Your first time at the gym can be an intimidating experience. You may not know how to use certain pieces of equipment, or maybe it’s crowded and you’re unsure about etiquette. Well, we’re here to help. Let us guide you through the first time, to make sure you keep coming back so you can reach those fitness goals.
Going to the gym for the First Time?
- If you have any concerns about your health or think there is any reason why you shouldn’t begin exercising then we would always recommend that you visit your doctor beforehand to discuss your concerns
- When you join us we will ask you to complete a declaration known as a Health Commitment Statement to ensure that we understand our joint responsibilities in terms of your exercise
Online induction and personal goal setting sessions for the gym
Make sure you complete your induction and Personal Goal setting session which will give you the help and advice you need to get started. These are both available online for your added convenience.
What should I wear to the gym?
You don’t need to kit yourself out in the latest trainers or workout gear to attend the gym — just make sure your clothes are practical for working out and, unless you’re going straight home afterwards, don’t forget a change of clothes.
What’s essential to know about going to the gym?
- Make sure you bring a water bottle and a towel. Not only is this hygienic, but it’s also respectful, allowing the person who wants to use the equipment after you to enjoy their experience
- Put your weights and equipment away when you’re finished with them.
- Be mindful of using your phone on the gym floor so you’re not distracting others.
- It’s also essential to choose the time you visit the gym wisely.
Peak times at the city gyms are generally early morning, lunch, and in the evening, while suburban clubs have a later morning peak period.
- Classes: If you plan on going to a class, it’s best to arrive 10-15 minutes early to make sure you get a spot, particularly if you know this class or teacher is popular.
Things to try During Your First gym Session
With such an array of equipment available at all our gyms, where should you start? You’ll find cross-trainers, exercise bikes, rowing machines and treadmills at just about all our gyms, which are great for getting warmed up on and improving your cardiovascular fitness, alongside helping you lose weight through more intense workouts too. The exercise bikes and cross trainers are especially good to start off with as they are extremely low impact, meaning much less force is being put through your joints, making them perfect for anyone who has spent a long time away from exercise.
You should also give the resistance – or weight – machines a go. A balanced workout is the key to success and you won’t necessarily hit your targets if you focus purely on cardiovascular exercise. Start off doing sets of 10 or 12 repetitions on each machine, building up the amount of weight you’re lifting as and when you feel comfortable. It’s very important not to over-stretch yourself on these machines.
To learn more about how to use these pieces of equipment, check out these videos on how to correctly use our most popular pieces of kit:
What if I have no idea what I’m doing in the gym?
It’s fine if you’re a bit unsure on how to use the equipment. It’s even OK if you have completed your induction and Personal Goal setting session and still can’t remember; it’s fairly normal. Don’t worry too much if you feel overwhelmed by it all. Remember, when you start out, to keep it simple and not to push yourself too hard and make sure you’re enjoying it. On that first day in the gym and in the weeks, that follow, the most important thing is that you show up, and then keep showing up.
If there’s something that’s really got you bamboozled, ask a staff member. They’re there to help you.
Do I need to sign up with a personal trainer?
It’s up to you whether you would like to use a Personal Trainer or not but they can be worth it to give you some direction for your workouts.
During these sessions you can a benchmark of your current fitness, get acquainted with the gym, understand the different group class options and learn how to use some of the equipment.
You aren’t obliged to sign up with a trainer, and it’s possible to achieve your goals without one, but there are loads of plus points to engaging one.
I went to the gym for the first time. Now what?
Congratulate yourself. You’ve just taken the first step to a new healthier lifestyle. Now you need to just keep yourself motivated, so why not try some of the following simple tips to keep you interested and see those results.
- Make sure to mix up your training
- Why not try a class?
- Plan your week’s workouts and when you can get to the gym
- Bring a friend or make friends and commit to coming together
And if all else fails, we have teams of Fitness Motivators and Personal Trainers who are there to help you get to your goals. Good Luck!