The gym can be a scary and intimating place for new members especially women; after all, there are so many different machines, strangers, and buff guys making all kinds of weird noises. Not to mention it’s hot, smelly and you feel like everyone is watching your every move. I used to think people would watch to see if I was doing the exercise correctly and counting my reps lol.
Worry not gym newbies…99% of this is in your head but here are a few tips to help you have a better new gym experience.
What to bring?
A small towel, charged iPod, hair tie, gloves, water, gym lock (try not to leave your purse in the car as mine was once broken into at the gym.)
Jacket- I always take a jacket with me to tie around my waist when I stretch or when I do any awkward booty moves.
Hat- I like to wear a hat especially if I go during the busy hours so that I’m not bothered.
Change of clothes- If you’re not planning one going home after, take a change of clothes with you. Staying in sweaty workout clothes for too long can cause body acne and infections in your “cookie.” TMI? haha, just keeping it real.
Where to start?
Walk around the facility, read what each machine does, and what body part it works. Machines are often grouped together by what body part they work. Additionally, most have images and written instructions so just give it try! If you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment just ask the gym staff or watch how others use it. Start with light weight and don’t worry about reps. Your first goal is to just get comfortable using a machine and what it does. Most importantly, ALWAYS adjust the machine before using it because they’re not one size fits all! I’m adjusting them all the time because I’m short :).
Best time to go?
If you can get your workout in midday, that would be great! Mornings can be a good time as well depending on your gym. Ask a staff member when is the best time to go to avoid crowds. My work schedule changes very often so some days I go around 2pm and others I’m stuck with the large crowds at 6pm.
How long should you spend at the gym?
Typically you want to spend 40-60 minutes at the gym. If you find yourself there for hours, you’re doing too much or resting too long in between sets. I personally like to be in and out in under an hour.
How often should you go to the gym?
If you’re new to the gym, I recommend 3 times per week. Don’t try to over train and slowly work your way to 4-5 times per week. Be patient and listen to your body.
Do you have any more tips for your fellow newbies or gym experiences to share?
I would love to hear! 🙂 Leave a reply below.