New Gym Member FAQ



Right? I think that’s the biggest reason for joining the gym. We want to look better! Feel better! Lose any excess weight we’ve gained over the years. Great. So how?

Well, like I tell everyone, you cannot spot reduce. Your body is extremely efficient. Therefore, when it decides to burn fat, it does so wherever you last gained it. That makes sense, right? That’s good news for us because that means whenever we are exercising, we’ll be burning fat all over.

The cool thing is that you can burn fat through a variety of training styles. You can mix and match to suit your taste. The main requirement is that whatever you’re doing – make sure you’re pushing yourself. For example: we walk all day. As humans, we’re pretty good at walking. So do you think walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes is going to be the most efficient way to burn fat? Probably not. Try some of the different cardio machines to challenge your body. Pick a challenging pace. Do intervals. We’re in the gym to change so that means we can’t come in and do the same things we’re doing outside of the gym!


Good question. Answer: it’s up to you.

Yep. Really scientific stuff. Here’s the thing, the weight you lift is going to depend on your strength and your goals. So for starters, I recommend taking a day to go around and feel out the machines. See what weight is comfortable for you, then see how many repetitions you can do at that weight.

Muscle Endurance (toning): 12-15 repetitions

Muscle Hypertrophy (growth): 8-10 repetitions

Muscle Strength: 4-6 repetitions

Now, these standards that I listed above are varied across the board (give or take 2 reps) depending on who you talk to. That’s okay. Just understand the goals here. If you goal is to get really strong, you need to pick a heavier weight that you can only do 4-6 reps of. If you can do 12 reps of that weight, then you need to go heavier.

For me, the magic weight is always one that burns like crazy for the last couple of repetitions. You want it to be challenging, but still be able to complete the desired # of reps. If you don’t feel anything, go heavier. If you can’t complete all the reps, go lighter.


Again. Up to you. Do you see a pattern here? There is no syllabus for this class. YOU do what YOU want to do. It’s all a learning process. It’s a program dictated by what YOU want! How cool is that?

What do I recommend? As far as association standards for the amount of activity you should get each week in order to maintain weight: a minimum of 30 min of activity 5 days a week. In order to lose weight: a minimum of 60 min of activity 3-4 days a week.

Here’s a link that explains a bit more.


Ideally, I ask my clients to eat between 1 and 1.5 hours before their session. I recommend a nice small meal with good carbs and some protein. Example: brown rice and chicken. Oats and an egg. Chicken salad. etc.

But once again, it depends on your body. Some people can’t workout with much food in their stomach or they get nauseous. If they already know that about themselves, fine. Some people HAVE to eat beforehand or their blood sugar will drop during the session. If they already know that about themselves, fine.

If you’re not sure – try a couple different methods until you find one that works for you. I absolutely do not recommend working out on a completely empty stomach, though.


Do a nice steady warm up of your choice until the back of your neck is a little sticky. You don’t need to be dripping sweat – just warm.


Yes. Just yes. You’ll thank me later.

Before & After.


Depends on intensity and the amount of time you have. To me, an ideal workout is about 60 minutes. But I understand that not everyone has that kind of time to dedicate to the gym. If you only have 30 minutes to workout – make it a vigorous 30 minutes.

So basically, the more intense your workout, the less time you need to be there.


If you train to get big, then yes. If you start lifting in that muscular strength range that I pointed out above, then yes. If you lift anywhere from muscle hypertrophy down to muscular endurance, you won’t get big. You’ll be building and forming beautiful lean muscles. That “tone” shape that you want is simply the shape of the muscle that you can see through your skin. You gotta build it in order to see it! Don’t be afraid to lift!


It varies from gym to gym. Typically, you can expect “prime time” to be that before – work crowd: 6am-8:30am, and the after – work crowd: 5:30pm-9pm.

Mondays are usually packed because people are coming off their weekends wanting to get back on track. The numbers dwindle down throughout the week. So Friday morning is typically less busy than Monday morning. Ask your front desk to be sure!


I find that telling people a specific amount is intimidating to them. What’s worked for my clients: go buy a big 1/2 gallon water jug (WalMart has some good ones for like $1.50). Every time you look at it, take 10 gulps. Piece of cake.


Yes. Think of your metabolism like a machine. If there’s no fuel (food) in the machine, it’s not moving (burning calories). So keep fuel in the machine to keep it moving.

BUT if you dump a huge amount in there, the machine is going to get backed up. That’s not good. Keep your meals small and frequent to keep things running smoothly.


No. Most personal trainers are not registered dieticians which means we legally cannot give out dietary prescriptions. We are, however, allowed to give recommendations and tips. If you need anything more specific, we can refer you to a nutritionist if needed!


Without being in person to show you, this is kind of hard to explain.

Luckily, the people who design the machines were kind enough to place a detailed picture on each machine to help you out!

When you go up to a machine, first look at the picture of the person and note the highlights muscles – those are all of the muscles that will be worked when you use this machine.

Next, take a look at the step-by-step pictures to see how to use the machine. Take important note as to where the handles are located in reference to the person’s body along with the seat height – everyone’s adjustments will be different.

Make sure you mimic the pictures perfectly. If you’re still having trouble, please ask a trainer or gym employee! If you use the machine incorrectly you’re subjecting yourself to injury.


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