Beginners Weight Loss Workout Using Gym Machines
Free gym workouts for beginners abound online, yet, for a newbie who’s just recently started considering strength training and weight lifting, this very plethora of choices may seem daunting. As is usually the case, too many options may leave you at a loss of ideas on where to start. Should you be doing weightlifting? Is working out at home really efficient? Should you stick to aerobics or move on to something more intense, like running? And how often should your work outs take place in order to see some real weightloss? Some people choose to work out daily, while others can barely fit in a weekly sesh of cardio (exercise for increased cardiovascular activity). Whats the ideal way to achieve your maximum fitness potential?
Sometimes you just feel like you could use a guide for dummies – which is exactly why this post will introduce you to the essentials of gym workout routines for beginners. Bear in mind that, although these gym workout routines for beginners are geared toward weight loss, they will also help with other goals, such as a more toned physique and strength gains that will help sculpt your muscles. We’ve got all the major tips you’ll need to follow, as well as the basic guidelines. There’s a beginner gym workout routine for women included, as well as one of the best weight machine workout routines for men that we could find online.
Now, although the bulk of the exercises included require the use of gym machines, these workout plans aren’t strictly based on this; additionally, feel free to improve their efficiency by adding your favorite cardio, aerobic, or plyometric activities. So, without further ado, here’s all you need to know about a beginners weight loss workout using gym machines.
Working out at the gym for beginners: Rules, goals & etiquette
So, here you are, a recent addition to your local gym members’ list – and you have absolutely no idea where to start. You don’t know what weights you should be lifting, are clueless about proper form, don’t know the load you should be aiming for, and/or haven’t got the faintest thought on how all those seemingly complicated weight lifting machines work. First off, don’t panic. Then, make sure to check out free YouTube videos for pointers and even to download .pdf cheat sheets – they are abundant on the Internet. If you’re really at a loss for ideas, you could even enlist the help of a more seasoned lifter, such as a friend, acquaintance, or even a personal fitness trainer. However, we believe you’ll find everything you need to know at this point in your weight lifting journey right below.
Beginners gym machine workout plan goals
As previously mentioned, this guide takes a closer look at strength training for weight loss. However, that is definitely not the only thing you can achieve by lifting weights. Here’s what you should expect to have coming your way, as long as you stick to your guns:
· Faster weight loss;
· Bigger muscle fiber size;
· Stronger contractile muscles;
· Stronger tendons;
· More resistant ligaments.
Another one of the big boons that weight training comes with is that it’s not all that difficult to stick to, because it provides quick results. As such, it’s great for people who have tried, failed, and given up on weight loss plans before. Your foray into the world of dieting coupled up with cardio workouts may have led you to believe that you simply can’t shed those extra pounds. Well, the situation will be shaping up quite differently, with your new plan, of training more than twice each week, for a schedule that lasts 12 weeks. That’s what consistent training actually means, in terms of the time and effort you’ll need to invest – but the stronger, leaner, less injury-prone new you will be absolutely worth it.
Weight lifters’ Do’s and Don’ts at the gym
Before you hit that bench, or whichever other machine you’ve got your eyes set out on, check out this handy etiquette list to find out what you can and you probably shouldn’t be doing at the gym.
DO keep it clean
Remember to always bring a towel with you, when you go weight lifting at the gym. Not only will you be sweating profusely, but you’ll also be messing up the machines, benches, and other pieces of equipment you use. Don’t sweat it (pun intended), everyone deals with this; yet, do wipe down the objects you use, as a gesture of courtesy for other gym members. After all, most people have trouble dealing with their own sweat – absolutely no one wants to bathe in someone else’s.
DON’T leave stuff lying around
Used the barbell? Do put it back on its rack once you’re done with it. Pumped some iron with a pair of dumbbells? Either replace it in the storage compartment where you got yours from, or simply remember to put that one back. it’s incredibly frustrating to get to the gym, all set for a good workout session, only to realize that no one bothered to put the barbell, dumbbells, and kettlebells back.
DO remember common courtesy
All right, so you’ve just started lifting weights on the machines and it’s taking a heavy toll on your body. You nearly collapse after each set and feel the need to just lie down on the bench for a couple of minutes, to rest. Before you nearly fall asleep there, take a look around. Is there anyone else waiting in line after you, who wants to use that exact same machine? Common gym courtesy dictates that the best thing to do is to let them work out in between your sets. They will most likely return the favor, so long as you politely explain that you’re a beginner, you want to continue your workout, but simply needed a longer period of rest.
