If you’re adamant that you want to venture into the gym for the first time in your life, you need to be armed with a strategy to survive your first trip. This makes the gym sound like a terrifying place. It really isn’t.
However, tentatively tiptoeing into a large open space full of Adonis-like physiques, futuristic-looking exercise equipment, and smiling personal trainer faces can be a tad intimidating.
An excellent gym should be welcoming to all and the people working at the establishment should be eager to help you achieve your fitness goals. You might want to lose a few pounds, train for a 5k run or simply tone up. The gym can be the ideal place to achieve all of this and more.
Gyms have had a bad reputation in the past for being stand-offish, with men quietly lifting weights with their earbuds pumping heavy metal or hip hop into their ears and slim abs-laden women with serious faces going ten to the dozen on the cross-trainer. Nowadays, gyms are much more inclusive to everyone, with special classes for nervous starters, and introductory sessions to teach new members how to use the gym equipment. If you are keen to hotfoot it to the gym for the first time, take a look at this guide to help you survive your first foray into treadmills, spin classes, and dumbells.
Go With A Friend
If you are feeling a little shy, and who wouldn’t be, it’s always a good idea to head to the gym with a pal. This friend can provide moral support and also embark on your fitness journey with you. You might both want to lose the muffin top or build up some muscle mass. By doing it together, you can act as the much-needed voice of inspiration when your mate is lacking motivation and vice versa.
By heading to the gym for an introductory session with a friend, you can both enjoy learning how to set up the exercise bikes and use the cross-trainer. Should one of you forget how to utilize the ‘rolling hills’ function on the bike, you can rely on your pal with a better memory.
With a friend, you may also find that you are more inclined to stick at a regime. Heading to the gym on your own can be a lonely way to spend your evenings. With your friend, you can make it a more social affair, and have fun while exercising. If you have a competitive streak, you might find that a healthy rivalry will push both you and your pal to work harder to achieve your fitness goals.
Get Kitted Out
When you look good, you feel good. This doesn’t mean that you have to head to a specialist provider of gym attire, but purchase the clothes that you feel most comfortable in. If this is a simple pair of tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, that’s more than fine. Alternatively, if this attire can get you a little too hot and sweaty, you might want to investigate the more intelligent gymwear available. Airtex and breathable materials that make up some of the tops, leggings, and bottoms can be more comfortable for rigorous exercise.
When it comes to your footwear, you should be spending as much as your budget will ensure that you wear the highest quality trainer possible. Sites like this are good to compare the prices of the best brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Reebok. You might be surprised just how varied the cost can be of the exact same trainer. Take the Adidas Ultraboost running shoe, for example. One stockist will sell you the shoes for £74.99 while another will let you have a pair for £159.99. It’s a no brainer that you’d go for the cheapest option for the same trainer.
Ankle support is important for all exercises. Don’t opt for a high street trainer from a brand that is more fashion than sports-oriented. You need a shoe that will encourage sound posture, support your joints and tendons, and promote a comfortable fit. Bunions, blisters, and corns can be horrific and painful.
It’s even important to think about minor details to help you succeed like different types of bags for the gym, to help you get organized with all of your gym gear, post workout protein shake, wrist straps, gloves, etc.
Consider A Personal Trainer
If you’re serious about your fitness goals, it’s wise to consider the value of a personal trainer. Yes, they can be expensive on top of a gym membership. However, the results that they can help you achieve can be monumental. These are experts in not only the most suitable exercises to help you achieve your goals, but they can advise you on your diet, nutrition, and sleep.
If you want to work on getting rid of some back fat or you want more toned calves, or you yearn for a stronger core, your personal trainer will construct a plan to help you achieve this within a set time frame. Their reputation relies on results, so treat these individuals like your guru for however long you are working with them. Do exactly what they say and eat exactly what they suggest.
Don’t worry about being unfit when you first start working with your personal trainer. This is the very reason why you need them! Before long, you will even surprise yourself at just how long you can hold your plank for.
Do A Class
Gyms aren’t solely rows and rows of treadmills anymore. They have branched out to cater for all sorts of people with different exercise needs. With an array of classes on offer, there will inevitably be something on the timetable to suit. You may fancy trying out a Zumba class, enduring the pain of a spin cycle class or experiencing the more relaxed vibe of a beginners yoga session. Boxercise is also great for unleashing any stresses you’ve experienced during the week, and circuits are perfect for the ultimate cardiovascular workout.
Go More Often
Don’t just venture to the gym once or twice and then allow your membership to become wasted money leaving your account every month. The more often you go to your gym, the more comfortable you will feel in the surroundings. You will begin to see familiar faces, and you will become a familiar face yourself. You may begin to talk to fellow gym-goers and make new friends extending your social circle. There’s nothing better than heading to the gym for a legs, bums and tums class and then heading out for a healthy lunch with your new pals immediately afterward. Your morale will be boosted, your mojo will remain, and you will be eager to return to the gym once again to catch up with pals.
If you want to lose weight, you may find that a specific program is launched at your gym specifically for people who need to hit a weight goal. These weekly sessions can be beneficial, being around like-minded people, talking about your good weeks, temptations and days when you have low morale. Being buoyed by a kind group of friendly faces can work wonders for your mood. As you embed into the group, you can celebrate your successes together and leave the program hopefully a few pounds lighter.
Heading to the gym for the first time can be daunting. But you need to dispel your fears of being stared at or feeling out of place. You really won’t. Gyms are inclusive and welcoming, and if you don’t like the free session at one gym, you can always try another. By following this guide, you can overcome this first anxiety hurdle and see going to the gym as a pleasurable experience.