Stop right there. Working out in the health club should be an exciting experience, not frightening. Going to the gym can be a great motivation to work harder, look better, and improve your health. However, if you’re a total beginner, the first step you should take is to prepare. Seeing other people, fit and experienced in workouts, can make you feel uncomfortable. If you can relate to what we stated above, don’t worry! We wrote down a guide on preparing for your first workout in the health club. Read it and remember: sport is excellent for your wellness and health.
Read on to learn useful tips for beginners in the health club. Who knows, maybe you’ll finally give it a try?
What Will Others Think?
Don’t worry that you’ll do something wrong. Everyone was a beginner once. Moreover, people at the gym are more concerned about themselves than anyone else. They are occupied with doing their own routines right, so no one will pay attention unless you do something truly awkward.
However, get yourself familiar with the gym etiquette. Don’t wear perfume or cologne, because as you get hot and sweaty, it will get much stronger. Wipe the equipment after you use it. Re-rack your weights and don’t stand directly next to the dumbbell rack: make it easy for other people to use the equipment. Basically: don’t do anything that can disturb others.
When to Go and What to Bring
Choose the right timing: avoid the busiest times, which include early morning, lunch, and the evening just after the work hours. If possible, go mid to late morning or late evening, when the crowd starts to thin out.
Bring water and a towel. It’s more hygienic than drinking from the fountain, and you’ll always be sure about the water quality. Also, you can have the bottle in the gym with you, so you’ll be able to take a sip every time you need it. The towel is useful to wipe off the equipment after and, possibly, before the exercise. Choose a hand-sized towel, and always use a clean one. Some health clubs and gyms offer the towel service, so if you don’t want to bring one with you, make sure to call ahead and ask.
It’s also helpful to take the smart phone with you. This way, you can have your training plan at hand and listen to music; just remember about gym etiquette. Always use earphones, never answer calls in the gym, and don’t leave your phone on the floor.
In some clubs and gyms, you need to bring your own lock for a locker. It’s not a good idea to walk around the place with a jacket and a wallet - and few gyms allow it. If not sure, call the club and ask what items they provide and what you need to bring.
Remember to Warm Up
Never do the resistance training before warming up - it’s an easy way to injure yourself. Get your blood flowing and warm up the muscles, so they won’t tear when you’re working out. Also, this makes you more flexible and mobile, which improves your performance.
There are different types of warm-ups before training. Focus on the muscles you will work out later. If you don’t know what to do, do the research before going to the gym - or ask your personal trainer if you have one.
Don’t try losing 10 pounds in a day - it’s not going to happen. Overworking your body on the first day of the gym is a common mistake. And you don’t want to stay at home the next day, not being able to move a muscle, do you? It will take time to lose weight or gain strength, so set realistic expectations.
Start with two workouts a week, and move on from there. Your muscles have no idea what’s happening to them, so teach them slowly. Use lighter weights, don’t push your body, give it time to recover. Try everything out, and decide which exercises and machines are best for you. In the end, make sure that you work out every muscle group - mix up your training.
Remember, that buying fancy sports equipment is not necessary. When weightlifting, you can even use your old golf gloves, and when you make sure that this is something you really want to pursue - you can consider getting brand new weightlifting gloves.
Set Up Your Training Schedule
It’s helpful to set up an effective training schedule when you go to the health club for the first time. You can find it online and save to your smartphone, or get a personal trainer who’ll help you with that. It’s also an excellent start for beginners - you’ll have a person who’ll help you achieve your goals and will always be there if you need anything.
Or, you can always get one of the group classes. This way, you won’t have to worry about what to do - the group trainer will show and explain everything. However, if you’re going to a class, make sure to come earlier to get a good spot - especially if you know that this class or trainer is popular.
Having a personal trainer or going to a group class is always a great solution if you’re going to a health club for the first time - you won’t have to worry about getting lost or figuring out what this or that machine does.
Measure Your Progress
Take notes and measure your progress. This way, you’ll be sure which exercises are best for you and if you’re doing everything right. It’s also important to take your measurements: a number on the scale may not change, but you’ll see that you’re losing fat and gaining muscles.
Write down the exercises and make your training more enjoyable. This way you’ll remember what you did last time and won’t repeat it. Knowing your progress will also add motivation, so you won’t be lured into skipping a workout.
You Can Do It!
Taking care of your body or losing weight is not as hard as you imagine, especially if you have a health club or a gym in the area. The most challenging part is to make the first step. And even though going there for the first time may seem difficult or confusing, it won’t be so awkward if you do your research and prepare. If you’re too scared, you can always seek help - find a personal trainer or simply go with an experienced friend. If you want to succeed, be determined, keep your eyes on the prize, and make your health and fitness dreams come true.