Are you thinking of joining a gym? Maybe you already have! Congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier life! At first it might be intimidating to see all the different equipment and spaces available to exercise in, the names of classes that you’re not familiar with and the members all around you that seem confident and fit. But don’t worry, we have put together this beginner gym workout guide so you can start in the gym without feeling like you’re not prepared.
Basic tips for a confident beginner gym workout
We’ve all been in the situation when you don’t follow through with something because you feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar place, and the gym is no exception. The first weeks can be daunting seeing so many people in their routine while you struggle to understand what you should be doing.
So that you can start on the right foot in this fitness adventure, we are going to take you through the basics of what you should know as a beginner.
1. Let yourself be advised by the staff
After completing the registration, gym staff usually offer an orientation guide for new members via a tour of the premises and brochures full of information about what is on offer. Depending on the level of your membership, you may have different levels of access to what the gym has to offer.
In addition you will be asked a series of questions so that your current level of fitness can be assessed, along with what goals and intentions you have for your gym life. Some of the things you may be asked are: the previous analysis of your physical state, what types of exercises you like or do not like, if you have any previous experience in the gym. From this conversation they can offer you advice for a beginner workout plan on where you should start and what machines you could use.
2. Learn to use the gym equipment
Most gyms are divided into different areas with cardio on the one hand and strength training on the other. Most of the gym equipment will have printed instructions attached that will show you step by step how to start using them. A staff member can talk you through how to use a specific machine if you need more help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, injuries can occur if you use these machines incorrectly. But more likely, the effectiveness of your workout will not be as noticeable because you will not be engaging the correct muscles properly.
In the cardio area you’ll find equipment like treadmills, stair climbers, exercise bikes and other ellipticals. It won’t take you long to get to know how to use them but a brief guide from a staff member will help you get familiar faster.
In the weight section, you’ll see a variety of gym equipment such as machines, free weights, cables, balls and other varied items. These are all variable options to help you target different muscle groups and add variety to your program as you start progressing more. Most gyms organize their strength training equipment in a way that makes it easier to target each of the muscle groups: chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, and lowerbody. A beginner workout program will help you get a more out of what is available.
3. Get started in group classes
Another very interesting option to overcome your first days in the gym is to resort to a fun professionally directed class. Most gyms and fitness centers have at least one studio for these types of classes. Some of the most fun and interesting classes for beginners in the gym are the following:
- Body Pump
Also, do not forget to ask if your gym has specialized classes (maintenance gymnastics, Body Balance, boot camp, etc.), weight loss programs or swimming courses to learn how to swim or improve your technique to exercise in the pool. Classes are a great way to meet more people and be motivated amongst others in your exercise program.
4. Work with a Personal Trainer or Coach
A personal trainer can be one of the best investments you make towards your fitness and health goals. They are trained to help you achieve real gains through using a variety of exercises aimed at strength, endurance, toning, weight loss and overall health aims. With specialised knowledge they assist you in using different equipment for specific needs and they keep you accountable towards your declared intentions.
Working with a personal trainer, particularly as a part of your beginner workout plan, will help you with faster gains because they will be able to modify your program as you progress, protect you and help minimise potential injury and demonstrate the correct way to do the exercises or routines. The personal trainer cost is usually in addition to your gym membership.
5. Be accountable with a buddy with your beginner gym workout
One of the proven strategies of long term success in reaching fitness and health goals is to keep yourself accountable to someone else. Recruit one of your friends or develop a friendship at the gym, someone that you can trust to encourage, support and keep you on track when you feel like giving up.
Set yourself up for success from the beginning. Your health is a long term priority and it’s worth arming yourself with every advantage.