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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Perhaps part of our confusion is because of terminology or it could just be completely different viewpoints. I believe that SS and Stronglifts or any 5 x 5 is a great beginning program. In fact SS strongly emphasizes proper form and starts fairly light if I recall.

Addressing imbalances will not be accomplished in a week or 2. Two weeks of pull-ups and face-pulls will not address a shoulder imbalance though both exercises do that very well. I do agree with the stretching. But I think it is best left to after warming up. If it were me I would recommend a good beginner program, have them run it very light (think maybe 50% of what there training weight may be). That will give them the opportunity to learn the specific lifts in their program, warm them up for stretching, and ease them into activity safely. If you want to correct imbalances before starting a program no-one would ever start a program; everything would be corrective.

Agreed. There's ways to diagnose and address imbalances with a bar. Although I recommend starting with a few months of body weight work first. That will address any imbalances.

A big difference between SS and SL, besides the power clean, is the starting weight. With SL you start with an empty bar for everything except dead lifts. With SS, once the lift is learned, you add ten pounds each lift until it slows down; that's your starting work weight. It's easier to get over ambitious that way I think. Though if you keep your head no worries.

Hey man, congrats! I'm sure any advice I could give you has already been spoken for given the copious number of replies. Just wanted to say that signing up for the gym is a great step towards physical and mental well being for you and your family.  Stay with it, and remember the Bruce Lee quote about long term consistency being better than short term intensity.

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