How to Survive Your First Day at the Gym

gym equipment

So you’ve finally signed up for a gym membership but it looks like you’re pretty nervous on your first day. I remember the first time I entered the gym and hence I know exactly how you feel right now. The very first time you step foot on it can be a little intimidating.

You’ll find some unfamiliar equipment scattered around while there goes everyone working out so hard with those huge biceps, intense faces, real sweaty shirts, and all. I nearly stepped back, to be honest. But just because you’re not familiar with ellipticals or steppers or weights doesn’t mean you have to feel outgunned.

You have already proven your bravery from the very moment you were just thinking about losing some extra weight. So, head on and step right into the door because we’re backing you up with some survival tips that will save you on Day 1.

Have a plan.

Being at the gym without any plan in mind is like putting yourself in a battle with no weapons. You need to have your plan in order to achieve your fitness goals. Ask yourself like: what are the exercises that you will be doing? Which parts of the body are you focusing on? Are you going to concentrate on burning your fats, building up your muscles, or both? Since it’s your first time, do not hesitate to ask, especially when you’re quite unsure what each equipment does. If it’s an option that you can afford, better hire a personal trainer on your first five sessions. Let your trainer know about your plans and goals so that he or she can think of the best ways to guide and teach you. Learn from the exercises and techniques that they will be introducing in each session. You’ll be surprised at how fast you pick things up until you find yourself comfortable with every exercise you do.

Learn some gym etiquette.

As a newbie, it is important to keep yourself aware of the so-called gym etiquette.

  • First, try to bring your own towel. While some gyms may offer the use of their printed gym towels, others may not.
  • When it comes to gym equipment and machines, be mindful if there’s somebody else using. Obviously, you can’t step on a treadmill when someone’s still using it. However, there can be unclear scenarios like what if there’s a water jug on the machine while no one’s using it. Do you think it would be very rude of you to jump on it while there are belongings left? The proper way to handle such a case is to ask around before jumping into conclusions. It’s okay to ask for sharing or maybe try another exercise while waiting for your turn.
  • Make sure to clean up after using the equipment. Fold the mat and set aside when you’re done with your yoga. Never leave any scattered weights on the floor, especially when you know that the gym is already packed.
  • Never block the view of those who are facing the mirror while working out. Always walk behind them because they are likely focusing on or spotting their form and they would feel annoyed by your blocking.
  • Focus on exercising and avoid loud chitchats with your friends. Some people are very particular when it comes to concentration so never ruin anyone’s mood.

Start with the basics.

Most newbies are already rooting for intense workouts even on their very first day at the gym, believing that burning fats would be more instant if they override the basics and proceed to the harsh steps. But never ever overdo your workout on your very first day. Keep in mind that a well planned out 30 to 45-min exercise is much better than an hour that includes wandering around and chitchatting. Plus, working out is a step-by-step procedure so wait until your body is ready enough before taking more intense exercises.

Familiarise with key terms.

Knowing some famous key terms at the gym can help you boost your confidence. Remember keywords like:

  • Reps – short for repetitions. This describes the number of times you perform the moves. For example, when your coach says “Do 12 bicep curls.”, that’s your rep.
  • Set – This represents the number of times you perform not the moves but the exercise itself. So, when your trainer asks you to do three sets of 12 bicep curls, then you will be doing 12 bicep curls, a one-minute break, and then another exercise repeats till you complete the three sets.
  • Work-in – refers to sharing a machine with someone. So, you do a set and then the other person will do his or her set after.

Do not feel intimidated.

The biggest fear for many first-time gym-goers is that others might be looking at them and judging their actions or appearance. But remember that before they achieved those fit bodies, they were just like you. So, relax and don’t worry about what other people will think of you.

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