I have trained in many clubs in the StL Metro Area. They include spas, fitness centers and "muscle-head" gyms. I have found some to be very friendly and others not so friendly, some of which are no longer in business.

It is important when you are searching for a place to train, to get firsthand knowledge for yourself by going and looking at the various clubs and discover what each have to offer.

Listed below are a few things to consider while you are on your search:

  • are their rates within your budget and do they offer a payment plan
  • do they have the type of training equipment you are looking for
  • is the staff professional and friendly or just sales people that don't care what you do after the sale
  • do they offer a "beginner’s training program" so you may get acclimated to the equipment
  • do they offer personal trainers and what are their qualifications
  • do their business hours fall within your time schedule
  • what are the rules and regulations that you are expected to follow while you are working out
  • and most of all, are the shower and locker facilities clean and well maintained

You see, you don't have to be a competitive bodybuilder to enjoy the many benefits of working out with weights. Weight training can be fun for everyone.

Some of the benefits include increased stamina and strength, a more supportive skeletal system and a firm and trimmer body. It will make you feel good. When you start feeling good, your overall outlook about yourself becomes more positive as well.

Many people that workout with weights do so in a health club, gym, YMCA and some train at home. Some prefer to train with "free-weights" (barbells and dumbbells). It is best to get proper instruction when doing so. Many others prefer to use resistance machines, which selectively work isolated muscle groups through a full range of motions. Machines are usually easier to use and safer for beginners.

For many, the routine itself can be enjoyable, yielding noticeable results over time. The basic principle behind building muscle strength is to progressively overload a muscle on a regular basis, but not on an everyday frequency. People who want greater strength and muscle mass work with heavier weights, while people who want to lose weight or build stamina and endurance progressively increase the number of times they can lift a lighter weight called "reps" or "repetitions".

Observe how you breathe during your training as it will benefit the most if you exhale on the exerting part of the movement and inhale on the relaxing phase (a rule of thumb is to exhale when the weight is going up and inhale when the weight is going down). This concept of breathing allows the pressure in the chest and abdomen to remain stable and tight, lowering the chance of skeletal shifting. There may be some risks  of injury involved in weight training so be sure you get proper instructions.