Starting out at a gym can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience for many people. Having made the decision to start going to the gym may have been hard enough but now you have opened the door and are there for the first time. Where do you go and what do you do first? Being new to the gym can be a great experience if you follow a few tips to help you along your way.
When you first arrive to the gym and before you hop on to any machine, be sure to familiarize yourself with your new gym. Ask a gym attendant for a tour of the facility and don’t be shy to ask any questions, make sure to know exactly where the bathrooms are as well as the locker rooms. Creating and going over a workout plan for the day is a great idea and the locker room is a great place to go through your workout in your head while you get dressed. Having a workout plan when new to the gym is ideal, as it will give you structure and direction while you’re in the gym.
If you don’t know much about fitness or how to create a workout plan then having a chat with a personal trainer should be your next stop. Most gyms include at least one free session with a personal trainer, which is extremely valuable when first starting out. The trainer should ask you about your fitness goals and habits and will help get you on your way and feeling comfortable working out in the gym.
If meeting with a personal trainer is not an option and you don’t really have experience in a gym environment consider working out with a friend. Your first few attempts at figuring out which exercise to do, how to do them, or how to work the machines might feel a little embarrassing. Having a friend there with you can help alleviate some of those nerves you may encounter.
If none of the above are viable options then the best place to go after the locker room is the cardio area. Put yourself on a treadmill or exercise bike and don’t be afraid to ask a staff member for help if you can’t figure out how to use it at first. While you are warming up take that time to look around the gym and come up with a plan. Your time on the cardio machine is a great opportunity to scope out the gym and see what machines or exercises you would like to try.
Starting out new to the gym doesn’t have to be a frightening experience, it should be fun so that it keeps you motivated to keep going. Whether you have a workout plan before coming in to the gym, need the help of a trainer, or you build your own plan while warming up; the best place to start when new to the gym is with a plan. Be sure to know your new gym’s layout and make sure to ask the staff any questions you may have. Lastly, enjoy your new gym and don’t be afraid to try something new.