12 Tips for Beginners

If you’re just starting out in the gym it can be a pretty scary place! Most gyms have their groups of friends who are already established and it can seem pretty daunting. Plus it’s hard not to feel like everyone is staring at you when you’re new anywhere, especially when you’re not confident in your training routine yet.

So I’ve put together 12 of the best tips I’ve heard, read and even given myself for someone who is just starting out. You don’t have to get it perfect first time, but making a confident start is going to reduce the risk of you backing out again in 4 weeks and wasting that expensive gym membership.

1. If your gym offers a full induction, use it. All gyms should offer you this and it’s essentially a walk-through and demonstration of the equipment. They should be giving examples of sets and reps too to get you going. Plus, if you’re not wandering around asking where the changing rooms are you’re more likely to blend in!

2. In the beginning, stick to the machines. I love free weights, personally, but I have 18 years of experience. With the machines it’s harder to go wrong and they usually have diagrams explaining technique and the form you should have during the movement. Free weights can be harder to tackle if you’re teaching yourself.

3. Invest in personal training. Most people don’t think this is necessary and a costly extra that you wouldn’t necessarily benefit from. But if you want to get serious about training and see some real results it’s something you should try! You’ll be given a clear plan to follow and instruction that could really make a difference.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In most gyms there’s someone who is hired purely to be present in the gym for anyone who needs help. Whether it’s a beginner who has no idea how to do a certain exercise or an experienced athlete who just needs someone to spot them. If you have a question, ask! I can personally guarantee that whatever it is, it’s not the stupidest thing they’ve heard.

5. Don’t feel like you can’t be somewhere. A lot of beginners feel like they’re unwelcome around certain machines. This is not the case! Although some groups of experienced athletes might be hanging around doing their own routine, they’re paying the same membership you are, they don’t get special privileges over you.

6. Don’t start on the weights too heavy. If you’re not experienced in weight lifting there’s no shame in starting light until your muscles get used to it and then increase at a comfortable rate.

7. Don’t focus on what other people are doing. There are going to be a lot of people in the gym doing different things and giving advice, but they don’t necessarily know best.

8. Do classes. Look into your gym and see what group classes they offer. If you can’t afford personal training, it could be a cheaper but fun way of meeting new people at the gym whilst still getting a great workout.

9. Start off slowly. Now this doesn’t mean don’t throw yourself in! But don’t overdo it, it’ll just hurt your progress in the long run.

10. No one is watching you. Everyone in the gym is far too absorbed in what they’re doing to worry about you.

11. Get a plan. If you really can’t afford to get personal training sessions, invest in a written plan to follow rather than making it up as you go along.

12. Know your goal! Define your goal, whether that’s building muscle or losing fat and make sure your plan meets that goal. If your plan isn’t tailored to that you could end up going in circles and getting very frustrated!

So there are just a few huge tips which will get you  a long way when you’re starting your program. There’s so much more to learn but some things are better to learn on the job and from experience, so get in the gym and get started!

Of course, if you really want to perfect your training then get in contact with PerformancePT to see what we can offer you or ask one of the gym instructors on site. We have a range of programs from One-to-One personal training and coaching to fun group training to online nutrition and workout plans.

We really do have the perfect package for you if you want to skip all of the trial and error and guesswork, just get in contact now and we’ll tell you how to begin!

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