Joining the gym can be intimidating and overwhelming, and many of us we strike out before we’ve even begun. At best, we get stuck on the treadmill and cross-trainer for an hour because we don’t know how to use any of the other machines!
And if you’re a woman planning on stepping into the weights room for the first time, then it is usually an even scarier experience.
Yup, I’ve been there and felt my cheeks burning with embarrassment!
So, I thought that I would give my five top tips for anyone who is thinking of joining a gym (they’re applicable for any kind of gym activity, not just weightlifting!):
- Start following fitness gurus and personal trainers on the internet
Whether you’re planning on looking like a bikini model or want to become a cardio bunny, the internet is a great place to start.
If you want to lift some weights and build a booty, the YouTube channels that I highly recommend are Hedi Somers (Buff Bunny), Nikki Blacketter, Robin Gallant, Jen Heward, and Josie Mai (Josie is particularly good if you want to learn about fitness as part of a balanced lifestyle).
If you aren’t too interested in lifting weights but fancy getting into shape and making your workout more interesting, go to Blogilates and Tone It Up.
BodyBuilding.com also has some great ready-made workouts if you want to get some ideas for a basic weightlifting programme, as well as interesting articles about diet and nutrition.
- Pre-plan your workouts and use websites such as BodyBuilding.com to perfect your form before you go to the gym
After watching some YouTube and checking out some fitness blogs, plan your workouts before you go to the gym. Write them down in a notebook and take the notebook with you. There is nothing worse than going to the gym, finishing your warm up and thinking, “What do I do now?”
Also, if you want to lift weights, even if you don’t want to go heavy, understanding good form is key. Otherwise not only will you not know what you’re doing and feel like an idiot doing the exercises in the first place, but you’ll also run the risk of injuring yourself. BodyBuilding.com provides a good breakdown of various movements and lifts.
- Treat yourself to some decent gym gear
Looking the part isn’t essential but it definitely does boost your confidence!
- Plug in your headphones
I find that listening to music helps me to focus and it also keeps me from worrying about what everyone else is doing.
Plus, having your favourite workout tunes will keep you motivated and positive.
- Join classes as the gym and/or take a free gym induction
Gym inductions can feel unnecessary and tedious but they are actually really good for figuring out where everything is and what all of the machines are. They are also a perfect opportunity to ask any questions about how to use the equipment. It’s much harder to interrupt a fellow gym-goer in the middle of their workout to ask a question than it is to ask a member of staff who is demonstrating for you!
Make sure that you sign up for some classes. Joining classes not only boosts your confidence, but it also gives you a chance to become more familiar with the gym and its staff, which will make it a much friendlier place when you do your own workouts.
I found that taking a yoga class at my gym helped me feel a bit more settled and less intimidated in the weights room because I got to know my gym on a more social level. I felt less scared of asking for help or advice, and I just felt more confident knowing where everything was.
I hope these tips help! Be sure to comment below with any useful tips and tricks that you have yourself!