I have literally (yes, literally) never stepped foot in a paid gym in my life. I'm a 27-year-old male, who (despite being almost rail-thin) is only "in shape" enough to bike-sprint the 1.7 miles to work, then back in the evening. It's time to change that, so I signed up for the small, limited (cheap!) gym on campus. Other than "get the professional help of a personal trainer", what should I do there?
I used to do long bike rides on the weekends (35-70 miles), but some sort of injury to my knee (previously
) sidelined me and I never got back on the horse, despite commuting every day. (I also never got around to getting the bike fitting...)
My goal isn't to bulk up. I tried that one summer in college with this book
, but a guy can only eat so many 1-pound pesto/egg/cheese meatloaf-burgers and accompanying entire bags of spinach. Time-consuming and expensive. (Plus, my HDL cholesterol is low, and the wife doesn't eat mammals. Excuses everywhere.)
Instead, I just want to get generally "in shape". I don't want to wake up 30% heavier in ten years. I want to improve my posture (I slouch), lower my resting heart rate (73 right now, sitting at my desk; never lower than ~64), maybe lose a inch of belly-softness (or replace it with muscle), and generally get all those positive energy and mood benefits of exercise that I hear people talk about. "Runner's body" would be ideal, I guess? (Though I don't really like/have much experience with running.)
My inclination would just be to ride the stationary bike for a one-hour high-intensity workout on weekday mornings (though not so high to aggravate my knee again), then longer on the weekends. I'm intrigued by free weights, but I really would be starting from zero, and I'm not sure if that helps with my current fitness goals.
(Side question: do people riding stationary bikes at the gym wear cycling shorts? Is that a ridiculous question to ask?)
My dream is to get in shape enough to do some solo bike light touring (on the order of 60-100 mi/day, not heavily loaded) without totally bottoming out and dying.
Any thoughts, MeFi? I'm really a fitness neophyte, and I don't want to hurt myself or waste my time. If the answer is, "Pay the damn $75 to get an assessment and a couple PT sessions!" that's totally valid. So is, "You're beanplating! Just get off your ass and do ANYTHING!"
(Previously, which is pretty close. My wife's sort-of-similar previous Q, which didn't turn out to be a good long-term fit.)