Author Topic: 'How to use a gym' advice?  (Read 6606 times)

peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2010, 07:03:29 pm »
On the steppers, are you supposed to keep your feet flat on the 'pedals' or is it OK to go up onto the balls of your feet?
Bump - anyone know?

Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2010, 07:05:40 pm »
Sure you can go up on the balls of yr feet - loads the calf muscles more. Thing to be aware of is to stand up as straight as possible, don't lean forward. 
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2010, 09:00:33 pm »
Thanks! I might give it a go tomorrow.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2010, 05:46:49 pm »
Some of the comments upthread are a bit unhelpful so I will lay out the basics:

Go to Sweaty Betty and get some serious foxy lycra kit and some tasty trainers.  Accessorise with head and wrist bands plus legwarmers.
Hairties are in - decide on croydon facelift or essex fountain.
Invest in decent Ipod and earphones, plus hot chunes on 120bpm.
Remove all body hair and fix bikini line - exfoliate and buff.
Spraytan essential
Invest in decent towel unless gym is quality with towels supplied
Ensure undergarments are AOK for changing room banter - no old skivvies in grey.

Once the basics are in place you are ready to do the gym.

Before actually using kit spray down with water to give overall shine and sweaty look, pinch cheeks for glow.

Machines are for beginners - free weights are where the serious guys and girls hang so go there. 

 
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2010, 10:24:28 pm »
I've started using the gym in earnest. I don't really have a plan, I just do a bit on each machine until knackered. I think I need to be more structured. I'll take a proper look upthread for ideas.  :thumbsup:

Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2010, 10:29:16 pm »
On the steppers, are you supposed to keep your feet flat on the 'pedals' or is it OK to go up onto the balls of your feet?
Bump - anyone know?

I seem to remember during my gym induction (about 6 years ago) being told to use flat feet, because it gives your behind a good workout which is part of the point of the stepper as opposed to the cross trainer.

I gave up using the gym when people started to stare at me when I wheezed and stopped to use my inhaler while using the equipment. I am considering going to spinning classes though because I need to work on my speed and CV fitness ready for longer rides this summer :)

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2010, 03:44:33 pm »
Puff first, it's good for the whole session.  :thumbsup:
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2010, 09:19:52 pm »
I am such a weakling in my arms that I can only do 4-5 repetitions on the very easiest setting on the weight machine.  :-[ I am scared of hurting my neck and back. Should I just steer clear of it, or do some easier weights before trying it again?

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2010, 09:29:46 pm »
Which exercise is it?
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2010, 10:13:19 pm »
I am such a weakling in my arms that I can only do 4-5 repetitions on the very easiest setting on the weight machine.  :-[ I am scared of hurting my neck and back. Should I just steer clear of it, or do some easier weights before trying it again?

I am also a weakling! I was told that since the aim of weights for most females isn't really to get huge bulging muscles it is better to do lots of reps at a low weight you can manage easily and gradually increase it every couple of weeks. As if by magic I gradually increased what I could lift, all without any pain.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2010, 10:40:31 pm »
Feline has it right. Start low and work up. As a rule of thumb after a (very) long layoff I find it takes ~ 4 weeks to get used to a movement and another 4~8 weeks for the body to start adapting to the strain of handling weights then about 6 six months to get to the point where you can really feel muscles working. Somewhere around 9 months things start to plateau out and you move onto a six times a week split program (ref: Gunners program) and that's where things start getting interesting...

DaveJ

  • Happy days
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2010, 11:37:01 pm »
I am considering going to spinning classes though because I need to work on my speed and CV fitness ready for longer rides this summer :)

I do a couple of spin classes each week and they are great.  Its not the same as being out on the bike, but its not a bad substitute especially when there is ice on the ground.  A lot does depend on the instructor and the other participants.  A good group motivates each other and you can work MUCH harder on the spin bike than you can on a real one.

Give it a go.

Dave

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2010, 07:19:08 am »
Spin classes aren't going to work arms though :)

Generally in gyms, the "mats and balls" room (or area) has some smaller lighter dumbbells than in the grunt pit.  If you head in there, it's a much less macho environment and you should be able to find a weight that's right.  Then replicate the movement with your dumbbell instead of on the machine.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Euan Uzami

Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2010, 12:36:47 pm »
I was wondering what exercises or machines there are for lower back strength, my brother said lift some free weights "like health and safety people tell you not to", but i'm sceptical about doing that cos while it might have the desired effect i don't want to risk getting a slipped disk.
Any ideas?

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2010, 01:23:30 pm »
Deadlift, stiff-leg deadlift, good-morning, and secondarily on things like bent-over row.  Links with animations:

Barbell Deadlift
Barbell Stiff Leg Deadlift
Barbell Bent Knee Good-morning



Good morning is one people don't do much, and it's great.  Get some weight on your shoulders (normally by taking a barbell, as you would for a squat).  Your back should be "set" - abs in, shoulders back, proper like.  Now bow from the hips, as if you were a butler formally bowing to your master (I always say "Good morning, Master Bruce" with each rep because I am (1) a colossal nerd and (2) it keeps the rep nice and slow; YMMV but it's not one to rush).  Start this exercise light because if you're back's wrong you want to feel "uh-oh" not "ARGH" -- an empty bar for you virgin set.

Good mornings are pretty lower-back specific.  

Stiff-leg deadlift (like Vicky there) is probably the most all-round useful as you can get some really good bum and upper back work, traps, grip, all sorts, especially if you shrug the bar back at the top of each rep.  

Regular deadlift is able to handle lots of weight.  If on any of these you find your grip going, switch to an alternate grip.  One hand is knuckles-out, the other knuckles-in, and you'll find you can hold a fair bit more.  
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2010, 02:13:18 pm »
Pretty much all free weight exercises will increase core and back strength because you are working to keep the positions rather than isolation exercises that machines give.

For cyclists, add the squat.  Squat is king. 

I would strongly recommend taking someone who knows what they are doing the first couple of times to point out where the important bits of technique are.  As Andy says, start everything with light weights.  Doing big weight with poor form can leave you in a lot of pain.  Even with lightish weight, you will feel the work with enough reps.  Remember to include the bar and clamp weights.  An olympic bar (the standard big ones like in Andy's picture) weighs 20 kg and big collars (to hold the weights on if necessary) weigh 2.5 kg each.  If you are new to weights, try any exercise with just the bar at first to get used to where it will sit.

For the ladies - any barbell exercise that involves putting the bar across the shoulders needs the bar lower than you think.  On muscular men, it will sit nicely on a slab of muscle of the shoulders.  On skinny men or women, the temptation is to rest the bar on the nape of the neck rather than the shoulders.

Don't be put off by the macho talk.  I find the people who know what they are doing are always helpful and encouraging and understand that if you are new/female that lower weight is inevitable.

One for Andy: have you tried the bear? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WOP9J7QPwI

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #41 on: December 24, 2010, 02:22:04 pm »
Pretty much all free weight exercises will increase core and back strength because you are working to keep the positions rather than isolation exercises that machines give.

Very true, especially the standing-up ones.

One for Andy: have you tried the bear? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/0WOP9J7QPwI&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/0WOP9J7QPwI&rel=1</a>
Yes, I have, and it's a brute!
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Euan Uzami

Re: 'How to use a gym' advice?
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2010, 12:42:02 am »
good info, thanks.

edit: tried those deadlifts, they are good. felt a bit stiff in places I don't normally which is a sign it's working! esp. the inside of the very bottom of the hamstring.