Need help with a gym routine

I just joined a gym (yaaaaay). It's about three blocks from my office and quite nice.

Tonight night was my first workout, I ran a mile on the treadmill and used one weight machine for my back and deltoids. But I felt completely clueless and intimidated when it came to all the other gym equipment.

So curly community, any of you belong to gym and have a fitness routine? I want to use machines and maybe free weights or barbells. I'm looking for a stronger body over all, I'm out of shape now and I want that to change. Running is not too hard for me, but should I run and lift weights in the same day? Should I go to the gym every other day or every day?
Curl Style: 3b/3c
Texture: Fine
Porosity: Normal

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut
RO: GVP CB
Styling: As I Am Leave In, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets & Confident Coils, DevaCurl Set Me Up, Curl Keeper
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil, BioSilk RHG
I felt clueless when I first started going to the gym as well. Luckily, the gym that I belong to offer classes for free. Classes like: spinning, body pump, yoga, track trainer, kick boxing, and so much more. I like to go to the classes. This way I'm not clueless, I just follow their lead. Plus these classes meet about 3-4 times a week.
So with this being said, if your gym offers classes, you should join in. If not, then maybe you could find a workout buddy within the gym.

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Before I started martial arts training, I was a total gym rat (now I just don't have the time!). How often you choose to work out is entirely up to you. Cardio can be done pretty much every day (I would personally take at least one day off each week).

The trick with strength training is that your muscles need time to recover in between workouts. It's technically during this recovery period that you're actually building the muscle. How often you strength train will depend on your routine. Muscles need at least 1 rest day in between workouts. That means you could do total body as much as every other day. Depending on how intensely you want to strength train, you could also split up your muscle groups and strength train almost every day (for example, chest one day, back the next day). The possibilities really are endless. Just make sure that whatever method you use, you work the muscles to the point of fatigue (meaning it is impossible to complete another repetition in good form).

Feel free to PM me if you want any more info.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
Corrina, thanks! Given my schedule, I could see doing total body strength training three days per week, and then maybe pure cardio two other days. At least I'll give my muscle a rest that way.

I'm not going to the gym on the weekend because it's an hour away from home via public transit. But I can run or bike on the weekend if I really want.
Curl Style: 3b/3c
Texture: Fine
Porosity: Normal

Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut
RO: GVP CB
Styling: As I Am Leave In, Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets & Confident Coils, DevaCurl Set Me Up, Curl Keeper
Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil, BioSilk RHG
That should work very well. Also, I found a book a few years ago called Sculpting Her Body Perfect. It has a ton of info about various strength training exercises (machines, free weights, etc.). It also gives sample routines for workouts. It is definitely the best book I've found that deals with free weights. Muscle and Fitness Hers also has a great book called 101 Workouts for Women. This book includes more exercise options involving things like a balance ball, rather than straight weight lifting.

Two final notes- if you plan to use free weights (I am a huge fan), make sure to get a pair of weight lifting gloves (you can get for about $10 at Target). Also, make sure you take 10-15 for stretching after your workouts. Without the focus on stretching, you could lose some flexibility as you build muscle.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel

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