DON’T bring your phone around
Yes, we know it’s the 21st century and everyone and their grandma has a smartphone to keep them in the loop with all those vital things that are unraveling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the weight room at your gym is no place for a cell phone. Not only will the device distract you from your workout, possibly even cause you to make silly mistakes, but absolutely no one wants to be forced to listen in on your (riveting, we’re sure) phone conversations. So simply leave the phone back in the locker or in your car, if you drove to the gym. You’ll have a much easier time staying focused and, overall, your workout discipline and efficiency will only have to gain from it.
DO start out modestly
Sure, you may have lifted a loaded barbell for the kicks, once, when you came to pick up a boddy from the gym. But just because you were able to force yourself to lift 100lbs that one time doesn’t mean that you can reasonably expect to sustain an entire workout with that big of a load. Always start out with a lighter load that you think you are able to lift and then closely observe the way your body reacts as you lift. Are you swinging the weights? Do you lift through sheer momentum force, rather than exerting your muscles? Are you sure you’re performing each exercise in proper form? All these mistakes reduce the efficiency of your weight training and they also put you at a greater risk of injury, so work your way up to heavier weights, instead of plowing through from the first go.
DON’T go too easy on yourself
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the beginner weightlifters who use very light weights. It’s a good idea to start out conservatively, in order to avoid muscle tears and other types of injuries. However, if you can perform more than 12 to 15 reps with a certain load, this is your cue to up the load to something heavier. As a rule of thumb, don’t increase the weight by more than 5 per cent at one time, in order to get a good feel of how your body is adjusting to the changes.
DO take it slow
Make it a point of understanding and remembering this: you have absolutely nothing to gain from plowing through dozens of repetitions at a time. Good weight lifting is slow weight lifting, because taking it easier in terms of pace means that you have more control over your muscles and motions. Let’s take a closer look, even: by going slow with the reps, you are increasing muscle tension and improving the amount of force your muscle fiber is able to produce. Your muscle fibers will become activated in a more efficient manner, the fiber will be twitching both fast and slowly and, all in all, your muscular tissue will suffer from fewer micro-tears. This way, you’ll also be improving the strength of your joints; and, by the way, taking it slowly is also good for your joints, especially if you’re a beginner lifter, or if you haven’t lifted in a long time.
DON’T overdo it with the resting (in either direction)
Resting for too long a time, or too little, is a mistake. When your breaks between sets are too short, you are putting yourself up for an untimely collapse. Resting for more time than it’s necessary means that you are all too tempted to just give up on the workout altogether. To avoid both these pitfalls, try to strike a happy medium: make your breaks last between 30 and 90 seconds.
7 smart tips and tricks for the best beginner workout
All right, now that you’ve gotten yourself educated on gym and lifting etiquette, here are some hands-on pieces of advice that will help you maximize your potential in that weight room. Most of these tips are commonsensical, but they will definitely go a long way, as far as reaching your goal weight goes.
1. Drink up!
Steer clear of sugary drinks, but load up on your water glass count. The USDA recommends that everyone, be they a lifter, a dieter, or just your average Joe, drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water per day. There’s a nugget of wisdom as far as lifting goes in that recommendation. Dehydration will make you weak, more prone to sickness and injury, and overall far less efficient during your workout. Keep a bottle of water handy while you pump that iron to avoid it.
2. Watch what and when you eat
It goes without saying that if you’re trying to lose weight through gym machine weight lifting workouts, you will want to spring for a hypocaloric diet. However, this should not mean that you’re starving yourself. In fact, eating both before and after each workout is hugely important. Make sure to have a small meal, with equal parts lean protein (from, say chicken, turkey, beef, beans, or fish) and complex carbs (brown rice, whole wheat, pats) about half an hour to an hour prior to your trip to the gym. Do the same within 60 minutes of having completed the workout. Eating like there’s no tomorrow has no place in such a diet and fitness regimen, but you will need protein and carbs to help your body restore its fuel reserves and heal the muscle fiber micro-tears.
3. Careful with the cardio
Some weight lifting regimens for weight loss also encourage the addition of cardio into the mix. This is not entirely a bad idea, so long as you do the cardio after the weight lifting and not the other way around. Alternatively, if you’re already used to starting your day with a jog on the treadmill, make sure to separate the two types of activity and perform them at completely different times of the day.
4. Log your workouts
It’s a great idea to keep track of your workouts. Log training days, types of exercises, the weight load you used, the number of sets and reps – in brief, strive to keep as complete a history of your workouts as you can. There are plenty of great logging tools online, such as the free one on the BodyBuilding.com website. You can customize your workouts by adding tailored exercises and check back at any time to see how your strength gains journey is progressing.
