling like dying? You're not doing those elliptical exercises are you? If you really want to get in cardio shape, you don't have to do anything fancy. Just run.
    Former competitive gymnast. Pretty dang sure I know how to do cardio correctly. I think the running thing is just a mental block... even when I was doing gymnastics 20 hours a week I couldn't run a mile without stopping at least once... and our coach made us run 3 times a week minimum.
    To be fair, I now have nerve damage in my feet and am not allowed to run anymore, so I haven't tried to run since 9th grade (so my running issue hasn't been tested in ~8 years). I'm limited to anything that doesn't put pressure on my feet like running does - aka a bike or an elliptical.

    Edit: my entire point for posting was to note that there are people/situations where someone can't run at all for whatever reason. And I'd wager that I'm in better shape than 95% of the general population. Running is not the be all end all of cardio, and if someone hates running, there is NO reason to punish yourself at the gym when there are plenty of other options.
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    well sorry about your nerve damage. That's really weird that you couldn't run, but you could do gymnastics, which is a much more strenuous activity. I recon you're just a natural sprinter than a long distance runner. I used to be terrified of the mile run from way back, but I got into cross country, and it all became second nature. I still get much more endurance biking than running. At the same time, I know some flimsy kids who are much better runners than I could ever be. So you're right, it all depends on you
  • greenthumb88greenthumb88 Registered User Posts: 54 New Member
    I was nervous going to the gym too, because i hadn't been in so long and it was a new gym. They all have different rules, depending on the type of gym that it is (like no banging weights, taking turns, signing in for the treadmill, time limits on cardio machines...). The machines, elliptical, weight machines, etc. are constantly being updated with new technology too.

    Getting back in shape is something that you don't want to rush like crazy. Some people will get too sore or actually pull a muscle and then they are done! So start out slow. I would recommend using one of the machines that gets your heart pumping.If you get on one of the elliptical machines that also works arms, you can warm up your whole body. If you don't know what setting to use just get on and hit "quick start" if they have it. That will allow you to make it harder as you get more warmed up.

    Most of the weight machines will actually have directions on the machine itself if they are pretty new. They have pictures so that you can see how to use them. Taking a class is not a bad idea either. It will definitely put you in the right direction.
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