Beginner Gym Workout

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If you have made a decision to get in shape and have recently joined a gym, congratulations!  In case you’re feeling intimidated by all the equipment and the anxiety that everyone will be staring at you, relax.  You don’t have to be an expert.

First off, most people are there to better themselves, and they are glad to see you in there working on your physical fitness.  Secondly, the gym is full of people of all shapes and sizes so don’t feel like you have to be in shape before you can go to a gym.

Let’s get you going with a workout guide and plan to help make your gym time a more positive experience.

Getting Started

  1. Most of the exercises in this program are on machines.   Machines, for the most part, help you maintain good form and this helps you to keep your focus on the body part you are working.
  2. Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions.  A set is when you complete your designated repetitions.  Rest 30sec. to 1 minute if you are going to do a second set.
  3. Tips for setting a weight:  Select a weight that will make you have to work really hard for the last two reps.  You shouldn’t be able to do 15 reps and if you can, the next time you perform the exercise, increase your weight.
  4. Take one day of rest between each of your total body workouts sessions.  On those off days you can do cardio but always listen to your body.

This total body workout includes machine-based exercises and will take you 20 minutes or less.

Warm up for 5 minutes.

If you choose to use the treadmill be sure to adjust the incline to a 2 incline.  This simulates walking outdoors and gives you some ‘ground’ under your feet.

Leg Press- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

Position your feet shoulder width apart in the middle of the platform.  My feet a bit lower on the platform because I’m a shorty and if I put them higher I would not have much range of motion on the exercise;)  lol  💡Extend your legs completely but don’t lock out the knees.

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Chest Fly- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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On a lot of chest fly machines, you can adjust the range of motion.  Look at the top and you will see holes like this one for both arms on the machine:

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Set it to where you feel a gentle stretch when seated. 💡Bring the arms together like you are hugging a tree.

Lat Pulldown- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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Grip the bar where the indentations are or just slightly outside of the curves in the bar.  Set the pad on top of your knees. 💡Lean back about 10 degrees and pull the bar to your upper chest.

Rear Fly- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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The rear fly machine is the same machine in my gym as the chest fly.  By adjusting the arms of the machine to be completely closed, it becomes the rear fly.  Sit facing INTO the machine.  Grab the handles so that your palms face down.  Pull back until your arms make a ‘T”, hold for a brief second, then control the arms coming back to start.💡You might sense your shoulders creeping up to your ears.  Mentally focus on keeping your shoulders down and neck relaxed.

Tricep Pushdowns- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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Adjust the cable to a high setting and attach a rope.  Bend at your elbow and then extend down.  Pause to squeeze the back of the arm.

Bicep Curls- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

Lower the cable to the bottom and attach a straight bar to the hook.

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Bring the bar just in front of your shoulder and extend all the way down.💡Keep your abs and lower back tight while you pull equally with both arms.  In other words, don’t swing:)

Ab machine- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

In most gyms you will find some type of ab machine or two.  This is the one we have in our gym.

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Adjust the seat to accommodate your height and allow you good range of motion. 💡Exhale as you crunch forward to deepen the contraction.

 

 

 

 

Find A Career You Love

A couple of years ago I was doing a lot of soul-searching about the direction I wanted to take with my career.  I was a chaplain for hospice, and my minister’s license and Bible college degree wasn’t meeting new requirements.  I needed to receive a Master’s Degree to continue working in the field.  Unfortunately, after crunching the numbers, I decided to explore other options.  This would be the start of a long journey of self-discovery.

It was tough letting go of the identity I had with being “Chaplain Sunshine,” and the fulfilling work of providing spiritual comfort.  Even writing about it now brings up a soul ache.  I will always be grateful for the special bonds I was blessed to make with patients and their families during such an intimate time.  This was one of those patients and families that became so dear to my heart.

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(I received permission from his daughter to share this.) 

This photo was taken on his 91st birthday.  He spent his life empowering and equipping underprivileged youth in New Orleans with skills to enter the workforce.  His daughter, Dr. Adrian Woods, shares his passion. She is the Director of Academic Programs at Xavier University.

At the end of the day, I had to pay the bills so I was determined to find a career that would provide meaning along with a good salary.  Since I loved hospice work so much I thought nursing would be the path, the only problem was I had this awful habit of fainting at the sight of blood!

In the meantime, while I was trying to figure out if nursing was going to be a fit, I had several side jobs just hoping that I would stumble into my dream job.  I mean it happens for some people like that, right?  Psalm 37:23 does say the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

I was a server at Movie Tavern, took a job during the holiday at UPS, was a sitter for elderly patients in their homes, kept personal training . I don’t think I’m forgetting anything.🤔 Oh, I was a Starbucks barista for a day..Yes, A Day!  LOL

woman_kneeling_prayerIt was very humbling.  I was concerned with my image and that the people would think less of me if I made another job transition.

I needed to pull myself together and get a solid direction. I did a lot of journaling.  I asked myself hard questions and tried to listen to my inner voice.

It took a good year and a half for me to finally get real with myself and admit that nursing wasn’t for me.  I knew from my soul-searching that I wanted a career where I could share my qualities of coaching, compassion and knowledge to help others.  I applied for a 2nd time, for a health coaching position and this time I received the job!

I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Every day I wake up and thank God that I get to do something that I love and that I help people just by virtue of being me.  I might not be preaching before a physical audience, but every day I stand at my “pulpit,” aka, standing desk, and encourage others to live healthy in every area of their lives.

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As a digital health coach, I’m on my PC most of the day, so yes I get to frump mostly;)  I build a bit more activity into my life by alternating sitting and standing.  In the photo with me is Sammy, the floppy dog, and Penny Wink, the guinea in the cage;)

One thing I learned from my Bible college professor, Les Bowling, is that it’s easier to steer a car that’s moving.  I definitely followed that advice very well, but I also needed to trust God to do his part.

We all go through things that take us to the ragged edge.  It’s hard to be patient and wait for things to work out.  There is a spiritual solution for every problem.  Allow yourself the time to look within yourself, discover what makes your heart sing, then trust the process.

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This in an affirmation I used often, and it might bring you hope on your journey.

There are people looking for the exact skills and talents I have to offer, and you are being brought together on the checkerboard of life. 

-Louise L. Hay