The hardest part about getting to the gym for the first time is mustering up the courage to go.
Now that you have, congratulations!
Working out has so many benefits for not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.
First time gym goers often feel intimidated because they’re unsure of what to do and how all the equipment works.
The truth is, that is completely normal and you’re not alone!
Keep reading to discover the 7 ways you can get yourself ready for your first day at the gym:
#1 Use Correct Form
When you have the proper form you prevent injuries and reap the full benefits of your workout at the same time.
Take a look at a few things you can do to ensure you’re using proper form.
- Warm up: When your muscles are cold you’re more susceptible to injury. Before you begin your workout, take about 5-10 minutes warming up on the treadmill, stairmaster, or by doing another aerobic activity to warm up your body.
- Put your mind fully into your workout: Don’t let your mind go off to lala land during your workouts. We sometimes tend to zone out and lose focus. When you’re focusing on a particular muscle group, put your mind all the way in it. If you’re unsure of the proper form, there is usually a trainer at the gym who can help. Staying focused allows you to maintain good form.
- Make sure your muscles do all the work: Again, it’s all about practicing good form. Don’t use momentum, use your muscles. By doing so you will activate more muscle fibers. If you find that you cannot lift a weight without swinging it, that is a tell tale sign that you’re lifting a weight that is too heavy. For beginners, start with a weight that allows you to perform 15 repetitions, and begin to experience some fatigue around 12 reps.
- Maintain good posture: When you’re about to perform a move, stand tall, lift your chest, and your arms naturally by your side. You don’t want to be hunched over or hold any tension in your neck. Keep your abs tight.
#2 Be Patient
Remember, getting the body you want takes dedication and most importantly, time.
As much as you may want to, you won’t see results happen overnight.
There will be times when you fall off the tracks and lose sight of your goals and that’s O.K. Pick yourself back up, be persistent, and keep moving forward.
#3 Be Consistent
Being consistent is one of the hardest parts about going to the gym.
The first thing you should do in the morning is workout.
Because as the day goes on you’ll find more excuses to not do it. Get yourself into a routine and follow it.
#4 Plan Ahead
Get ready for the following morning by:
- Having your supplements and pre-workout ready.
- Laying out your workout clothes the night before.
- Setting your alarm for an hour and half earlier than normal.
- Go over the workout you plan on doing the day prior.
- Designate days you’ll workout certain muscle groups.
#5 Invest In The Right Shoes
As a beginner all you’ll need is a good pair of Cross Trainers.
These types of shoes will keep your feet stable and help prevent an ankle injury.
They are also typically flat enough to lift weights in, and the forefoot of the shoe is flexible enough for cardio and a bit of running.
#6 Learn How To Hydrate
- Prior to your workout: It’s not hard to drink water while you’re at the gym because it’s refreshing, but it’s even more important to have the proper fluid levels before you begin your workout.
- Did you know that you’re most dehydrated when you wake up? Put a water bottle next to your bed before you go to sleep and drink it when you first wake up. Try to avoid the urge to drink coffee!
- During your workout:
- Everyone’s hydration needs are different and it’s important to be aware of yours.
- For every pound you’ve lost during an activity, drink and additional 16 oz of water.
- Here’s an example: if you were to drink 8 oz of water during a 60 minute workout and lost one pound, you should ideally drink an additional 16 oz during your next workout. You would need to consume 24 oz of fluids to be properly hydrated.
- After your workout:
- To determine the amount of fluid you lost during your workout, you can weigh yourself before and after.
- Each pound lost, drink 24 oz. of fluid.
- If your body weight has increased, that’s a sign that you have over hydrated and should drink less in future workouts.
#7 Don’t Forget To Rest!
No matter what workout plan you’re on, it’s important to give your body a rest day to recover.
You may feel like taking the day off means you’re slacking, but it’s essential to your training.
How often should you rest?
As a beginner, you should take a rest day every third day. What constitutes as a rest day really depends on the intensity of your workouts.
If they are intense, take the entire day to rest your body. Beginners typically participate in light to moderate workouts, so a rest day can be considered an “active recovery” day which can include playing a sport, taking a walk, or participating in a yoga class.