A lot of people are terrified of joining the gym which is completely understandable. It’s an intimidating place full of muscular, toned and fit people. But in reality, that’s not the case. Everyone who is at the gym ultimately has one goal which is to feel good. However, that doesn’t mean when you first walk into a room full of machines (people and equipment) that it isn’t daunting. That is why today I’m going to share with you some of my tips for joining a gym, using it and how to get more comfortable with becoming a member of one.
WHAT YOU NEED
- A gym membership – I use Bannatyne Health and Fitness. For £60 a month, I get access to the gym, classes, and the swimming pool. My particular gym has a huge range of equipment for both cardio and weight training which is good when I fancy mixing things up a little.
- Gymwear – My gym clothes consist of three Nike sports bras, a Nike vest top, two H&M vest tops and four Nike leggings and three pairs of gym socks. All of which are comfortable and breathable.
- Correct footwear – I had some Nike running trainers bought for me as a birthday present. They were incredibly expensive but they weren’t right for the gym. Because I have flat feet the arch in them gave me terrible cramp and pulled a muscle in my foot whenever I was working out. To I had to switch back to my normal Nike trainers. Be sure to get the correct trainers for the job and try them on before you use them!
- Weightlifting gloves – I found the more machines and weights I was using the sorer my hands were. I started developing calluses which aren’t very attractive so I got a pair of Nike (again!) weight lifting gloves to stop any friction on my skin.
- Water bottle – Keeping hydrated is very important for a productive workout!
- Towel – Not only is this useful for wiping away sweat but it also stops sweat patches on machines. Sit on your towel when using the benches to avoid any embarrassing bum marks!
- iPhone or iPod with headphones – Music can help you keep motivated whilst you workout.
SO NOW YOU’RE A GYM MEMBER
You’re a member of the gym and it’s your first time attending. You’ve got your little gym bag with your kit and you’re ready to burn some calories. But you’re nervous and not sure exactly what to do…
- Start slow – The one thing everyone knows how to use is the treadmill and cycling machines. You probably would’ve had a gym induction so make your way to the machine of choice and whilst using it, take a look around you. See what else you feel comfortable using.
- Use Youtube – Take a look online at videos of gym equipment being used. You will be able to replicate the exercise when you hit the gym later!
- Plan a workout – Plan what muscle group you want to work out each day and focus what machines and weights you need.
- Don’t over do it – Start by using the smaller weights before you take on the big boys. This way you will be able to perfect an exercise without making a fool of yourself!
By attending the gym a few times a week you will be able to develop a routine and familiarity with your gym. You’ll see the same faces, the same bodies, doing the same workouts. Pretty soon you’ll be like them – no longer focussing on others but focussing on yourself.
- Wipe down the machines after use.
- Don’t take weights if they are being used by someone else. Ask them if they are still using them if need be.
- Don’t be a bench hog. Some people at my gym cover the weight benches with their stuff and walk away to use other machines. Don’t be that person.
- Wait your turn. Don’t push people of the machine just because you need to use it.
- Give others space.
- No sitting on a machine or weight bench just texting and using your phone. If you’re taking a break in between sets, don’t take too long as other people want to use the equipment too.
- Don’t take phone calls at the gym. It can be a loud place and you shouting over the music, the grunts and the dropping of weights isn’t what anyone wants to hear.
Do you have any tips for newbie gym goers? Are you afraid of joining the gym? Pop a question or comment below!