5. …and your diet, too, while you’re at it
The exact same philosophy applies to what you eat. The number of free calorie counters, loggers, and other interactive dieting tools online is overwhelming. Most of them will give you a macronutrient breakdown, allow you to log the amount of water you’ve had, discover the glycemic index of the food you’re eating, and work out your caloric deficit for each day at a time. These are great tools, which you should definitely take advantage of, because they have a lot to teach you about the significance of each food that goes into your body.
6. Keep a body log
To continue along the same lines, it’s a good idea to take pictures as you progress in your weight lifting journey, so that you have a visual narrative of the way you’re evolving. Similarly, you might want to keep a record of your body measurements, to have an even more accurate idea of how your body is responding to all the changes you’re subjecting it too, from dieting regimen to fitness workout plans.
7. Stick to it
So far, we’ve painted a positive picture of weight lifting, because we understand all beginners need encouragement. However, you also need to know that, at times, this journey will be difficult. You will feel tempted to just give up after a skipped workout day, or a day when you indulged in your favorite guilty culinary pleasures. Don’t. Do your best to stay motivated with whatever tools you have – from inspirational quotes to music to fitness DVDs. And even if you do happen to fall off the wagon once, this doesn’t mean you can’t just hop right back on. Look at how far you’ve come already; it would be a shame to give up on yourself now.
And now, without further ado, here are the best beginner weight loss workouts using gym machines: one for men and one for the ladies.
The best beginner weight loss workout using gym machines for men
This beginner workout routine includes eleven exercises in all. It’s important to stick to the order in which they are listed below, since it has been planned out as to work all your muscle groups, from the biggest ones to the smaller ones. You will want to activate the bigger muscles first, since the smaller ones are there for support – that’s why it’s not a good idea to burn them out completely from the get-go. If you do, they will not be able to support the main muscles, while you work those out.
Do 5 to 10 minutes of a respiratory cardio warm-up at a moderate pace. You can choose your own machine, like an elliptical or a treadmill, but you can also perform other types of activities: walking, cycling, rope jumping, or swimming. The point is to breathe correctly, as well as to warm up the main muscle groups in your body.
Weight lifting machine workout
The leg press
Sit down on the leg press machine and prop your feet up against the crosspiece of the machine. Your toes should slightly be pointing outward, while your feet should be at shoulder-width distance. Grab a hold of the handles on the machine, or the edge of your seat. Bend your knees as to lower the weights as far down as you can, but remember not to move your hips. Don’t let them lift off the seat. Once you’ve reached the bottom-most point, slowly bring the weight back up by pushing through the balls of your heels, not your toes. At the top, stop right before your knees are in locked position, then slowly bring the weights back down again. You can alternate the angle of your leg muscles by changing the way your feet are positioned.
The leg extension
Sit down on the leg extension machine, then attach your feet right underneath the padding on the bar. Adjust your position, either by fiddling with the pad or the seat, to the point where your knees are hanging off the edge of the seat and the padding is resting right above your ankles, on your lower shins. Grab onto the handles or the edges of the seat and stretch your knees out completely. The trick is not to allow your hips to wiggle or lift from the seat. Raise the weights all the way to the top, then lock your knees there and hold for a few seconds. Slowly lower the weights back down, all the while focusing on all your leg muscles and feeling them burn. Repeat the whole movement very slowly and don’t push the weights up through sheer momentum.
The lying leg curl
Lie on the leg curl machine, with your stomach pressed flatly against the bench. Attach your heels to the roller pad and fully extend your legs, making sure that the padding is resting on your ankles. To support your weight, hold on to the handles underneath the bench. Curl your legs up and fully tighten your hamstrings, then, for a full rep, lower the weight back down very slowly. Make sure to use the entire range of motion, don’t push through, and make sure that your body remains flat on the bench the whole time. To add extra pressure to your hamstrings, point out your toes. Alternatively, you can perform this exercise on the seated leg machine – just don’t do both exercises within the same workout.
The seated leg curl
This exercise is also performed on the leg curl machine, which usually comes with instructions on the proper way to do it.
The wide-grip lat pulldown
Position your feet flat on the floor as you sit down on the pulldown machine. Your legs should be right underneath the kneepads. Grab a firm hold of the wide bar, with an overhand grip. The wide grip calls for your arms to be spread out at nearly double the distance between your shoulders. Slightly arch your back, then pull down the bar to the upper part of your chest. All the while, your elbows should be placed right beneath the bar. Once it reaches your collar bone pause for a second or two, then begin lifting the bar back up to the initial position. The biggest mistake you can make during this exercise is to lean back too much and counter the weights with your own bodyweight.
