There are many more substitutes and everyone has to find what works for them. Some are better and some are easier. Find what works for you and expand from there. Don’t be afraid to work harder on your healthy food. It is more time consuming, but it’s worth it. You’ll feel better about yourself from a health perspective and from a self-satisfaction perspective also. I don’t know how to cook you ask? Practice and learn. Start slowly by baking your chicken and fish. Roast vegetables by coating them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
Group classes have their place, but for the beginner, I think a foundation should be built. You need to get stronger and learn how to do the basic exercises and how to use the different machines. You need to learn by feeling what each one targets and adapt it to your current level of fitness also with regard to any limitations that you might have. A group class is too fast-paced and often too complex for the beginner and that can lead to an injury or too much soreness that limits or discourages continued participation after the initial excitement wears off. Again, group classes have their place for sure, but only after a foundation is built. Remember, your foundation isn’t just physical. It’s also heavily mental. It’s your mental fortitude that is the driving force and that has to be developed and nurtured in the beginning.
There is nothing wrong with the basics. They worked in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond and they for sure will work today.
Some basic exercises:
Dumbbell bench press for chest
Dumbbell shoulder press
Bent over row to work your back
lunges for thighs
Basic crunch or sit-up
All of these can be duplicated with an exercise machine if you are a gym member or are thinking about joining one.
My philosophy on exercise as it relates to free weights and machines:
All free weights is good
Half free weights and half machines is good
All machines and no free weights is not my favorite method (but there is certainly nothing wrong with doing all machine work)
In other words, it’s best to get a mixture of both free weights and machines.
Hopefully, this has helped you with your belief that you can take small steps that add up to a huge amount of satisfaction and accomplishment. My goal is to help anyone, especially beginners, break through the fear and the apprehension when starting a new journey. It takes time and there is no hurry. Just stay the course and keep pushing through any hurdles or obstacles in your mind or body.
I'm just an average 40 something guy with a family who wants to help people get fit and healthy. I have a bachelor's degree in Physical Education (UTEP 1991) and a Master's degree in Kinesiology (Sam Houston State University 1993) I became a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) in 1994 from the National Athletic Trainer's Association. I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1999. I have worked out (mostly) in some form or fashion since high school. I'm not super fit and I don't have a six-pack. I've don't Spartan and a few other obstacle races. I've done home fitness DVD's and worked out at gyms. I'm not a runner or a Crossfitter. I don't eat perfectly, but do understand it's importance. There are too many people who are not healthy and too many people who don't know how to enter the fitness world. There are too many personal trainers that are not qualified to work with people, especially beginners. There are too many false thoughts, gadgets, and expectations and I want to guide people down the right path so that they have success. If I share a product or service with an affiliate link, I either use the product or know the product. I don't know everything, but I know a thing or two.