Where to Start?
Getting back into the gym or actually joining a gym is the first order of business. Find a fitness center that has everything that you will need to melt off the excess pounds such as an abundant supply of cardio machines (treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, etc.), a healthy amount of free weights, a good set of basic weight machines, a cable cross-training station, some Swiss Balls, and a variety of resistance bands. Working out in a gym that you feel comfortable in is always a plus so find a place with a friendly staff, some qualified personal trainers (in case you have questions or need some extra help), a clean environment, and one that’s close to either where you work or near your home. Once you have settled on the perfect place to begin this important life change, it’s time to begin!
When it comes to weight loss, cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important things you can do to burn extra calories that are just waiting to be converted into fat, not to mention it is also excellent for your heart and lungs. Choosing the right equipment is essential so think about your body and your goals when selecting the kind of machine you want to use, whether it’s a treadmill, an elliptical, or a stationary bike. Some things to consider when perfecting your cardio program include:
- Perform 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week. If you are just beginning, even doing 20 – 30 minutes, three times a week will be sufficient to get your body acclimated to using these machines so you can start to lose weight.
- Increase your speed and/or your incline. Try doing this as you get more accustomed to your program.
- Incorporate Interval Training into your routine. Interval training is a great way to jumpstart your fat-burning machine by switching up the intensity levels. An example would be to jog for 3 minutes and walk for one, and then repeat 3 to 5 times.
- Switch it up! Try doing a treadmill one week, an elliptical the next, and so on and so forth. Don’t give your body a chance to get used to a routine.
- Exercise in your target heart rate zone. Find this out by subtracting your age from 220, then multiply that number by the intensity percentage (65, 75, or 85) you want to use. An example for a 50 year old would be as follows: 220 – 50 = 170 x .85 (85% intensity) = 144.5 or 145 bpm. While exercising, try to keep your heart rate at this level.
Weight Training Tips!
Weight training can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your body when trying to shed pounds and look great. For every pound of lean muscle you put on, your body will burn an extra 35 – 50 calories a day. So if you put on 10 lbs of lean muscle, your body would burn an extra 350 – 500 calories a day without you having to do anything more than you are already doing. A pound of fat is 3500 calories, so this means that you would be able to burn one pound of fat every 7 to 10 days on your own without making any changes to your lifestyle as long as you maintain your lean muscle mass. Some ways to increase your lean muscle tissue are:
- Weight train every other day for 3 days a week. This means you could weight train every Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and see major benefits.
- Give yourself a day of rest between each weight session. Your body needs to recuperate after a workout because weight training causes tiny tears in your muscle fiber. Your muscles need to repair these tears in order to build lean tissue, and if you train the same muscles every day, they never get a chance to repair themselves.
- Switch up your routine. Train full body three days a week one month and then split up the muscle groups and train four to five days a week the next. You can also keep doing either a full body routine or a split muscle routine each month, but change the types of exercises you do every few weeks.
- Increase your weights, sets, and/or repetitions. An example of this would be if you are doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions for the dumbbell bench press with 15 lbs dumbbells and you are not fatigued by the end, you could change the weight to 20 lbs, change the reps to 15, or change the sets to 4. You can also change more than one of these factors if you are feeling ambitious.
- Switch up the equipment. Try using machines to start off with for a few weeks and then switch to free weights. Once you have done free weights for a few weeks, try using resistance bands. You can then change from resistance bands to a cable station, and so on and so forth.
- Try adding new equipment. If you have mastered machines, free weights, cable machines, etc., try to add in a Swiss ball, a wobble board, foam pads, etc. to keep things fresh, exciting, and challenging.
Things to Remember!
If you are having trouble losing weight, remember that cardiovascular exercise and weight training are not the only parts to the equation. Proper nutrition is just as beneficial and some experts believe that eating properly can account for about 70% of weight loss. Exercising at a gym is an important component that will make your life easier by burning excess calories, strengthening your heart and lungs, increasing your metabolism, and improving your appearance and your self-confidence! If you aren’t certain where to start, hiring a competent and qualified personal trainer may be just the boost you need, or try bringing along a friend for extra motivation. Whatever the case, use these exercise tips to help you lose weight rapidly at your gym.
Buzzle.com (2011, January 5). Exercise for Healthy Weight Loss in a Gym. Retrieved from https://www.buzzle.com/articles//exercise-for-healthy-weight-loss-in-a-gym.html
ShapeFit.com (2011, January 5). Exercise Questions. Retrieved from https://www.shapefit.com/exercise-questions-pound-muscle-burn-calories.html