Tips for newbie gym goers

With January just round the corner, I’m sure a few of you might be thinking of joining the gym or making a new years resolution to go more often.  Let’s face it gyms can be a bit intimidating so here are my tips to feel confident and own your workout:

Have a plan or get help to make one

You will often see people wandering aimlessly from machine to machine or only ever using one piece of equipment which means their workout is probably a little boring and they aren’t achieving their goals. Before joining, think about what you want to achieve.  Most people will say weight loss but try and be more specific (how much, in what time period etc) or think about being able to lift a certain weight or being able to run on the treadmill for a certain amount of time. Focus on how you want to feel as well as look as aesthetic changes don’t happen overnight but exercise can, very quickly, have an impact on how you feel.  Use a free induction or taster session with a PT to help formulate your plan, do it and track it.

Make a series of small changes

Balance out a longer term goal with lots of small changes which are easy to achieve in the short term and build something amazing over the long term.  People overlook things like drinking more water, eating more veggies and protein or getting better sleep and wonder why their body isn’t changing or they can’t lift more or run faster.

Don’t worry about the person next to you

Did someone design gyms to make people feel uber-self conscious? Sometimes it feels like they did! Don’t worry about what other people are up to – their goals will be different to yours, their body is different to yours. Have your plan and stick to it. NB you can definitely ignore the following gym stereotypes 1) the grunting man wearing weightlifting belt and binbag who deadlifts 120kg but loudly drops the weight after each rep 2) the girl in her 20’s wearing tiny crop top and shorts who spends most of her time bending or hip thrusting 3) male PT’s who will only talk to girls in their 20’s in tiny shorts and crop tops…..all of these exist in my gym by the way;)

Be flexible

If you get to the gym and really don’t fancy your workout then make use of other facilities. Have a swim or join a class. Sometimes jumping around a studio with other people can be just what you need!

Build up and balance things out

Whether it’s the number of times you go each week or the weights you lift, don’t try and do everything at once.  Aiming to go everyday not only doesn’t give your body time to recover but likelihood is that life will get in the way and you’ll end of missing a few sessions and feel like you’ve failed. In the same way, you can’t rack up the squat bar and squat heavy in the first week (or month or even year for that matter). Everyone was a gym newbie at some point in their life so enjoy the journey (and save yourself a few injuries along the way).

And lastly, have fun – exercise should be enjoyed not endured!


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