Gym Newbie? Here’s What to Do At the Gym for Beginners and Overcome Gym Anxiety!
Gym anxiety is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t go to the gym. They’re not sure what to do once they get there – especially, if they’re brand new to working out.
But we don’t want that to be the barrier between you and your fitness goals. That’s exactly why we’re sharing our complete guide on what to do at the gym for beginners:
How to Get Started at the Gym
Before you step foot in the gym, it’s a good idea to know how to get started. That includes having a plan for when you arrive, making sure you are prepared in advance, no matter which machine or station you step up to first.
Here’s what you need to know:
Assess Your Current Fitness Level
First and foremost, you need to know where you are in your current fitness journey. That means assessing your fitness level before starting a fitness routine.
That doesn’t just refer to your weight or how “in shape” you are. It also refers to your experience in the gym. For example, if you’ve never picked up a dumbbell or stepped foot on a treadmill before, then your fitness level may be much different from someone who is coming back from a 6 month break.
How Can You Assess Your Fitness Level as a Beginner?
One of the best ways (and the way we recommend if you’re just starting out) to assess your fitness level is to visit your doctor. They’ll perform a routine physical to make sure everything is working properly. They can also give you insight into exercises and workouts to avoid or ones to focus on, depending on your results.
After getting an all clear from your doctor, you can perform fitness tests at home to gauge where you currently are.
Have a Plan
Knowing what to do at the gym as a beginner is one of the biggest hurdles whenever you’re starting out. So, having a plan from the beginning is a great way to jump that hurdle.
When you’ve determined your current fitness level, you can pinpoint fitness goals you want to achieve. Are you looking to build muscle or lose weight? No matter what your goals are, you can build your gym plan around that.
Gym Essentials for Beginners: Common Gym Etiquette
Just like there’s common etiquette when you eat out at a restaurant or when you step into someone’s house, there is common gym etiquette to know and follow.
Mainly, it falls back to common sense, however, some of the biggest things to know when it comes to going to the gym as a beginner are:
1. How To Use Gym Equipment For Beginners: If You Don’t Know, Ask A Member of Staff for Help
This is mainly for safety reasons. Sure, someone working out may seem like they’re very experienced with gym equipment. But you never know if they’ve been properly trained.
So, when it comes to learning how to use gym equipment for beginners, the best practice is to always ask somebody who works at the gym and can help you get to grips with the equipment you want to use.
You’ll be sure to get safe and reliable information by doing so.
2. Wear the Right Clothing
Speaking of dress codes, it’s always important to wear the right clothing for the gym. Even if your particular gym doesn’t have a specific dress code, you want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for safety reasons.
Avoid clothes that are hard to move in. Make sure you’re always wearing close-toed shoes (no sandals). And don’t wear clothes that are too loose and could get caught in any gym equipment.
3. Eat Properly Beforehand
No gym is going to monitor what you eat beforehand. Although, if you work with a personal trainer, you may get suggestions and gentle encouragement as to the best things to have before and after a workout.
Focusing on nutrition and eating properly beforehand is critical for you to perform at your best level and to assist you in achieving your goals.
4. Know the Best Times to Go to the Gym
Just like with your favourite restaurant, there are peak times at the gym. If you’re anxious about being around a lot of people, then you might want to check out the best times to go. Avoiding these peak hours can also help ensure that you have access to the gym equipment you need for your workout plan.
What Makes a Good Gym Workout for a Beginner?
Part of knowing what to do at the gym for beginners involves having a good workout routine in place. The right workout for a beginner works toward their specific fitness goals. It also considers their fitness level so that the person following the workout isn’t overexerting their bodies, which can lead to injuries.
Choosing the Right Weight or Speed and Number of Reps for Your Exercises
Finding the right weights or speed on a machine and number of reps for your exercises is a balancing act. The weight or speed you choose and the number of reps you complete should be challenging enough that you feel it in your muscles. That’s how they grow stronger.
But the right weight and speed, and number of reps should also never compromise form, down to the last repetition.
Apart from working with a personal trainer, who can assess whether the weight or speed is a good fit as you’re completing the repetitions, it’s better to start lighter or slower and work your way up. That way you won’t injure yourself by starting off too heavy or quickly.
Knowing How Long Should Your Workouts Be as a Beginner
Your workout duration as a beginner should gradually increase over time. You’ll want to work up to it as you increase the frequency of your gym sessions.
A good starting point is a 30 to 45 minute workout, if you’ve never been to the gym before or if you’re just getting back into the swing of things. Once that time frame feels a little bit easier, then you can start adding to the amount of time you spend in the gym.
Practice Gym Safety to Avoid Common Gym Injuries
Many common injuries involve improper form when weightlifting or when using the machines. Making sure that you’re using proper form for all movements is necessary.
The best way to make sure you have proper form is to ask someone who works at the gym for guidance on how to use specific machines or weights. A personal trainer will also make sure you’re always using the correct form. They’ll also guide you through how to improve form in the gym, too.
How to Build Succession with Consistency
Although it can be intimidating to know what to do at the gym for beginners, it gets much easier the more you do it. This is also how you will reach your fitness goals – by staying consistent in your routine.
Determine How Often You Should Go to the Gym
As a beginner, balance your schedule so that you begin seeing results and start building consistency, but you’re also giving your body plenty of time for rest and recovery.
Aim for something that’s sustainable, that you can see yourself doing for a long period of time. If you currently don’t do any kind of physical activity, then immediately jumping to working out 5 or 6 days a week may not be sustainable or even healthy. Instead, try working out 2 to 3 days a week to begin with.
Track Your Progress
There is no motivation quite like seeing your body begin to change after maintaining a consistent workout routine. Progress tracking shows you exactly how far you’ve come and how you’re reaching your fitness goals.
Stay Motivated with Accountability Partners
Another way to stay motivated and on track for your fitness goals is to have an accountability partner. This is someone who can help encourage you to keep up with your fitness routine. It may be a friend or family member who either already goes to the gym consistently or is also wanting to form a habit of going. Or it can be a fitness professional whose job is to motivate and encourage you.
How Aura Leisure Can Help
If you’re new to the gym and have no clue of where to start, we’re here to help!
Aura Leisure has a team of experienced fitness instructors who can help assess your current fitness level, discuss your goals with you, and develop a plan to help you get there.
Plus, they’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure you’re completing each and every move with proper form to reduce injury. Our instructors are here to help motivate and encourage you to develop your habit of going to the gym consistently, so you can create a lifestyle that keeps you happy and healthy.
Download our Beginners Guide to the Gym for more tips!