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Drallen2662 06-02-2008 04:04 PM

Gym do's and don'ts?
So I've been working out at home for the past four weeks and decided to join a gym. I had to many restrictions at home with limited space and equipment. I joined the local YMCA since it was the cheapest and we have two in the area. Keep in mind the one 5min from my house is new, but is overcrowded a lot of the time. The one downtown, 15min away, has a lot more free weights but is not the best area. Has been among the top ten murder cities in the U.S. for a while so you donít want to be there late in the day.

This is my first time going into the free weight section and I was instantly intimidated. Guys twice my size all staring at me as I walked in the door. I looked around for a minute and then jumped on the bench press, trying to ignore everyone. I keep trying to tell my self that they all had to start out at the level Iím at. Iím hoping you guys can give me some pointers on some doís and doníts when at the gym. Donít want to get my ass kicked or look like a total newb, even though I really am.

Also Iím starting the Rippetoeís program. Iíve always worked out using a cycle method. You complete one set on one exercise and then move to then next exercise. Once youíve completed a cycle you start all over, repeat until you get all your sets in. Would it be less effective it I complete one exercise at a time? Today I had to do bench press, 5 sets, couldn't go to squats but some guy was doing everything on the rack and didn't know where to go to do deadlifts. :chairshot:

hrdgain81 06-02-2008 05:24 PM

First things first, dont ever be intimidated going into the gym. Who gives a shit if the guy next to you is a monster, to be honest, he doesnt care about you, so you shouldnt care about him. This is a completely self-centered endevour, when I go to the gym, I go to work, and I dont care what anyone else is doing, I have work to do. dont ever compare yourself to others in the gym, compare yourself to YOU Yesterday, last month, last year ...

As for tips on not getting your ass kicked, there really arent any. No one who is really dedicated to getting bigger/stronger/leaner goes to the gym looking to harrass anyone, or fight anyone. Thats little kid shit, and the gym is for grown ass men IMO.

As for ripptoes, work each movement individually, thats how the program is set up, dont hop from one thing to the next then back. Thats a good method, but its hard to do in crowded gyms, and its not acceptable for this situation/routine.

I hope that helps man, go to the good gym, and be friendly but be on a mission.

Drallen2662 06-02-2008 06:37 PM

Thanks for the encouragement hrdgain. I'm going to go really early on Wednesday so I can walk around and look at all of the equipment without a bunch of people there. It’s just tough to not be self conscious when you got a guy benching 250++ beside you and you’re struggling to complete your sets with 150. I know it will soon feel like my second home so I'm just going to suck it up and blast Disturbed on my I-pod.

How much of a break should I take between each set?

Also I didn't see an area where you can perform dead lifts, power cleans, etc. Do certain gyms not allow this or are you supposed to take one of the bars off the bench and do it in front? They have 6 benches at the gym and enough space that I won’t be in the way.

Cradler 06-02-2008 07:05 PM

Seriously, it doesn't matter at all what the other guy is benching. Lifting isn't one of those things where everyone is the same, there's so many variables involved that the guy next to you could be lifting 250+ and have done half the work you did to get to 150. My friend (Of equal weight) deadlifts 4something and I know I'm working harder than he is to get to my 350ish mark. Just focus on you.

When I did Rippetoe's I was hitting the weights hard enough that I'd sometimes need like a 3-4 min. rest between sets (4 kinda rare, mostly on really hard days or with a new weight or something). Take at least 2min. though, you'll probably get a feel pretty soon for what you need.

I usually just take one of the bars and drop it down. I don't think I've ever heard of a gym not allowing DLs/cleans.

Good luck, man!!

widdoes2504 06-02-2008 08:02 PM

Drallen, first of all congrats on getting into the gym. Just by doing that you are well ahead of most people. Second, don't worry about other people. Like Hrdgain said they don't give a shit about you so don't worry about them.

Rippetoe's is a good program to start off with. Take your time and complete each exercise before moving onto the next. Average time inbetween sets should be anywhere from 1-3 minutes based on your endurance and recuperation ability. Like Cradler mentioned, pretty soon you will have it down.

Take the bar off the bench, find some space and do some deads. Enjoy and good luck.

BTW, everyone had to start somewhere. I started at 150 lbs benching the bar and weighed in tonight at 242 and I hit 395 for 2 reps earlier in the day. It takes time, effort, patience and food. Now go eat. :)

MONSTAFACE 06-02-2008 08:19 PM

i agree with everyone. but here is my 2 cents.

1. fuck everybody else, you are lifting for you!!! not them!!!!!

2. dont know everybody else opinion, but dont drop weights. it may just be me personally but if i drop the weight that i am using i cant control it, so IMO i failed. handle weight you can control and have good form with.

3. never be to proud. if you need to lift lighter..... DO IT!!! no shame in the weight you do.

4. never measure your success with anyone elses.

5. just because someone looks strong doesnt mean they are strong, or they know what they are doing. feel free to listen to people give you advice if they do, but research it yourself, or just come on back to the site :)

TALO 06-02-2008 10:44 PM

Put your weights away when your done.

john917v 06-02-2008 10:52 PM

I agree w/ every1 else here. I once felt weak-muscle-wise-, but I have learned that the truly 'weak' people are those sitting around ALL DAY LONG, not doing nething to get stronger/in shape!! As far as everyone else, just remember that a lot of people get the way they are because of drugs. Not all, but many do use them. Also, It doesn't matter if you can bench press 500 lbs by bouncing the weight off of your chest, curl 75's with horrible, back-swinging form, or squat 400 lbs by squatting 1". I have tons of respect for the person (guy or gal) who pushes themself, with the proper amount of weight for their size, and does it properly. It's an old saying, but a true one: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." #5 from Monsta is a good pointer: I ask the advanced people at the gym what they have done for success, and I take note of what may work, and don't use what won't work (or won't work for me). You seem to have a good understanding of bodybuilding. It is not an act, but a science, and a lifestyle. Become it, and you will be the 'big guy' that everyone respects at the gym!! Good luck!

MONSTAFACE 06-03-2008 06:36 AM

find the prettiest girls you can. ask them if the need a spot, and cop as many feels as possible..............................just kidding

fishfood 06-03-2008 06:53 AM

^^hahaha, but it. Just make sure they're not with the guy benching 250 next to ya.

Don't use multiple machines or whatever at once. It drives me nuts when I go to a machine and a dude from across the gym comes over and tells me he's using it, and then goes back to the other side of the gym to use another machine. In that situation, I simply ask politely if I can jump in between sets.

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