Going to the gym is a great way to get in shape, but it can be intimidating if you're just starting out. Even if you're a regular at the gym, you might feel like your routine isn't producing results. Fortunately, getting fit in the gym is more than possible, regardless of your personal fitness goals. The key is to develop effective, safe workout habits and to arrive at the gym prepared and ready to succeed.
Method 1-Succeeding at the Gym
- If you're new to working out, try setting aside 2 days a week to go to the gym. That way, you can get your feet wet without feeling overwhelmed.
- You could also try going to the gym every other day of the week so that you have a day off in between your gym sessions.
- If you think you'd have a hard time going to the gym on the weekends, you could go every day after work or school and then take the weekends off.
- Shirts and shorts made out of polyester, spandex, nylon, or a cotton-polyester blend are good choices for the gym.
- Polyester, in particular, needs to be laundered after every time you sweat in it. Unwashed polyester can quickly develop an unpleasant smell.
- Dehydration can actually negatively affect your workouts by causing cramps and dizziness, as well as making your muscles weaker.
- If you're going to be working out for longer than 1 hour, it's a good idea to bring a sports drink with you too so you can refuel your body. However, not all sports drinks are the same. Look for an isotonic sports drink that contains carbohydrates and sodium, which will give your body more energy during your workout.
- Not warming up before exercising can leave your body more prone to injury, so make sure you don't skip your warm-ups at the gym.
- Aim to get 150 minutes of moderate cardio a week. For strength training, try to get at least 2 workouts comprised of 20 minutes of resistance training each week.
- You don't need to do cardio and strength training on the same day. Instead, you could spend one workout doing cardio and then your next one doing strength-training.
- While a balanced workout will help you get fit in the gym, you can adjust what exercises you're doing more of depending on your personal fitness goals. For example, if your goal is to build more muscle, you could spend most of your time doing strength-training exercises. Or, if you're trying to lose weight, you could focus more on cardio exercises.
- The right ratio of cardio to strength-training exercises will depend on your personal fitness goals, your weight, and the type of exercises you're doing.
- For example, you could have a banana and some almond butter or a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with some honey and fruit as a snack after the gym.
- You could also make a fruit smoothie with some protein powder.
Method 2-Doing Cardio Exercises at the Gym
- You can burn around 125 calories per 1 mile (1.6 km) walking briskly on a treadmill if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg).
- Using a treadmill can be hard on the knees, so you may want to use a different cardio machine if you suffer from knee pain or have a knee injury.
- You can burn 170-320 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical, depending on your weight and the level of intensity you're working out at. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg), you could burn 286 calories by working out on an elliptical at a high intensity for 30 minutes.
- For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), you could burn 250 calories by exercising on a stationary bike with moderate intensity for 30 minutes.
- If you're new to exercising, you can start out pedaling on a light intensity setting and then gradually increase your intensity level as you improve.
- Depending on your weight, you can burn around 400-700 calories by spending 1 hour on a rowing machine. For example, if you weigh 240 pounds (110 kg), you could burn 650 calories by working out on a rowing machine with moderate intensity for 1 hour.
Method 3-Trying Strength-Training Exercises
- Lat pulldown machine: A good machine to try if you're looking for an upper body workout, including your latissimus dorsi, biceps, and forearms.
- The Smith machine: It's great for working out your quads, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, core, and upper back.
- Cable machine: You can use different types of cable machines to add resistance to exercises like shoulder presses, step ups, lateral raises, and crunches.
- Lower back extension machine: It's helpful for exercising the muscles along your back.