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Not sure what to do in a gym...


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So since about May of last year I've been going to an exercise class out of town and that's been great but in the new year a new easily accessible gym has opened up in my own town and I want to start going there.


The thing is I keep putting it off because I'm not really sure what I want to do there....or how I'm even supposed to figure that out. I know it's important to have a goal, but I don't feel equipped to even come up with a reasonable goal right now. I feel like I'm in a position where I can start considering strength training more seriously but I don't know where to start.


I've definitely become more healthy and fitter by going to the exercise class twice a week, but I wouldn't say I ever had a real plan. (the plan was pretty much "stick with it until it becomes normal and then figure out the rest later")


I have noticed that even though I've been getting fitter, there's still two areas in particular I'm not happy with. I still have belly fat that doesn't seem to be going anywhere and I feel like the back of the bottom of my legs have remained kinda chubby. (but then maybe it's supposed to be like that and I'm overthinking it? This is where the "not knowing what I'm doing" comes in)

"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change" - Aang

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It really depends on what your goals are and what you find fun.  If it's to get stronger and throw around a lot of weight, you can think about looking into programs like Starting Strength or Strong Lifts.  I'm sure there are more than a few programs that you could find by Google fu based on what equipment you want to use.  The plus side to starting is that all of them are pretty much going to be the same level of efficacy for you - you have no where to go but up.


That said, losing bodyfat is all calories.  You can work out to burn some more, but if you're looking to dial in fat then you need to look at your diet pretty hard.


And ultimately, if you're enjoying the classes and you're still getting something from them, it's totally okay to continue doing those rather than force yourself to a gym because It Is The Way To Do Things.  Go ask for a walk through/week trial at the gym and see how you feel about it, and then go from there. (Besides, maybe they don't have the equipment you want - for example, it's hard to squat if a place doesn't have a rack.)

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash


"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Gym: Everything You Need to Know


Go read that. It's probably one of Steve's best articles.


Another suggestion is to keep going to group classes, just find new ones you enjoy at your new gym. For some people, they need external accountability, a.k.a someone to design a program and to make sure they go (hence why people invest in a personal trainer). I myself did Crossfit for 3 years and having Coaches who regularly check up on you and other athletes there to talk and compete with, it made it a lot easier to go.

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