Working Out for Beginners


Shaunte' Young, Staff Writer

I recently started going to the gym at school. I have been wanting to go to the gym for quite a long time now, but I have never really pushed myself into going. This semester I decided I want to be healthier and in shape. Unfortunately, I feel discouraged when I go to the gym. I am intimidated by the weird looking machines, the guys who look like they could bench press me. The uncertainty of what I should use? Where I should start? And what workout plan is best for me?

Truthfully, when I walk in the gym I feel lost. I really don’t know what in the world I am doing. All I know is that I want to be fit but don’t know how to accomplish that goal. I do know that I want to work on my tummy, legs and cardio. My tummy needs to be flatter. I need to not be winded when I walk up a flight of steps and I want a little definition in my arms.

I am intimidated by the people who go to the gym because I feel so tiny. The guys and girls working out seem like they do it religiously. Here I am barely doing a set with five pound weights. I also don’t like that I feel as though I am in there way somehow. I can’t even get into the zone without feeling like I don’t belong next to these ripped body builders.

I am also intimidated by the equipment. There are signs saying that these machines are not a toy and that you should be careful while using them. Sadly, I do not know how to use them. I would have to read the instructions to the machine for at least ten minutes before I would actually try it out. Once I think I know a simple understanding on how it may work I then will hesitantly try it out. Even when I do find the courage and begin using the machine I feel stupid.

I do have a few tips for people who are beginners in the gym life that helped me get over my fears in the gym. Being surrounded by flat abs, tight gluts and huge biceps can be discouraging.

I would recommend going with a friend to ease the transition of working out in front of people. Going with someone who is a beginner like you will make you feel less awkward. You can both grab the 5lbs weights together. You can also both compare your progress with one another.

If possible see if the gym provides a personal trainer who can help you show how to use the equipment. The trainer can also help you find a work out plan that fits you. These work out plans can help you get to your goal efficiently. These work out plans will give you more purpose while you are in the gym.

Remember to keep in mind of your limits. Do not overdo it. Pace yourself because no matter how much you push yourself, you will not see results over night. I will also add that working out needs consistency and patience. You need to designate time when you can work out on a regular bases. Starting off, maybe you can start working out two times a week and then add days later on, once you get it into a scheduled routine.

Since working out I haven’t seen any significant changes yet. Instead, my body just aches the day after I do my work outs. Aching joints and muscles do indeed hurt, but I was told that if your body aches the day after it means you were doing something right in the gym.

Make sure to proportion your exercise in separate days with target body parts you want to work on. My personal body concerns are with my tummy area, legs and cardio. I will alternate my problem areas with my workout days. Monday I will work with cardio, Wednesday I will do my stomach and Friday I will do my legs. Every week I will keep going with that routine. I always leave a relaxation day in between for now. I am a beginner and as time goes on and I have seen progress and more comfortable with the gym I will go more often. It is difficult fitting exercising at the gym in my schedule. I am a full time student who is constantly doing homework and studying for exams. Some days I just rather study instead of working out. You have to find balance in your schedule to slowly but surely fitting it in.

Exercising goes hand in hand with eating right and drinking enough water. I know that it is hard to eat healthy when your only choice is to eat at Lessings if you are a resident here at Mercy like me. I feel as though even the salads at Mercy are fattening. But that’s another column. My point here is to try to eat healthier while working out. Also while working out make sure you have enough water to drink. Make sure to drink water on a regular bases because it keeps your body hydrated.

Those are my tips and experiences on how I have overcome my fear of gyms. Do not be discouraged and continue on working out towards your goals,