A First Time Gym-Goers Guide
Getting serious about working out for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. The gym can be an intimidating place! Read on for some tips to help take the worry out of working out for the first time.
WHAT TO BRING
Before you head out the door, pack a bag of essentials. Bring a water bottle, a towel, any toiletries if you’re planning to have a shower, and don’t forget hair ties if you have long hair. But leaving these things at home is certainly no excuse to skip your workout! Towels and other items are available to hire or purchase as you enter the gym.
Most importantly, bring a friend! There’s no better way to tackle the unknown. Having a gym buddy will help you stay motivated and keep you accountable to your goals.
WHERE TO GO
As you’re joining the gym, the team will take you on a tour of the club and show you the facilities and amenities. If you don’t get the chance to do this before signing up, request a tour the first time you come through and learn about what the club has to offer.
Keeping bags piled around the gym floor just isn’t considerate to others, and may present a trip hazard. It’s always a good idea to secure your personal items in a locker that you can open and close using your membership card.
KNOW YOUR ETIQUETTE
From the locker room, to the weights floor, there are a few unwritten rules you should know about to keep your fitness karma in check.
Keep it clean. Everyone sweats, which means the gym floor can be a pretty germy place. Sanitary stations are provided so you can wipe down equipment before and after use. Always carry your towel with you to wipe away sweat, and make sure you wash your hands regularly.
Finish with good form. Returning your weights when you’re finished with them is courteous to other members. There’s nothing more irritating than tripping over equipment that is lying around, or having to search for something that hasn’t been returned.
Share your toys. Sometimes there just aren’t enough toys for everyone. Let another member ‘work in’ by having a turn while you’re in-between sets. Reserving equipment is also a no-no – don’t expect that towel or protein shake will give you ‘dibs’ on the bench press or spin bike.
Don’t drop it like it’s hot. Most people prefer their gym experience to be earthquake-free, so as a courtesy to others, control your movements and avoid dropping heavy weights.
Be an early bird. If you’re joining a Group Fitness class, arrive a few minutes early to get set up and commit to staying for the entire class. Apart from being disruptive to others, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury by skipping the important warm up or cool down.
WHERE TO START
Your first workout is the most important. It could be the difference between you coming back with a smile on your face, or working up the courage to step back in the gym at all.
A good place to start is a Freestyle Group Training class. These 30 minute sessions are run on the gym floor with an instructor to show you the ropes.
Exercising with poor form or using the wrong weight can render all your hard work pointless and is a sure fire way to injure yourself. If you’re feeling a little lost and unsure, don’t be afraid to ask! The club team are on hand to offer advice, answer questions and guide you in the right direction.
If your budget allows, you might also consider investing in a personal trainer to work with your specific goals and provide tailored advice and motivation to keep you on track.