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Accessible exercises if you’re new to the gym from BestReviews fitness expert

When you're committed to improving your fitness and overall health, joining a gym is often the best way to go. It gives you access to an array of cardio and strength-training equipment, so you can establish a well-balanced workout routine. But unfortunately, getting comfortable at the gym can be difficult for a beginner.

If you're unsure how to start, BestReviews fitness expert, Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES and founder of Serious Fitness, offered some of the most accessible exercises for gym newbies. Check out his tips, as well as some recommendations for training equipment and accessories that can help make you more successful at the gym. 

In this article: NordicTrack T 8.5 S Series Treadmill, Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set and Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle.

Best exercises for those new to the gym

Choosing the right exercises in the gym depends on your goals.  For example, cardio exercises are your best bet to improve your overall fitness or lose weight. That's because they get your heart pumping and burn plenty of calories. On the other hand, if you want to build muscle and improve your strength, strength training should be a significant part of your routine. 

But the best gym routines include both cardio and strength training exercises. That way, you'll burn calories and build muscle, so you're as lean and strong as possible.

NeSmith said there is plenty of accessible cardio equipment at the gym. Treadmills, stationary bikes, stair climbers and elliptical machines are the four most common pieces of cardio equipment found in commercial gyms. "For newcomers, those are very unintimidating pieces of equipment," he said. "They're easy to use and have monitors that let you choose a certain type of workout. They also let you put in your goals, so you have all kinds of options, whether you're interested in fat-burning, increasing stamina or just trying specific challenges."

Every gym typically has a large selection of strength-training machines, too. These usually have detailed instructions that explain what muscles they target and how to position yourself on the machine. You can also find cable stations for strength training, which require you to stand upright and offer plenty of workout variety.

For strength training, NeSmith also recommended dumbbells. "At some point, people who want to build strength need to focus on more dumbbell exercises. That's because they provide more of a functional strength-training stimulus," he said. 

Best training equipment for those new to the gym

NordicTrack T 8.5 S Series Treadmill

This high-end treadmill features a commercial-grade motor and durable construction. It offers speeds up to 10 mph and incline levels of up to 12%.  It also has a large Wi-Fi-enabled display that lets you access live and on-demand workouts. The deck folds up for easy storage.

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Nordictrack S22i Studio Cycle

This top-notch stationary bike offers interactive personal training and lets you ride scenic routes worldwide through the 22-inch, Wi-Fi-connected smart display. It also has an automatic trainer control that adjusts the bike's resistance during your workouts, and a connected fan to keep you cool while riding.

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Bowflex M3 Max Trainer 

This stair climber machine provides an excellent full-body cardio workout. It has an interactive backlit display that lets you track your progress and provides eight resistance levels and two exercise programs. It also has transport wheels on the bottom to move it easily around your home. 

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Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical

Despite its more affordable price, this elliptical offers many features you usually see in more expensive models. It has 24 built-in programs and 16 electromagnetic resistance levels, so you can vary your workouts. It also has a device holder, non-slip pedals and floor stabilizers to keep the machine steady on uneven floors. 

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Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set

This set of adjustable dumbbells is perfect for building and maintaining muscle. Its adjustability means you don't need multiple dumbbells, and the sets are available in several different max weights to customize your workout routine. They're easy to assemble and store. 

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Best accessories to bring to the gym

Adidas Team Issue II Medium Duffel Bag

This duffel makes an excellent gym bag because it offers plenty of storage space. The side pockets have ventilation, preventing sweaty or damp items from growing mold. It also has a comfortable strap, so it's easy to carry. It comes in 13 colors, including bold red and bright orange.

Sold by Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods

Nalgene Tritan Wide-Mouth Water Bottle

Stay hydrated at the gym with this 32-ounce water bottle. It's made of BPA-free plastic and has a leakproof design. Its extra-wide mouth also makes it easy to clean and fill. It has measurement markings in milliliters and ounces down the side, too, so you can monitor how much water you're drinking.

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SINLAND Microfiber Gym Towels

These lightweight microfiber gym towels fold up to a compact size, so they won't take up much space in your gym bag. They also absorb more moisture than regular towels and dry three times as quickly. They wash extremely well. 

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Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

Whether you need a pre- or post-workout snack, these protein bars offer well-balanced nutrition. They come in a wide array of flavors, including chocolate chip cookie dough, and contain all-natural ingredients without any added sugar. Each bar has an average of 21 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber to ensure you have enough fuel to get through your day and repair muscles after a workout.

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Apple AirPods Pro

These premium wireless earbuds can help you stay motivated at the gym with your favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks. They're water- and sweat-resistant and come with three sizes of tapered silicone tips to ensure the best fit. With the wireless charging case, they also provide up to 24 hours of battery life. 

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Worth checking out


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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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