Beginner Gym Tips

Your first visit to the gym can be a daunting experience. Not knowing anyone, not knowing where anything is, maybe you haven't used the machines before, or there are some ENORMOUS guys using the free weights.

The good news is, we've all been there, everyone was a newbie once.

Here are our top tips for your first trips to the gym.

  1. Set some goals
    If you've signed up to the gym there's probably a reason why. Lose some weight, tone up, maybe you signed up to a marathon after a few drinks. Whatever it is, write down some goals and set deadlines.

  2. Use a program
    Now that you have some goals, you need a plan to get there. How often are you going to the gym? What workouts are you going to follow? If you haven't got a clue, consider a personal trainer. There are hundreds of beginner programs available online, most are great but don't forget to get a professional opinion specifically for you.

  3. Pre-hydrate
    Forgetting to drink before and during your workout, then drinking 2 litres of water as soon as you get home isn't great. Drink some water before you go, take a water bottle with you, and after a particularly sweaty session don't forget those electrolytes.

  4. Wear clothes you feel confident in
    The more confident you feel walking in the more likely you are to go consistently. Baggy clothes aren't the best, they can get caught on machines, but do what works for you.
    The right shoes are important, running shoes aren't great for squats. A good pair of cross-training shoes are a good all-round option.

  5. Gym inductions
    Most gyms offer a free induction session. It's a great way to get to know where things are and how they work. And you'll know somebody to say hi too. If your gym hasn't offered an induction, ask, we're sure they'll be someone to show you the ropes.

  6. Avoid peak times
    Peak times in gyms can be extremely busy, all the machines are busy, possibly a queue. Try going at less busy times if you're nervous. There will be less people to be nervous of and it's more likely that the machines you want to use are available.
    As you build confidence, try different times and see how you feel and make sure the time you train works for your schedule. You're more likely to stick with it if it fits your schedule well.

  7. Train with a friend
    Going alone when you are new at something can be much harder than training with a friend. If you know somebody at your gym even better. Maybe you went alone but see someone you recognise, go over and say hi. Gym goers are some of the friendliest people we've met. If you don't know anyone, if you don't know where something is or how to use it, ask somebody, they're more than likely to be kind and helpful.

  8. Train regularly
    One workout a week just won't cut it. Try 3 times a week to begin with and see how you feel, you don't want to do too much too soon. When you feel up to it, add some more sessions each week. 4, 5 or 6 days a week are most common.

  9. Accept that you won't see results immediately
    Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle growth, or endurance, things won't happen overnight. Be consistent over a period of time and track your body measurements weekly or monthly to see your progress.
    Most importantly, give it time.

  10. Don't beat yourself up
    Mentally or physically!
    Things aren't always going to be perfect, sometimes you'll be too tired, or a family meal will get in the way, or maybe a pizza was too hard to resist last night. These things happen. Get back on track and don't beat yourself up.

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