What to expect when you go to the gym
For those of us who are regular gym goers it’s easy to forget how intimidating a place it can be for newcomers, and fear of the unknown can put people off from taking that first step into the gym.
The gym might seem like a place full of confident, fit people who know what they are doing, but they all went through the same fears that you are having!
So, if you are keen to hit the gym but feeling anxious, here’s what to expect.
You will need to fill out a medical questionnaire; this is a legal requirement from the gym staff to make sure you are cleared to exercise. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about your health go and get yourself checked out with the GP first.
Get a tour of the gym, find out where everything is. Most gyms offer inductions and personal training sessions. You don’t have to take these, but it may be worth it to give your workouts some focus. There is also the option of having a program written for you that you follow by yourself for a couple of months and then have another one written when you’re ready for a change.
Make sure you are dressed comfortably, you don’t need the latest designer gear, just practical clothes to move around in. You will need to bring a water bottle and a towel.
Are people going to judge me? This is the main concern many people have about going to the gym. However, people are too busy doing their own thing to notice. However, most gym goers are very encouraging of each other and you can build up a network of support. Plan your workouts in advance to help you feel more confident or bring a friend with you and workout together.
Don’t overwork on day one, build it up slowly. Take your time and try everything out - you might end up loving a piece of equipment that at first looks daunting.
Measure your progress regularly, write down what repetitions and weights you do, this can help when planning your next workout and can be a great reminder of just how far you have come.
If you are not sure of what you are doing or forget how to use a piece of equipment, ask a member of staff to show/help you.
Make sure you recover well; current research suggests a glass of milk is a great post workout snack.
*If you do have health issues or long-term injuries, get your GP’s approval before starting any exercises or nutritional programmes*
Jayne Hartley L3 Personal Trainer (Fierce Fitness and Nutrition) &
Liz Carter L3 Personal Trainer (Norse Personal Training)