Excuse 3: I don’t know how to get started

I feel like the dumbbell

I don’t even know what the f*ck to do or where to begin.  That was what I said to myself, in utter exasperation. When I was in a gym by myself and really had no idea what exercises to do or the amount of weight to use so I watched other people, but really I had no idea.

So, like many other people, I headed directly for the machines went blindly down the rows of equipment. I didn’t know what muscles I was using, or if the weight was too light or too heavy, but I was afraid to look dumb out in the “big kids gym.”

I felt stupid and embarrassed. I wanted to go to the gym and workout but didn’t know how. Really, who was the dumbbell? This couldn’t be so hard, could it?

Is this you?

Any possibility that this may be one of the reasons why you stall out and can’t get started.  It’s not that you don’t want to – the desire may be very strong. It may be fear. I can help you sort it out. You can CONTACT ME and we can talk it through. Take a look below and see what may be good for you. I’m always happy to help.

Your options

Gym Membership

You might have or plan on getting a gym membership.

January 1st is a boom for all those people with great aspirations to get fit. We are seeing this now with COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed and people wanting to lose the dreaded COVID 19 and get back into shape after a year or more of sweat pants and T-shirts.  

The gym is happy to give you that warm feeling like you are part of the “fit club”, but after about six weeks you may find yourself spending more time on the treadmill or elliptical because you don’t want to go on the side of the gym where all those folks are grunting and lifting those heavy weight.

Members only sticker

When you buy a gym membership, there will be “the sell” to get you to sign up for personal training. 

Ask Questions

Inside scoop from someone who lived in that world for a bit – please ask lots of questions, especially if you are older. 

There are many trainers that have never worked with older adults and you could get injured. Ask lots of questions like how long have you been a trainer, how do you work with older adults compared to younger adults, how many older adults have you trained and what were they looking to accomplish, and maybe most important – can you talk to one of them. 

Don’t be shy about asking questions and the trainer should be happy to answer them honestly. If you don’t have a good gut feeling, just don’t do it. Working with a trainer is an expense that can be well worth improving your fitness or an expense taking care of your injuries. I have worked with a personal trainer for years (even being one). It is so helpful having someone watch and coach you.

Smartphone Apps

There are so many different kind of apps and workouts you can put on your smartphone.  I use to watch people in the gym, hunched over their phone and basically doing the same exercise routine over and over.

There is no one watching their form and again, chance of injury is high.  Look at the mirror if you are doing this on your own and see if your form matches that of the instructor on your phone. If you are working with weights, please start light as you can always go heavier the next set. Why get injured?

Online Classes (real time or recorded)

LubbDubb – a variety of virtual studio classes for both younger and older adults.  Lots to choose fro, if you are interested in women’s health, they have classes.  If you are an older adult, Defy Gravity is for you.  Disclosure: I teach for them.

You can also look on my Look at my tab on Classes Coaching Tab to get a description of the online classes I teach.

One thing to note: If you are taking these real time classes, please keep your video on so the instructor can see if there are issues with form or ability. Most instructors will give alternatives if they can see you are struggling. Let us help you!

ElderGym Academy is a great resource with multiple classes if you are just getting started out. This is run by a physical therapist, Doug and he has built a great bank of classes that you can watch at your leisure via a subscription.

Equipment (bike, treadmill) with instructions/classes


This is one of my favorites!  I have both the bike and treadmill and use them regularly.  There are other bikes on the market that are probably better, but because I have both and use the app it is more useful for me to stay with the same brand.

Workout equipment (bike, treadmill) as well as an app for a variety of classes that you can use for other pieces of equipment or for strength and yoga classes.


You can do exercises with the instructor visually in front of you. This helps with form and showing you the correct way to do the exercise. I haven’t used it personally, but folks who use it say its quite fun.

My personal recommendation

I personally advocate working with a trainer who can see what you are doing, discuss any injuries you have, what your form looks like and someone who you can discuss your goals for health and fitness.  But, buyer beware!  Ask the questions.

It’s never too late to start!

Many of us in past lives have had a business coach, for me I’ve had a running coach and personal trainer. Others a nutrition coach like you have with some of the weight loss programs like WW (formerly Weight Watchers), or Noom. An expert can help show you how and why you are doing what you do.

Find a friend

Sometime a friend can help provide the social support to get out and walk and move around. You will become like those you surround yourself with (that can be good or bad).

Recently a client lamented that when they go to visit friends, most of the time is spent sitting, eating and talking.  That’s great for socialization, but not as good for adding movement to your life. 

Things to do instead of sitting and eating

1. Walk and talk with your friends.  Did you ever have those picnic softball games where everyone played?  How about volleyball in the pool? Pickle-ball is getting very popular and I hear not too difficult to master. We think we are too old and we’ll just watch others do it.  Maybe its time to get off the sidelines.

5 Quick Tips

If you didn’t read last weeks blog, here it is again.

5 Quick Tips is to get you started with your own exercise program.  You want to do these 5 components as part of your workout.  You can split them up into days (Monday-Wed-Friday is weight training; Tues – Thurs is movement/cardio), or do a little bit with each workout. Here are some ideas.

1. Push:  Anything you can do with your arms where you are pushing your body away. (floor, counter or wall push ups are always a good start). You can start easy on the wall and then progress to where you are comfortable on the floor.  If you had weights, you could lay on the floor or a bench and do press ups with the weights in your hands pressing to the ceiling.

2. Pull:  Imagine an exercise where you are pulling your arms toward you.  That could be a rowing motion with a resistance band, a bicep curl, or a pull up from a bar, or a bent over row.

3. Legs – anything that involves your legs, such as walking, running, squats, single leg balance.  Get up and get using your legs.  Strong legs and good balance will prevent falls.

4 Core – think sit-ups, squeezing your abs and then relaxing them (you can do this in the grocery store on sitting on a zoom call).

5. Endurance/Cardio – what can you do to pick up the pace with whatever you are doing?  It’s OK to start as small as getting out of the chair and standing to walk 5 minutes, and then add another minute each day. Successful people don’t run a marathon the first day, they work up to it.  Begin where you are and keep building.

What are you going to do to get moving TODAY! Contact me if you have questions or want a free consultation on what is best for you.

Reference Sites

Peleton https://www.onepeloton.com

Mirror https://www.mirror.co/

LubbDubb https://lubbdubb.io/home

ElderGym Academy https://eldergymacademy.com/

Phone Apps https://www.senioroutlooktoday.com/10-of-the-best-free-exercise-apps-for-older-adults/

Sandi Feaster