The Apache Pow Wow

Beginner’s Guide to the Gym

Ailin Atasoy, Staff Writer

For those who wish to go the gym and improve their fitness, it might seem daunting at first to work out next to ripped individuals who have been perfecting their routines for years. Hopefully,  these small steps and tips might make the transition into a healthier lifestyle easier and less nerve-wracking.

Schedule: The most important element of having effective workouts is to create and stick to a steady schedule. This doesn’t mean one should hit the gym hard every day—for the bare minimum, plan ahead by a few days to go the gym. (Last minute decisions to hit the gym for an extra set would be even better!) By setting aside time, there are less excuses to not go.

Clothes: Any outfit that is free-fitting and allowing movement will work. Wearing expensive Lululemon attire or a matching Adidas top and bottoms are not required. While the gym is a place to go and feel good about yourself and the progress you’re making, it is not a place where fashion is expected, so don’t worry too much about it!

What to Bring: The most important elements in keeping a healthy lifestyle are sleep, diet, hydration, and exercise. Bring a full bottle of water and set a goal to finish it by the time you’re home. Headphones are optional—some believe they are distracting, but others are motivated by music. However, most machines with television only have headphone jacks, so if you’re planning on doing cardio, consider bringing wired headphones. Otherwise, wireless headphones are easier for machines and lifting weights, as you can move freely and leave your phone in your bag.

  1. Choose A Gym: Nearby popular choices are Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness. Depending on your lifestyle (and where you live), each gym has something special to offer. The 24 Hour Fitness (near the Arcadia metro station) allows customers to go in and out at any hours. Gold’s Gym is conveniently located in the Westfield mall, but this also means parking is hard to come by. LA Fitness has two locations nearby with one in Hastings Ranch and one near AHS, the latter of which has been recently renovated. Whichever gym you choose, keep in mind the cardholder must be an adult, so confer with your parents, who are probably paying for it, to get their opinions on it as well!
  2. Workouts:
    1. Cardio: aerobic exercises such as swimming, jogging, or biking
    2. Machines: The great thing about going to a gym is that there are many different types of machines, so there is a greater selection than if you worked out at home. The machines will tell you what area of the body they work out so, in case you didn’t research it beforehand, you don’t work out a certain area too much (plan leg, chest, shoulder, or back day accordingly).
    3. Free weights: These include the bar and the dumbells. Free weights are better for the body, as they work out tiny stabilizer muscles around the area instead of focusing on one big muscle, so they build a better overall athleticism. However, since you can control the movements, there is more posture and position to pay attention to so there is a larger chance of doing the exercise wrong.

These small tips will hopefully make the transition to life at the gym easy and seamless.

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Beginner’s Guide to the Gym