The machine bench press
Know how to do bench presses, the regular kind? Then you definitely also know how to perform the machine bench press – which is completed in the exact same way, only with the aid of a machine. The instructions for this exercise should be listed on the machine. Just make sure to go very slow with each repetition.
The pec deck fly
This exercise, which is more commonly known as the machine chest fly, requires you to sit down on a chest fly machine, with your back glued to the padding of the seat. Put your forearms up on the padded lever, while also making sure that the upper part of your arms is almost parallel to the floor. Slowly bring the levers together and tighten your chest muscles in the middle of the move. Slowly work your way back to the initial position, making sure to fully stretch out your chest muscles by the very end. That completes one full repetition.
The triceps pushdown
The best variant of this exercise, as far as beginners are concerned, is completed by using the rope attachment on the tricep machine. At the lowest point of the movement, fully contract your triceps muscles by pulling the rope out and away, with your arms fully extended.
The bicep curl
The biceps machine should come with precise instructions on how to perform this exercise properly. Since bicep machines may vary from one gym to the other, consult the weight room at your local club.
The machine shoulder press
Also referred to as the machine shoulder military press, this exercise has full instructions on most shoulder press machines available at gyms.
The ab crunch machine
This exercise is highly similar to a regular sit-up or a crunch; the advantage to using a machine here is that you can increase your strength faster, with better gains. Depending on which machine you choose, you should follow the precise instructions for this exercise listed there. Go very slowly while you complete your reps and focus on tightening your core and ab muscles. They should be the ones pushing up the weight, while your legs and feet remain completely relaxed.
The air bike
This final exercise in the beginners weight loss workout plan uses no machine or added weights – just your bodyweight. Lie down on a gym mat, with your hands behind your head – but remember not to clasp them together. Lift your legs up in the air, to the point where your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your calves are slightly above parallel to it. Curl your torso inward, toward your knees and twist your upper body so that your left elbow is pointed to the right side; draw in your right knee to meet the elbow. The whole movement should be similar to the ones you perform when riding an actual bike. Switch sides and continue ‘cycling’ with your feet up in the air. Don’t simply swing your elbows from one side to the other: this exercise is only effective is you add a rotating motion to your shoulder cuffs and tighten in your ab muscles.
The best beginner weight loss workout using gym machines for women
Hopefully, by now you understand that women can safely lift weights without bulking up to Hulk proportions. Womens bodies are naturally resistant to losing fat and amassing muscle, since they produce less testosterone. As such, burning calories with the aid of weights is one of the best ways to both tone and sculpt your body. That being said, it’s great to exercise with free weights, such as barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells – however, exercising with weight lifting machines can also be extremely effective. This especially applies to beginner lifters, even though most women who are just starting out on this wonderful new route are sometimes intimidated by the mere thought of it. This is usually the case because most machines at the gym look complicated; if you’re new and don’t know how to use them, and especially if your gym is chockfull of bulky looking guys, machines may make you feel bad about yourself.
However, as we’ll explore in the following, learning how to use weight lifting machines is just a matter of stepping outside your comfort zone a little bit. Yes, cardio is great if you’re a female who wants to increase her cardiac capacity. But it’s nowhere near as efficient as a month at the gym, lifting weights. In the end, you’ll be thanking yourself for it, since working out with gym machines is far more efficient, in terms of getting and staying in shape. So check out our handy list of pointers for beginner lady lifters and also take a peek at our tailored beginners’ weight loss workouts using gym machines, right below.
Tips and tricks for women who are new to weight machines
1. Take it easy
No one is going to expect you to lift massive loads, know how all the machines work, or perform complex compound moves right off the bat. That’s not how it works: going from 0lbs to100 within a minute – or even a few hours. The goal you’re striving for right now, as a beginner, is to get your body accustomed to the type of tension and pressure that weight lifting on machines involve. That’s why, for starters, we recommend that you put together a relatively simple workout plan for the gym and work your way up from there. Don’t worry about taking it too easy: since your body is not yet used to lifting, it will respond almost instantly to this new type of fitness stimulus. In other words, one thing you can definitely expect from your new workout is for it to yield visible results very quickly.
As you progress, make it a point to take note of your progress with the aid of a workout chart and planner. Stick to your calendar, whether it’s for a monthly workout plan, or one of 20 minutes per week. Once you are sure you’ve mastered the proper form on all the basic exercises included in the workout below, feel free to move on to more complex ones. However, we will still urge you not to push yourself too hard from the get-go, since weight lifting is, indeed, a bit more strenuous than a walk in the park. To keep your motivation levels soaring, make sure to track your progress by logging reps, weight loads, exercises performed, and so on.
