I’ve recently started going to the gym 6 days a week for about a month now and honestly, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Before, I’ve never been to a proper gym. I used to do home workouts but I found that they didn’t motivate me to carry on exercising. I’m the type of person who makes their money worth spending, so spending money at the gym made me want to make my money’s worth. I guess since I have this mindset, it’s easier for me to go to the gym regularly.
Joining a gym for the very first time can be quite intimidating because you have no idea what to do and where to start. Luckily, I’ve made this guide for people who are nervous about joining a gym.
No one cares about what you’re doing
The very first day I went to the gym, I was so focused on getting my workout done that I didn’t look or talk to anyone. Then, I realised when looking around that everyone else was doing the same. Don’t be shy about what you’re doing or what you’re wearing because everyone is so focused on their own workouts that they don’t care about what other people are doing. People who go to the gym are only there to achieve one goal: to be physically fit.
Don’t wait for a friend to join the gym with you
If you want to join a gym, don’t wait around for someone else to do the same so you both go together all the time. Don’t get me wrong, having a gym buddy is great, but if they don’t have the same goals as you, in terms of actually going to the gym and sticking to a workout routine every day (for example), you shouldn’t wait around for them to go to the gym with you. Go to the gym by yourself and focus on what YOU want to achieve.
Make a gym routine
Walking into a gym when you don’t know what to do is quite daunting. Before your first day, start having a rough idea of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Watching workout routines on YouTube to get inspiration and knowledge on what you can do for each day helps. For example, you can choose Mondays to do cardio workouts (30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the elliptical) and Tuesdays, to do leg workouts (3 sets of 10 reps of leg presses and seated leg curls etc). Once you figure out what workouts you want to do for each day, when you decide to go to the gym, you’ll feel more confident in what you want to achieve.
Also, if your gym holds inductions, attend one so you know about the equipment they have, where they are and how to use them!
Bring the right stuff with you
If you’re planning to start going to the gym, there are basic things you need to bring to help you survive:
- Workout clothes (duh), including comfortable shoes, there’s no need to flex your new trainers at the gym if they’re not gonna be useful when you’re working out.
- A Padlock (to lock your valuables away safely before you work out)
- A Towel (to dab away the sweat that’ll be dripping from your forehead)
- A Water bottle (for when you get very thirsty during and after an intense workout)
- Phone and headphones/earphones (for when you want to listen to music on the treadmill or watch a sitcom on the elliptical if there’s free wifi)
Put the items you need in a bag and head off to the gym when you’re ready!
Don’t forget warm-ups and cooldowns
Before your workouts, do a warm-up and after your workouts, do a cooldown. Warm-ups help prepare your body for your workouts and cooldowns allow you to recover and minimise muscle soreness. There’s more information here on why warming up and cooling down is important and how you can do it. Please remember to stretch after you finish your workouts!!