Once you’ve made the decision to join the gym, you’re taking the first steps in your fitness journey, and it is important to remember it isn’t always easy being a gym beginner.
Often gyms are intimidating places, and knowing where to start can be difficult, let alone how to navigate your way around the gym floor to get a decent workout.
As a gym beginner, getting to grips with the gym etiquette, braving the free weights zone, and finding the motivation to change your routine can be overwhelming.
Read on for our ultimate gym beginners survival guide to your first week at fitness:
Day 1: Your first day in the gym is always going to be the hardest, and just getting yourself in the door is an achievement!
Many gym beginners worry about what to wear and what to take; remember you are there to sweat, not impress. Kit yourself out with gym gear that makes you feel confident and comfortable, and always bring a towel and water bottle.
Most gyms will offer a free induction, and if you are offered one be sure to make the most of it. It is the chance to be shown around the gym, and you are free to ask any questions you might have. For your first work out, you should take it easy and not push yourself too hard; the best way to get into a sustainable fitness routine is to ease yourself into it.
Day 2: Well done, you’ve survived your first day as a gym beginner, and the hardest part is behind you!
Now is when you need to begin making going to the gym a habit and find ways of incorporating it into your usual routine. On Day 2, you should try to focus on something different to Day 1. For example, if you did a cardio work out yesterday, try a strength training workout today.
The free weights area of the gym is often where you will find the meatheads, and it can be an intimidating place for a gym beginner. The best way to deal with this is to ignore them and get on with your own workout. Remember that the majority of the people in the gym are there to work on themselves and won’t be paying attention to what anyone else is doing.
Day 3: After two days in your new gym, you are probably beginning to feel the ache from your workouts.
Take a rest day if you feel you need to – as a gym beginner you should never push yourself too hard in the early days.
Spend some time researching the best work out plans for you, and if you come across any machines, you weren’t sure of while you were in the gym then look them up to see how they work. If you do want to hit the gym again for Day 3 then good for you! But keep your exercise light, the last thing you want is an injury in your first week.
Day 4: You are halfway through your first week at the gym, and you should be feeling motivated and excited for what’s ahead.
If you are struggling with motivation, try joining some fitness Facebook groups for encouragement and support, they are a great way of meeting likeminded people who are also working on their own fitness journeys.
If your gym does fitness classes, try one out that looks like it will suit you – they are an awesome way of learning new workouts and are great for keeping you motivated. The instructors are professionals and will be able to show you exercises that you can incorporate into your own gym routine.
Day 5: Now you will hopefully be getting to grips with your gym, and where everything is and how it works, on Day 5 you should complete your own workout routine, and it always helps to plan it beforehand. Once you have spent some time researching workouts and exercises, you should be able to create yourself a basic workout routine that you can regularly do and build on as your fitness improves.
If you need some help, it can be worthwhile paying out for a personal trainer for a couple of sessions, as they will be able to create the ideal workout routine for you. Plus most gyms will offer one or two PT sessions for free when you sign up for a gym membership. Take advantage of all the free stuff they offer!
Day 6: A great way of keeping motivated as a gym beginner is to take a friend with you. If you’ve got a buddy that also wants to work out, then doing it together can give you both a boost. You are much more likely to get up and go to the gym when someone else is depending on you. If your mates aren’t interested in joining with you, then try to make some friends at your gym – there are sure to be other gym beginners just like you. Attend another fitness class, as this is an excellent way to meet new, like-minded people.
Day 7: You’ve done it! Take a break and give yourself a well-deserved rest day. Rest days are just as important as the gym days when you are a gym beginner, as they give your body the opportunity to heal and recover from the intense week it has had as well as helping your muscles to repair and grow.