Walking into a gym in the New Year can be both overwhelming and confusing. Navigating the various types of strength training equipment can also be a challenge. The gyms are also crowded this time of year, so the last thing you want to do is spend time trying to decipher all of the different levers, pulleys, and not to mention how you’re supposed to sit and fit into some of these contraptions.
For that reason, many gyms have a staff of trainers to help you feel comfortable with the equipment and get the most benefits from it. I suggest consulting with a trainer as most clubs will give you a free orientation.
Weight training is especially important for women to increase bone density. It will also help raise your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass.
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long. Weight training is also important to help you with everyday activities because it will improve your coordination and balance.
When getting started with weight training, the easiest way to determine how much weight you should use on each lift is to pick a level of resistance on a machine and try it. Start with a light weight working towards about 10 to 15 repetitions.
To judge your particular starting point, you should be lifting enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps. You should be able to finish your last rep with both difficulty and good form. Typically you will use heavier weights with larger muscle groups such as the chest, back and legs, and lighter weights for shoulders and arms.
In most health clubs, machines are set up by body part or in a total body circuit. Machines can also vary in terms of how your level of resistance is determined.
For some it is as simple as putting a pin in a stack of flat weights. Other machines may use a cable type of tension for resistance. Most machines also have seat adjustments.
Most fitness clubs and centers also have an array of free weights which can be equally as important in learning to strength train.