(NEW YORK) — Brooke Cutler was relying on group fitness classes because she did not feel confident training at the gym by herself.
“It’s definitely intimidating for me coming into a gym and having no idea what [I’m] doing, being around buffer people and stronger people,” Cutler, 30, said. “I’m looking forward to becoming more confident and being able to work out on the machines on my own.”
Cutler’s goal was to build her muscles as well as her confidence.
“I really want to work on my upper body strength and feel comfortable when I look at myself and when I’m working out with other people,” she said.
So ABC News’ Good Morning America paired her with Lee Lawrence, a personal trainer at Crunch Fitness in New York City.
Lawrence told Cutler that in the gym, everyone is “in the same fight.”
“That’s probably the biggest thing for first-time [gym-goers] to know, they can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or anyone else,” he said. “They’re in the same fight.”
He broke down his 30 days with Cutler into three pieces of advice for first-time gym-goers.
1. Get help from an expert: Lawrence and Cutler met for one hour each week. They covered all parts of the gym, from the machines to the free weights to the mats, and did something different each session.
2. Stay in your lane: Lawrence had Cutler focus on what she was doing, and not pay attention to or think about the people around her. “Stay in your lane and run your race and then we’ll be fine,” he said.
3. Make the gym your playground: Cutler and Lawrence agreed that every week they met they would say to each other, “This has been so fun.” Lawrence said his biggest goal was to “make sure that we were having a great time.”
What happened after 30 days
Cutler discovered her own strength and her own motivation.
“I really surprised myself with the things that I could do and the strength that I had,” she said. “I did not know how strong I was.”
“I am comfortable going to the gym. I find it exciting to work out,” Cutler added. “[Lawrence] taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know how to do, new equipment to use. He has really shown me a way to motivate myself.”
One of Lawrence’s proudest moments for Cutler was watching her take on the squat rack for the first time.
“Our first time going over there she was a little bit nervous,” he recalled. “Once she did it, it was like, ‘Let’s see how much [weight] you can put on after that.’”
Now here’s an at-home workout for you
Lawrence shared a workout that will only take 10 to 15 minutes but will give you the most “bang for your buck,” targeting all your muscles.
1. Lunges: Holding a set of dumbbells, step back into a reverse lunge and then step directly into a forward lunge with the same leg. Pause before returning to the reverse lunge and repeat sequence.
2. Shoulder press: Start with your palms facing you, at shoulder height. Bring arms out so that both palms are facing outward and raise arms into a shoulder press. Repeat.
3. Squat: Start with weights at shoulder height, palms facing you. Squat down, pushing hips forward and squeezing the glutes as you return to standing. Repeat.
4. Renegade rows: Start in a high plank, with hands on dumbbells. Row one arm at a time, keeping hips parallel to the floor.
5. Plank walk-ups: Start in low plank position. Move hands one at a time to the position of your elbows and repeat. Aim to keep hips still and parallel to the floor.
6. Windshield wipers: Lay on your back with your palms down on the ground. Lift knees to a 90 degree angle. Rotate knees from side to side.
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