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Tips for Starting a New Gym Membership

Toni Ann DiSantis

Many of us start the New Year with a new gym membership however, may not be fully informed on where to start. First of all, congratulations and good for you! Having a structured machine workout routine is not just for those new to the gym scene. Following a predetermined plan makes it more likely that you have a well-rounded routine (no neglected muscles here), and that you get the maximum benefit from your gym time.

Now that you have made the commitment, here are some helpful hints to get your routine started and get you on your way to a healthier you.

Cardio and your weight machine workouts

You should ideally begin every single workout with a bit of cardio in order to warm up your muscles. 10-15 Minutes is sufficient for prepping your muscles for more demanding physical activity.

On the days where you only do cardio workouts, aim for between 30 and 60 minutes of at least a moderate exertion level. Always make sure to stretch your muscles when you finish workouts, especially when doing a strength training routine; the damage caused by the ripping of the muscle fibers can cause them to bind and tighten up.


Reps, sets, & how to do a weight machine circuit

Number of reps & sets for toning
If toning up is what you’re after, do 3-4 sets of between 12 and 18 repetitions (you can even go higher if you like). Whatever the number of repetitions you complete, choose a weight that makes it difficult for you to complete the last 2-3 repetitions. Proper form in executing any exercise should be a priority.

Number of reps & sets for strength
For strength, complete three sets of 6-10 reps. As is true with toning, the last few reps when training for this goal should feel very challenging. If you are pursuing mass or increased strength, give perfect form precedence; never sacrifice precision for a higher lift weight.

Venture outside of your weight machine gym workout

Weight machines are most ideal for beginners, particularly those who have not had the opportunity to spend any one on one time with a personal trainer. However, it’s important to realize that though machines initially do a really good job of helping you navigate the gym, they are limited in the number of calories that they can burn, and their range of motion in relation to your body’s natural movements.

Functional strength training using bodyweight exercises or dumbbells gives you the most natural range of motion and develops your strength, coordination, and controlling muscles most comprehensively.

Continue to check back as Toni Ann brings us more tips. Coming Next: Beginging Your Gym Routine