Gym Guide For Beginners: Must-Read Tips When Starting Out

Going to the gym for the first time can be terrifying. Even if you have had a break from the gym and you are starting out again, it can be a very daunting experience and it can take a lot of courage to get back into it.  Everyone has been there - we were all beginners at one stage, and trust me when I say that it gets easier the more you go. Over the years, a lot of my friends and family members have asked for advice on how to start out if you are new to the gym. I know this type of worry resonates with a lot of people, so I wanted to write a piece on some top tips that I would recommend for any beginner starting out in the gym. 


If you are just starting out and you are completely new to the gym, I would strongly recommend signing up for an induction (usually this is always free, just ask one of the personal trainers). This is a great way to get acquainted with the layout of the gym, the equipment + your surroundings. This is also a great opportunity to ask the trainer any questions you might have. 

I would also recommend booking the induction when the gym is not as busy. If you are going to the gym for the first time and you go when there are 100 people crowded around the weights section, this is not going to put your mind at ease at all and may even discourage you from coming back. I would also suggest planning all your training sessions so that you come to the gym during the quieter times to begin with, just so you don't feel the pressure of having to ask someone if you can use a machine or have to wait around for hours to get a squat rack. 


Going to the gym for the first time is overwhelming as it is, so make sure you don't overcomplicate your workout. Start slow + start simple. Start your first few workouts with a time limit of 30 to 45 minutes. Working out will be new to your body, so you don't want to exhaust your body out by overworking your muscles. Start with a handful of different exercises and focus on trying to execute the exercise in a safe and effective way. Don't worry about the weight, just focus on the movement and really engaging your muscles. Go at your own pace and don't overdo it. 


The best way to see results is to start out with your basic compound movements. Once you have mastered these, it can then be easier to transition into more complex. advanced exercises. If you aren't sure about how to do a certain exercise, there are so many workout videos online to help!


Classes are a great when you are just starting out in the gym. They are a great way to meet people and make you more familiar with the gym environment and your surroundings. Classes are a perfect stepping stone to bring up your fitness levels and help you transition into working out on your own. If you are feeling a little nervous about starting out on your own, classes are a great way to make you feel a little at ease.


Working out with a friend really helped me when I was first starting out at the gym. Similarly to the classes, working out with a person you are comfortable and familiar with can make going to the gym far less intimidating and it can really build up your confidence before starting to workout on your own.


Going to the gym without a plan of what you will be doing can make your workout extremely unproductive + ineffective. If you go in knowing exactly what exercises you will be doing and what machines you need, you will find that you waist less time and will have a seamless workout. 


I know pretty much everyone in the gym has felt worried that they will be judged by other people at one point in time. This fear can be especially true when you are just starting out, and you may hold back or even avoid using a certain machine because you are worried what other people will think if you do it wrong. Trust me when I tell you that no one is watching or judging you at the gym. It's hard to believe, but every person is only concerned about themselves and they are focusing on their own workout, no one else's. It is all in your head. Don't let this belief stop you from smashing every workout or even from going to the gym in the first place. The beauty of the gym is that everyone is there to better themselves and focus on themselves. When you see it from this perspective, you will find out that no one is judging you at all, so don't let this belief get in the way of achieving your goals.


I know many people believe think of the stereotype 'gym bunny' in a sports bra and shorts and think that they need to dress the same in order to fit in. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Whether that's a really baggy hoodie and joggers or a crop top and leggings, it's completely up to you. Don't worry about what other people might think, wear whatever you want and feel comfortable in. If you aren't comfortable in what you are wearing, I can guarantee you that you won't be pushing yourself to your limits because you will be too concerned about other things and your brain will be elsewhere.


As hard as it is to admit, you may not see instant results at first. Progress takes time, so please don't be disinherited if you aren't seeing results straight away. It is a process - if you want long-term, sustainable results, this will take time. Nothing comes instantly, so keep persisting and keep going, because it will be worth it in the end. Don't compare your progress and your journey with anyone else's. Everyone is different. If you remain persistent and keep going, I promise you you will not regret it. 


Starting out in the gym and taking that first step can be really tough. Once you have made that first step, you should be incredibly proud of yourself and you should reward yourself. Even if you only did one exercise and went on a treadmill for 5 minutes, that is still phenomenal progress and you did more than you did the day before. So don't be afraid to treat yourself once in a while and enjoy a chocolate bar or a nice meal, because you have taken a huge step in the right direction and you deserve it. 


I hope these tips have helped you in someway and have put your mind at ease a little. Just remember, the more you go to the gym, the easier it will become. Make that first step and never look back - I promise you it will be worth it. Don't worry about anyone else or what they might think, do this for you and get ready to smash your goals. 

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