So, you’ve decided that you want to start working out and getting healthier, but you’ve never set foot in a gym before. Gyms can often be daunting for a beginner, but there really is no reason to fear.
These 10 easy tips, will help you feel much more confident about your first few weeks of working out:
Set Attainable Goals
While your long term goal may be to run a half marathon, or lose a specific amount of weight, it’s best to start with smaller, more realistic goals. This serves as a great motivation tool. If your overall goal is to lose 50kg for example, set your first goal as 5kg within a realistic period of time. Once you’ve surpassed that goal, set a new one for 10kg and so on.
Go to The Induction
If you’re completely new to working out, the induction is definitely the best place to start. All gyms should offer this to new members when they join, and it’ll give you explanations and demonstrations on how to use all the equipment in the gym. This will allow you to feel more confident during your introductory sessions.
Make Time for Working Out
If you’re making a conscious effort to start working out, one of the first things which needs to go out the window is excuses. “I’m just too busy” isn’t going to cut it anymore! Be sure to dedicate a specific window of time for exercise, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Think of it this way, that 30 minutes of exercise is much better for you than that extra 30 minutes in bed.
If you’re new to lifting weights and working out, you’re more susceptible to injuries than those who’ve been training for years. For this reason, warming up is vital. Alongside avoiding injury, warm ups also help to activate the central nervous system, which primes your body for a great workout, whilst it also helps to improve blood circulation and enable maximum flexibility for your muscles and joints.
Find a Friend
Group accountability is a great way to ensure that you stick with your fitness routine. Whether it means going to the gym with a friend, or simply checking in with someone to see how you’re both progressing, having someone going through the journey with you will increase your chances of seeing it through. You’ll also notice that your workouts tend to go much quicker when you’ve got a friend with you.
The gym isn’t a competition. If you can only lift the lighter weights and do fewer sets than the big guy grunting in the corner, it doesn’t matter. Remember, everyone started somewhere and he was probably where you are once. Focus on yourself, your programme and what you’re doing.
Don’t Start Too Heavy
You’ve just started working out. Doing 3 reps of the heaviest weight is pointless and it’s probably going to lead to injury. Instead start with light weights so you and your muscles get used to weight lifting. Once you’ve perfected your form, and the weights are getting lighter, then it’s the right time for progression.
Focus on Form
Like warming up, form is crucial for avoiding injury. Poor form is often caused by the last point, lifting too heavy, which causes you to use momentum as opposed to muscle contraction to perform the exercise. If you’re unsure of the correct form, ask a member of staff in the gym for advice, or spend some time at home watching videos online, and practicing the movement without the weights.
Consider Getting a Trainer
Personal trainers are great if you’re worried about not knowing what you’re doing and sticking to a plan. It may seem expensive, but think of it as an investment in yourself. Personal trainers are also great motivators, they want to see you succeed, so you can rest assured they’ll be pushing and willing you on every step of the way.
Wear Something Comfortable
Just because everyone is wearing tight, bright athletic clothing doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re comfortable in an old baggy t-shirt and some shorts, wear that. The gym isn’t a fashion show. Remember to also pick a sensible pair of shoes. They don’t have to be florescent and expensive, they can be old and grey, they just need to be able to give your feet and body the right support.
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