This is a very timely article from guest blogger, Sam Dickson, as we’re all getting a little more active in spring temperatures and… maybe feeling a bit anxious about the upcoming bikini weather? If you’re having trouble with a regular routine (only consistency will get us where we want to be!) then you might appreciate this post.
Going to the gym for the first time doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. In fact, it can be quite exciting once you know exactly what you’re doing. Yet the thought of working out surrounded by strangers on equipment you’re unfamiliar with can put a large amount of people off even taking the first step on their fitness journey.
That’s where this blog’s going to come in.
Fitness is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and going to the gym is a chance to keep yourself healthy both mentally and physically. That’s why this blog is going to focus on hitting the gym for the first time, and how you can prepare to get the most out of your gymming experience.
1. Get the right workout gear.
If you’re unsure about which workout clothes to purchase, it’s always best to ask the gym you’ve signed up to. However, the usual attire for working out in gyms consists of shorts, t-shirts, tracksuit bottoms and vests.
Making sure you’re dressed in the right attire will make you feel more comfortable around the other gym goers. So make sure you get kitted out before your first session. If you look the part, you’ll certainly feel it too.
2. Workout at home first.
If you’re nervous about working out with strangers, and have an unfounded worry that everyone will be looking at you, then one way you can combat this is by working out at home first. Whether it’s a run around the park, or a workout DVD in your living room – getting your muscles working will make you feel more confident and build your fitness up before you even start at the gym.
3. Take a friend
If you’re nervous, it’s also worth taking a friend along with you. If they’ve worked out before in a gym environment, they’ll be a great asset and help you get used to the equipment. However, if they are new to the world of gyms much like yourself, then you’ll still feel much less self conscious if you’re not exercising alone.
4. Get a personal trainer
When you first start at a gym, the amount of equipment and weights can be overwhelming. So to combat this, it may be worth getting a personal trainer, or at least investing in one session to get a fitness plan drawn up.
A lot of gyms will offer this service, so make use of it to really get the most out of every workout you do.
5. Do your research
If you can’t afford a personal trainer, then that’s OK. There’s plenty of online resources that can help you get the most out of your gym experience. Start by searching for exercise machines that can improve any problem areas you’re hoping to work on, as well as routines that will help you get the results you’re hoping to see.
6. Check out the classes on offer
Gyms will usually have a studio space where they run a selection of fitness classes from. Most memberships will include the chance to attend these along with the price of your subscription, so be sure to check out what the gym has on offer.
Regular classes that can be found nationwide include Spinning, Zumba, Body Toning and much more. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends, so make sure you make the most of any classes at your gym to really get access to the best of your gymming experience.
7. Don’t forget the weights
When people start to work out, they sometimes place too much of an emphasis on certain exercises, such as running on the treadmill. This is a great workout, there’s no doubt about that, but to really burn fat, you also need to incorporate some weights into your workout too.
Making the most of the weight training facilities will help speed up your metabolism and sculpt your body, so make sure you don’t miss out on this. However – remember to start small with light weights. You don’t want to injure yourself on your first attempt.
8. Learn how to warm up and down
When you go to the gym, warming up and down is just as vital to your workout routine as cardio and weight training. You must ensure that you take the time to build your heart rate up, and also take the time to return it to a normal pace when you finish.
You can do this by lowering your cardio intensity in both instances. And always remember to stretch after exercising to avoid any aches and pains the next day.
9. Pay attention during your induction
A lot of gyms will induct their members before letting them into the main gym area, so make sure you pay full attention to this so you know how to correctly use the weights and the machines.
If you don’t get an induction, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for their advice on how to use equipment. They’ll be asked all the time, so don’t feel self-conscious, and it’s also their job to help you have the best experience possible at the gym.
About the Author
This blog was written by Sam Dickson on behalf of Focus Training, a provider of personal training qualifications.