Doing anything for the first time can be nerve racking. Talking in front of a big audience. Having a tooth drilled. Going to the gym for the first time? I know some of your initial worries include people starring at you, laughing at you because you are doing things wrong, hurting yourself, being filmed tripping on the treadmill and becoming a Youtube sensation and making millions. Well, maybe not that last one. That sounds pretty good. As a personal trainer and one who has been going to the gym for most of my adult life I have a bit of guidance for you. I have narrowed it down to 5 tips that will help make your early gym experiences positive.
1. Find a “Good” gym. There are all kinds of gyms out there for different goals and personalities. Finding one that might be a good fit for you would be ideal. My advice is to ask your friends who have similar fitness goals, check Google reviews and see what other people are saying, and check their websites. Then go check the gym out. Most gyms will typically give you a tour and free access for a day or even week. If they don’t mention free access ask for it. They can only say no. Sometimes you will even get a free session from their personal trainer. If you have “never” been to a gym before working with a certified trainer on staff could be worth the investment so you can reach your goals faster and keep safe.
2. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or thinking. Remember most people are there to better themselves. Regardless how fit someone may look that person has their own flaws they are still trying to improve. Focus on your own goals. Never compare yourself to others.
3. Go with a friend. If you feel really uncomfortable going to a gym alone find a good friend to come with you. Better yet get a friend who has been to a gym before and has some exercise experience. Your friend can probably teach you a few things plus it will be fun.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you are not sure how to use a particular piece of equipment ask someone who works there. If you cannot find someone most gym goers would be happy to help.
5. What type of workout should I do? This one is a bit more involved because it depends on your experience and personal goals. Here is a generic guideline to follow if you are new to fitness and want to lower body fat and increase your cardiovascular health. Building big muscle is another game.
A. Always warm up. Get on the treadmill, recumbent bike, or rowing machine for at least 5 minutes to get your body warmed up.
B. Hit a circuit that works your body muscle groups (legs, chest, back). I typically will throw in a core and cardio exercise in as well. Do 12-15 reps of each exercise and do the full circuit 3-4 times. Do your cardio after resistance training or at another time of day. Stretching after a hard workout is always recommend for recovery.
Just remember once you are a gym pro to be kind to those who are new. Lend a helping hand and offer kindly assistance.
Kaged Muscle Athlete
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