You're ready to take the plunge and join the gym. Here are some handy tips to get you started, and keep you on track;
1. Find a Gym You Actually Like
Or somewhere you can see yourself going regularly.
Gyms vary hugely, believe it or not, they aren't all the same. You may need to visit 2-3 to get a feel for the gyms that are easily accessible for you. Are the staff too pushy? Did you get a friendly vibe? What was the music like? Was it too busy? See what it looks like and more importantly, how are you feeling in that space.
2. Don't Put Pressure on Yourself
Start slow and easy.
On your first few sessions you may be feeling a little intimidated. There are so many machines and options that you may be worried about looking a little silly. Usually gyms offer some kind of induction and if they fail to offer you one, its almost certain they'll give you one if you ask.
If you chose not to have an induction start somewhere easier, like the tread-mill. Here you can see what's going on and in time, select the next spot you want to try.
3. Have a Loose Session Program
You'll feel much more confident if you arrive in the gym with a written program or one in your head. It doesn't need to be an exact plan but a guide.
You may include all of the following;
a warm up,
the main exercise body - I'd usually recommend a full body exercise program, for beginners,
Remember to keep your movements steady and controlled.
Generic guides can be found online, though if you are looking for custom support with your health and fitness journey, contact me for online or in-person sessions.
4. How Did It Go? How Can You Make It Better Next Time
Congrats on getting through the session. You may consider adding more variety in your next session or heading into the free weights room if you're feeling confident. You may consider doing something very different next time like signing up for a class that you may enjoy and meets your goal requirements.
Consider asking for help if you were unsure of how to use a machine or for the correct technique. I've never seen a fellow gym goer not be happy to help. People do enjoy being asked for help.
5. General Guidelines To Get The Most Out Of Your Time at the Gym
- Especially at first, aim to keep the sessions on the shorter side, 50 mins max.
- Aim to exercise at least 2x per week, though in future 3-5 exercise sessions per week would be best, whether at the gym or elsewhere.
- There is no need to leave days in-between exercise sessions but do so if you're feeling very tired or sore.
- Lift lighter weights initially until you feel confident with the exercise.
- Aim to eat something soon after your workout, have a snack on side, maybe a banana or a peanut butter sandwich. You may feel a little shaky and weak when you first start,
- Challenge yourself sufficiently. If it feels secure, then keep your phone in your the lockers.
6. Keep Going
Within weeks you will start seeing the results of your work. Stay consistent. This is the most important thing you can do, and this is what differentiates the person that gets results and the one that doesn't.