I was recently asked to do a post for people who may just be starting out the gym or who may be considering adding exercise into their daily routine. Most people have the same feeling when they join a gym… “What do I do?” You don’t know what exercises to do, you are scared people will judge you, and you don’t even know what your body can handle doing. This post will hopefully ease some of those worries you may be having and give you some tips on how to get a good start at the gym.
First of all, realize that people are not judging you. I personally am proud of you for wanting to make this change in your life! Getting the motivation to go to the gym is the first big step towards achieving a healthy lifestyle. We all started somewhere and we all know exactly what it feels like when you take your first few steps into the gym. We all are in the gym for the same reason, to improve ourselves! I have nothing but respect for everyone who takes time out to make exercise an important aspect of theirs lives.
Now, what do you do at the gym? You walk in and see a ton of different types of people, hundreds of machines and weights, and you honestly don’t know if you should just walk in with your chin held high, run and hide in the locker room, or just turn around and never come back. My suggestion is to first, put your stuff down in the locker room and then ask one if the gym employees to give you a tour of the gym. That is why they are there… to help you! Take a quick look around and learn about the different areas and exercise equipment the gym has to offer! ASK QUESTIONS! If you do not understand something, ask the employee while he/she is guiding you around. The more you understand and grasp now, the better!
Once the tour is over, it is now time to try out some of the equipment. I personally would suggest starting with an easy stretch in an open area somewhere, and then I would try using one of the cardio machines. Most gyms have treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, etc. and they are all pretty easy to use and understand. These are great to start with not only to get your body warm, but after using one of these machines for a while, I promise you that it will calm you down. You will feel less nervous about exploring the gym and trying out some new machines!
Ok, cardio is over; now it is time to do some muscle training. If you are really not familiar with weightlifting at all, try some of the machines the gym has to offer. If the gym is kept well, all of the weightlifting machines should have directions on how to perform the exercise and it also shows you which muscles the machines target. Start with the machine on a low weight and see if the motion is comfortable. If you believe you understand how the exercise is done, adjust the weight to a more proper resistance and try doing 3-5 sets of an exercise at the machine. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the staff at the gym, or even some other people working out. I have never come across a horribly rude person in a gym that is not willing to help.
Try out a few different machines, and when you feel like you your muscles are pretty tired and you worked them pretty well, it is time to call it a day… you will probably be sore tomorrow :-). Congratulations! You survived your first gym trip!
Now as you are recovering from this gym shock you just put your body through, you should now start researching different exercises you can do at the gym. You have see what machines and weights your gym has to offer so look up some different exercises you can do to target the areas of your body you most want to fix. There are thousands, if not millions of websites and videos offered online. I have been working out for a few years now and I still find workouts from blogs and videos that I would like to try. The more research you do, the more options you will have at the gym!
Now if you are really looking to make some fast progress and would like to do your absolute best at the gym, I HIGHLY recommend getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can make a plan for you that directly reflects the goals you are trying to achieve. A good personal trainer will be able to keep changing up your routine in order to confuse your muscles and get good results quickly. A great personal trainer will also be able to give you diet and nutrition tips to practice outside of the gym to boost your results even more. Yes, a personal trainer can be expensive, but a few sessions with a great personal trainer can help you get into a proper routine to improve your health and quality of life in the long run. On a good note, if you are not sure about a personal trainer, some gyms actually give a free session with a trainer for signing up, and many personal trainers may work with you for a little time to see if you like their suggestions before you make any commitment to them. Try out a trainer! If you figure out that a trainer is not for you and you are more comfortable on your own, then at least you tried and now you know how you prefer working out!
I hope these tips will help you feel a little more comfortable about joining the gym! Don’t be afraid because there is nothing to be afraid of! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org