Photo: Julia Ballew on Unsplash
Workouts can seem intimidating, especially if you have yet to step foot in a gym. Regular members always seem to know exactly what they’re doing with any machine they use. When starting a regular workout routine, it’s important to know what your end goal is and how you can get there. Here are some workouts that are suited for beginners at the gym.
Going for a run outside or on a treadmill or elliptical is probably the simplest way to get into going to the gym. These exercises easily burn calories and can be tailored to the individual’s needs. You can do one hour of slower cardio like walking or jogging, or full-on run for half an hour or less. From my own experience, having an idea of how many calories you want to burn in a given amount of time is helpful. Start off by working out for thirty minutes straight and see how many calories you burn in that amount of time. Once you know how much that is, you can adjust the duration of your workout as needed. Simple cardio is a great way to burn calories if you’re not too sure about using other machines.
Muscle-Building Without Machines
When I first started going to the gym a little over six months ago, determined to lose weight and tone my body, I knew I had to incorporate some sort of muscle-specific exercise. Everyone knows of the classic pushups, sit-ups, planks, and wall-sits, so you’re already halfway there. These exercises can even be done at home, so there’s no need to buy a gym membership and leave the house. This type of exercise focuses on muscle groups by strengthening and toning them. Try doing 10 of each in a row at whichever speed you feel comfortable with. If you prefer your workouts more time-focused, you can instead set aside a certain amount of time to do some of these. These movements will prepare your body to take on more intense weight-lifting workouts in the future.
Weightlifting machines at the gym can seem extremely intimidating, especially when all those muscular guys are lifting nearly 200 pounds with them. However, these machines can be used in much simpler ways. After you’ve gotten the hang of simple muscle-centric workouts, try incorporating machines like bench presses, abdominal crunches, leg curls, or biceps curls into your new workout. You don’t have to go all out on these machines, either. These machines mostly go up in weight by increments of ten, so start at ten pounds and steadily increase the amount from there. It’s very important to get your body used to working out daily and not to push it too far too soon, so starting small and building up every few days or so will get you adjusted to these machines in no time.
Working out can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know the ins and outs of gyms, exercises, or machinery. This may hold newcomers back from going for what they want in the gym. I hope these workout starters help you understand your body and what exercises work well with it, all while relieving beginner’s anxiety.
Aarron Sholar is an undergraduate Junior who is pursuing a major in creative writing and a minor in business writing. He plans to continue writing as a future career or pursuing graduate school after graduating from Salisbury University.