Most gyms I've been to will be happy to give you a tour of the place - what equipment they have, what the rules are, etc. - take them up on it. The general rule to follow in terms of etiquette is the Golden Rule.
The main reason that I'm not in the gym (even right this second) is my complete inexperience in organization and scheduling. Especially when combatives starts kicking my ass next semester, I'm guessing discipline is gonna move right into the real estate in my head and start cleanin' house.
Goals? Totally general, but geared towards horsepower. I'm learning more about how all this works, but I'm trying to cover my weakness: just plain muscles. My success in local point sparring is in no small part due to the fact that I've acted more like a kickboxer than the tippity-tappers. There isn't a judge worth his weight in **** that won't call a point if the other guy clutches his liver. But still, I've got the pliability to hang. But I know I need more upper-body if I intend to do anything harder. I'm pretty sure I'm not naturally talented enough to do it for a living, but I wouldn't be satisfied with my life if I hadn't at least competed in something with the word "amateur" in the title.
As far as tail goes, the push-up's results have been a hit with drunk girls at theatre parties (yes, that's my major) during "no-shirt o'clock". Basically, everyone takes their shirts off. Feel free to apply it to your own parties, I know you'll want to.
I would also recommend the gym option. What does it matter if your schedule is irregular? If you want to 'figure stuff out' find someone to help you and figure it out in the gym. Don't be embarresed 99% in the gym don't know WTF they're doing.
If you're going to stick with the dorm room gym, get a pullup bar. It sounds like you don't have any pulls in your routine. Or you could go with the all-purpose kettlebell.
Oh, hell yeah. Consider that most of them move from the crosstrainer (45 mins!) straight to the weight machines, bang out their 15x3's complete with time to chat up their buddy between sets. You can most certainly do better than that and make better use of your time.
Originally Posted by Razamataz
*deep, cleansing breath*
Let's try this again.
Originally Posted by Yohan
"My one-rep max for bench press is 200 pounds, and want to increase that to 250 pounds."
"I want to lose enough body fat that my abs are visible."
"I can do five consecutive chin-ups from a dead hang, and want to increase that to ten."
"I have a fight in six weeks, and I want to improve my conditioning so I can go the distance." (We'd probably try to quantify this more precisely)
"My blood pressure is [something high], and I want to lower it to [something low]."
Try to think in terms of something that you can't do yet but want to be able to do. The goals you originally come up with may be too broad, too vague, too difficult/not difficult enough, etc., but we can work with that.
See? I'm new at this.
Originally Posted by TheRuss
I want to squat one-and-a-half times (heard that was good) my body weight. (no idea what it is now)
I want to bench a comparable amount related to my bodyweight. (ditto)
I want to do 50 burpees with good form in five minutes. (will get a feel for "pushing it" very soon)
That (any) better?
Squats are an exercise that are very easy to do incorrectly, and incorrect form leads naturally to injury. As such, your first priority for the whole duration of time that you incorporate squats into your training (as an end unto themselves or as a means to another goal) is to do them properly.
Having an idea of what a proper squat looks like/is described as is a good start, but it's often unrealistic to expect you to detect errors in your own form right off the bat. You'll probably have better luck if you can find someone to demonstrate proper form for you and observe and correct your form. Finding that someone is up to you - the staff at the gym may be a good place to start.
Update: Just found this at Crossfit. I'd say novice for my weight (about 145) or whatever weight I end up at is my goal.
What's the difference between a press and a bench press?
A bench presss is a type of press.
Yeah...but that document from CrossFit is treating a "press" as a specific exercise that is seperate from a "bench press" with different expectations of performance.