How to Get Started at the Gym
Going to the gym for the first time can be very intimidating, and that feeling can hold you back from going. I remember my first time in the gym – all I could see around were hulk-like men and fit women, and that itself is intimidating. On top of that there’s 100 pieces of random equipment you know nothing about. It’s definitely not a great idea to go in blindly and start using weights and equipment you’ve never used before, so here are some tips to get you started:
One of the easiest ways to overcome your fear of the gym, the people, and the countless number of machines and equipment that you don’t know how to use is to go with a friend. Even if they haven’t been to the gym either, you will feel much more confident learning about all the different equipment and machines with a friend. This will also help when you start to develop a more serious workout regime, because you and your friend can push one another and help each other out.
If you have a little bit of disposable income then a great way to learn how to do certain exercises, and use certain machines would be to hire a personal trainer. Personal Trainers can be expensive depending on the gym, but even if you only hire them for a few sessions then they can be a beneficial asset to help get you going.
Try it at Home
A more cost effective way to prepare yourself for the gym is to do it at home. I remember when I was younger I wasn’t able to do a single push-up, but I worked at it for a few months in the privacy of my home until I could do it. With the Internet now it’s easy to gain access to tutorials and tips on how to perform a certain exercise properly, so this may be a good start before stepping into the gym.
Start small. The biggest mistake I see in the gym are people going in and putting the maximum amount of weight on machines or bars and trying to lift them. This is a quick and easy way to get hurt and to discourage you from ever wanting to come back. Less weight, and more controlled movements will be your friend during your first few months into the gym.
Focus on Yourself
Lastly, don’t compare yourself to anyone. This is easier said than done because everyone does it. But the best advice someone gave me was to focus on my goals and my accomplishments, and to not focus on anybody else in the gym. For sure it might be a motivating factor later on once you’ve established yourself and you’re pushing that extra little bit to out bench the guy next to you or to out run the girl next to you, but for now just focus on yourself and what your body is capable of doing.
The gym might be a big scary place, but my best advice is to take it slow and focus on yourself, and not what’s around you. It might seem intimidating, but most people are nice, approachable and would be more than willing to help you if you had any questions. If all else fails, just ask!
Until next time,
Kyle // Health and Fitness Advocate