Another thing to bear in mind, in what concerns lifting machines is that they basically teach you the proper range of motions right from the start, without any effort from you. Proper form is important on machine workouts, but it’s much less of a hassle to pin down than it is with free weights. In other words, though they may appear intimidating at first, weight lifting machines are actually a great way for you to start feeling comfortable at the gym.
2. Yes, form does matter
As mentioned above, form is easier to get a hang of with machines, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. As such, try to focus on getting each exercise and lifting technique right, from the very beginning. It’s much easier to address and amend mistakes when you’re just starting out, than it is further down the road. For the moment, forget about lifting very heavy weights, since this is not the point. The point is for you to become comfortable, used to the machine, and well-adjusted to the range of motions each piece of equipment presupposes.
As explained earlier, machines do provide guidance for the range of motions. However, there still are some things to watch out for, such as:
· Keeping your back flat. When you use the chest press, leg press, or shoulder press machine, you need to be absolutely sure that your back is pressing flat against the bench or the back pad of the machine in question.
· Hyperextending your joints. On some machines, leg and/or arm hyperextension is recommended (examples include the shoulder press, horizontal chest press, triceps press-down, leg extension, and horizontal row machines). On others, however, it’s a no-no. The latter category includes the leg press, chest press, and shoulder press. You don’t want your joints to become loose and unhinged, trust us.
#3 Stay comfortable
Remember how, in the beginning of this guide, we told you all it takes is for you to step a little outside your comfort zone? Well, that is true, as is the fact that, if you want to see results, you will need to work hard on your everyday weight lifting routine. However, you don’t need that much of a departure from it that you start feeling bad, exhausted, and demotivated. This will only determine you to quit, since no one wants to keep trying and failing repeatedly. Remember: your aim at this stage is to leave that weight room feeling happy about your new workout plan, enthusiastic about it, and with your energy levels set to the max.
So remember this, next time you try (and fail) at an exercise that’s too complex for your current experience level. Remember it before you reach for the heavier weights – by the way, increasing your weight load should happen in increments of 5 per cent. Don’t jump into extreme workouts, of the bootcamp or insanity variety just yet. There will be plenty of time for that, once you master the basics. For the time being, though, stick to feeling good about all the hard work you’re doing. Leaving the gym feeling ok helps more than you can imagine. It has helped me – but you don’t have to believe it just because I say it. Yes, you do need to challenge yourself every day, but the value of a sustainable workout regime is more important than 1.000 deadlifts.
#4 The 3 big Rs: Rest, Recover, Repeat
We cannot stress the importance of resting when training enough. If you want to get skinny and are dying for some rapid, noticeable progress, this might be what’s missing from your program. Resting is particularly important for weight lifting programs, which take a heavier toll on your muscle fiber than cardio. Don’t think that by exercising every day you are doing your body any favors. It’s just getting used to this whole lifting thing, so allow it enough time to recover from it, by leaving at least one gap day between workouts. In fact, if you’re a beginner and know that you’re usually slower to recover, feel free to even take a two-day break. The same applies to pauses between sets: take at least 30 seconds off (but not more than 90 seconds). Otherwise, you risk exhausting yourself after the first few exercises.
Your goal is to step into that gym feeling good about yourself and the only way to do this is by resting sufficiently. And, yes, two workouts a week are more than enough for a beginner. You don’t even have to take our word for it: if you take the time to track your progress, you’ll see for yourself that this is entirely true. Yes, a lot of workout schedules, even those for beginners, say you should be training three times a week. If you can do this, kudos for you. If not, don’t push yourself beyond your means just for the sake of it. Take that extra day off, if that’s what you need to stay in top shape.
The 3 best newbie weight machine workouts for women
There are three machine workouts below, which you can use as you see fit. These printable plans are all total body workouts. In other words, they all work all the major muscle groups in your body, so you can either pick one of them and repeat it for 2 or 3 times a week, or you can use them in rotation. They have all been designed with the goal of weight loss in mind, which means they all guarantee a sped up metabolism. Check them out!
· Leg presses. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Medium grip barbell bench presses. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Seated cable rows.2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Wide grip lat pull-downs. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Barbell shoulder presses. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Standing calf raises. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Ab machine crunches. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Leg extensions. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Seated leg curls. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Medium grip barbell bench presses. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Seated cable rows.2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Assisted machine pullups. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Dumbbell bicep curls. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Triceps push-downs. 2 sets of 15 reps, with 45 seconds of rest.
· Leg presses. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Medium grip barbell bench presses. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Seated cable rows. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Wide grip lateral pull-downs. 2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Barbell shoulder presses.2 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.
· Decline crunches.2 sets of 15 reps, with 60 seconds of rest.