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Exercise Guide


If you feel pain, dizziness or shortness of breath at any time during any of the exercises or use of other equipment at this website, you should STOP exercising & consult your physician.

Alert gym staff if assistance is needed.


Getting Started

Since the exercise dropout rate is between 30-70%, you might think about maximizing your success by following these steps.
  1. Create a Goal
  2. Plan Your Program
  3. Develop a Strategy for Handling the Obstacles
  4. Clothes & Shoes
  5. Work out Safely

1. Create a Goal

A good start for your exercise program is beginning at the end--in other words, figure out what you want to accomplish. While a well-balanced program ideally includes cardio work, strength training, and flexibility exercises, your goal will determine your focus and how much time you spend on each.

For example, someone interested in burning fat should focus more on cardio. Include all five exercise components in your workout plan. Refer to the exercise components. Create a S.M.A.R.T. goal:



2. Plan Your Program

Many a good intention has been sabotaged by non-specific plans. "I want to get in shape this fall" has the distinct flavor of a non-specific goal that carries no plan of action. "I'd like to lose 2 inches from my waistline by December by working out Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the gym" incorporates a specific, measurable goal with a specific plan of action.

For more details on Planning a Strength Training Program.
For more details on Planning a Cardio Program.

3. Develop a Strategy for Handling the Obstacles

You might look at the following list of possible obstacles to determine the ones most likely to jump in front of your exercise program.

  • I'm too busy...
  • I'm tired...
  • I'm not in the mood...
  • I don't feel very good...
  • My kid(s)/spouse/friend(s)/pet(s) really need me...
  • The gym is too far...
  • Ow, I hurt my (name your favorite injury)...
  • I forgot my clothes...

What the average person doesn't realize is that the mind will create all sorts of reasons to prevent you from getting out of your familiar pattern, which for many American resembles a slug, so the most important thing is to listen to the excuse and go exercise anyway. In that way the new pattern, or habit, becomes going to the gym no matter what obstacles throws itself your way. Use discipline for at least the first six months until that exercise habit becomes your new pattern.

For tips on staying motivated go to:

4. Clothes and Shoes

There's three important points about exercise attire:

  1. Attire should be comfortable, breathable and allow your body to move. By the way, since most gyms are filled with mirrors wear something that you like to see on yourself. Throwing on your oldest t-shirt and shorts may be functional but depress your spirit.
  2. Shoe soles die after six months so either buy a new shoe insert or new shoes so that your joints-especially knees and ankles-can be protected. This is an important investment.
  3. Carry an extra exercise outfit in your trunk so on those days when you forget your exercise gear, you'll have the back up.

5. Work out Safely

Many an exercise program has been sabotaged by injury. Going too fast, too soon can cause long term problems, not to mention burn-out. Check out our Safety and Etiquette page to protect yourself.

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