Weight Room 101

By Bailey Latham | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Entering the weight room can be very intimidating if you have never worked out. There are cardio machines, free weights and miscellaneous equipment. Where does one start? Flagler fitness teacher, women’s cross-country coach and personal trainer, Christy Castelli sheds some light on this intimidating venture.

Just like having an amazing meal for dinner, there is essential prep-work.

Castelli offers this advice:

  • Consult your doctor if you have any health concerns.
  • Warm-up the muscles before your workout and take a light jog around the gym.
  • Never work the same muscle group two days in a row. “When you perform resistance training on a muscle group, it needs time to heal, so always give it that time,” Castelli said.
  • “Keep your movements slow and controlled. Always lift with the muscle, not momentum. A 2-2-4 count is good – lift for 2 counts, hold your position for 2 counts, lower for 4 counts,” she said.
  • Make sure to not hold your breath.
  • If you ever feel pain…Stop! That is the body telling you something is wrong.
  • End your workout session with a good stretch of the muscles worked.

Castelli says to watch your posture throughout the workout and engage your core muscles whenever possible. She says to think opposite muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps and hamstrings and quadriceps. She says to work your larger muscle groups first then balance that with the smaller muscle groups. Always make sure you work both the front and back of your body to keep muscles in balance.

Senior Jacquelyn Campbell notices the trend in the school gym. She notices that girls commonly avoid lifting weights. “I played basketball my whole life and we had to work out with guys and lift weights all the time,” she said. “I don’t find it weird to be next to a guy lifting lots of weights, but I can see how it would be for a beginner,” Campbell said.

Most beginners like to start off using the Cybex equipment, because it is user friendly and comes with diagrams on how to perform the exercise and which muscle group is being worked.

Form and posture is important when using free weights, because it is easys to insure yourself.

If you are looking to build strength, you want to focus on heavier weights and less repetitions. If you are looking to build endurance, set your weights lower and perform more repetitions.

The more variety you can add to your workout, the better, so mix things up.
Remember, it takes a while to get results, so have patience. Many people get discouraged after a few weeks if they don’t get immediate results.

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