So my wife and I signed the family up for the Gym. It is a University Gym and it is stocked with more geegads then I have a clue about. Frankly I don’t have a clue about anything Gym related.

Goal for my wife: drop 50 libs. 

Goal for me: drop the wine belly and get strong and some balanced definition.

Goal for my 6 year old son: learn how to swim.  We have signed him up for lessons.

I get the use a towel to wipe down the seat and put your weights back where you found them.  As to what to do?  I just pick up weights and move them around 6 times and do that 3 times and that is all there is to it right?  I don’t think it is that simple.

They have the option of hiring a “personal trainer” AKA a student studying this stuff – I’m not sure about that.

So for the Gym goers of this forum, can you give me a clue?  My wife is up for doing strength training with me doing the same maneuvers at low rep high weight sets.  So I have a partner in this adventure.

What are your gripes?

How did you started out? 

What went well in the beginning?

What failed? 

Any and all information would be helpful.  

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Depends on what kind of trainer he is.  Is he the clipboard carrying, box checking, Nautilus machine type?  Is he the standard issue 3x10 upper/lower/back/legs muscle isolation/split routine type?  Is he a strength coach which can properly teach the three power and two Oly lifts?  Is he going to try to work in his sets too?

True, wouldnt be sure that a university gym has the best trainers but probably not the worst either.

In the US it's really hit or miss. My suggestion for learning the lifts is to check out videos by world class coaches. USA Weightlifting has instructional videos on their site. Rippetoe and Pendley have YouTube channels. If what your being shown in person isn't respectably close to what you watched and read described, I wouldn't trust it.

I'm happy with my gym. My only gripe is that my free personal trainer session was focused on stretching when I wanted to lose weight. After 4 weeks, I formed my own routine and eventually achieved my weigh goal. I observe others at my gym, especially those who have achieved my goals, to see what they do get the results I desire and use the same machines. Now I go to the gym more out of vanity than necessity.

What? Now I go to the gym more out of vanity than necessity.

Brown Fox, perhaps this is why so many of us are out of shape; we equate gym visits with trips to a tanning salon.

Do you think Jack LaLanne was out pulling yachts with his teeth in his eighties (or whenever he did that) because he was vain?

Exercise as we age is so, so important, actually at any age. And weight training is proven to be so valuable, as we get older we lose muscle mass.

Maybe teenagers with youth on their side, who go to the gym to work their biceps and chest only are doing it for vanity, but not us!

I'm an actor-- Vanity is a virtue; I need to look good for my public. <preen> But I agree, I feel a hell of a lot healthier since I've joined my gym. I haven't been able to go as much as I like the past two weeks between working overtime and rehearsing. At least I'm doing physical comedy and sword fights in this show. Great aerobic exercise and great male bonding: Pretending to kill each other requires great trust. Otherwise you're not pretending.

Feedback for all the wonderful people who posted.

 I got the book, read it, talked with medical health professionals about my safe limits.

Its the 2nd week of gym work.  

My program is warmup weight X10 X1 next full weight X10 X 4 with logging.

I know the book says 5X5 but due to not wanting to over do my blood pressure the 5 reps got pushed up to 10 reps.

I'm adding weight every other workout.  Again not the book but a variation that works for me.

Seriously thank you to everyone who posted!!

Good job.  Your BP will be down just in time for the holidays.

Thanks and sorry for lack of clarity.  

My blood pressure is over all good. I have a major heart condition and after 2 open heart surgeries the parts of the heart that are designed to handle just the lung transaction are carrying the main load.  So there is some concern of fragging the heart valves.

I do the dumb bell press instead of the barbell press because I don't have to activate my core (which boosts blood pressure) with the hip shift during the part of the bar bell press as you clear your chin.  I have not tried the dead lift for the same reason.  

Currently my work out is 8 min force march, Stretch, Squat, Bench Press, Dumbbell Press, Assisted Pull-ups, Lat Pull Downs, Stretch.

Still getting used to it but I managed to switch from the smith machine to the regular bar for squats last time.  I needed to assure I could handle the base weight.

I'm happy to have a clear direction and good guidance.  Again Thanks!

Holy crap.  Ya, do what the doc says.


Yep I do for the most part.  You also have to live a good life.


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