Are You New at the Gym? Here’s How to Get Started–Gym Tips for Beginners
by Lou-Ann Jordan Aug 1, 2022
So you’re new at the gym.
It’s normal to have questions about a new environment, but often our self-consciousness can assume control. Really, who wants to stick out as a newbie among the well-toned bodies strutting, squatting and pumping iron before you?
Have no fear. There’s no need to stand there like a deer in headlights. We want to help you get comfortable and enjoy your gym membership. So, we went to get the information for you, and have come up with several tips that can help you.
Here are 12 helpful gym tips for beginners
Mindset matters. Like everything else in life, how you approach a situation often dictates your eventual success in an endeavour. At the gym, comparison is your worst enemy. Often, people fall victim to comparing their ‘day one’ with someone else’s ‘year one’. Fitness is a personal journey; you should only compete with yesterday’s version of yourself.
Set goals. It is critical to define your reality and goals. With some introspection, examine your lifestyle, present situation and determine how much you can realistically sacrifice to achieve your goal. Set realistic goals. Unrealistic goals are built to self-sabotage and halt your fitness journey. At the start, set aesthetic goals and then develop athletic ones; focus on accomplishing them before moving on to others.
Work with a trainer. It’s always best to start with a trainer. It’s the easiest way to become familiar with the facility, equipment and the types of exercise and routines you should be doing to achieve your goals. Working with a trainer will help you understand form and the body mechanics involved in exercising. Also, this is a bonus; trainers are usually the popular kids in the gym. They will help you integrate into the existing gym community quickly.
Ask for help. Whether you stick with a trainer or move off on your own, never feel shy about asking for help or advice. Most people in the gym have similar goals and are fighting the same battles. Most will be flattered that you asked them for assistance or guidance and will be more than willing to impart their knowledge.
Don’t feel judged. As a beginner, it may feel like everyone walking past is staring and judging. Often that feeling of judgement is your self-consciousness. Arguably, gyms are one of those rare places in society where traditional discriminations are minimal. A gym (and other non-traditional exercise forums) remains one of those unique environments where people are assessed based on their effort instead of their accomplishments and status.
Put out good energy. It never hurts to offer your help when and where it’s needed. A simple ‘spot’ or some advice goes a long way towards building good relationships in the gym and fostering a positive atmosphere.
Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate your workouts. The basics are timeless and effective 100% of the time. Once you’ve perfected the basics, you can move on to compound movements (this is where you’ll begin to see more results as a beginner) and then isolations and more advanced movements.
Avoid overtraining. This is critical for all levels of athletes but even more so for beginners. It would help if you gave your body a chance to adapt and grow. In the gym, much like in life, consistency brings success. You can’t over train one day with the hope of making up for missed days. A good session can be done in an hour—an hour and a half max.
Perfect your form. Work on perfecting your form; form is more important than weight! You’ll see more results from lifting ‘capably’ than from force lifting with a bad form. Also, your chance of injury increases exponentially with a diminished form.
Dress suitably. Athletic clothes look great in the right setting, so you want to dress to fit in. However, it’s more important to note that athletic clothing and shoes are developed for form and function. They promote comfort and hygiene while increasing range of motion and stability during exercise reduces the possibility of injury.
Feed your body. It’s a sad reality, but a great body is 80% diet and 20% exercise. If it were the other way around, everyone would have a great body! The truth is going to the gym is the easy part because it’s momentary compared to the hardship of maintaining a healthy diet as a lifestyle. The foundation of your fitness is your body, and you must develop a habit of feeding it correctly daily, especially when working out. What you consume before and after workout routines is critical. Get nutritional advice from a professional.
Don’t expect miracles—work hard. Nobody enjoys slow progress, but unfortunately, that’s the reality of training. No matter what people say, there is no miracle diet plan, supplement or exercise routine that will gift you the results you seek. Give it time; long-term results do not happen fast!
Shake off your hesitancy or self-consciousness and step into this new community with positivity. Get excited about creating a healthier version of yourself.
Yello thanks Lawrence Marshall for sharing these insightful and practical tips.