Making the decision to start going to the gym is inspiring and exciting. If you’ve never really been an attendee before then you also gain a new title Gym Newbie. Not to worry though, we have all been there and I am here to share with you, 5 of the most effective, tried and tested tips to make the transition from gym newbie to gym junkie go as smoothly as possible.
If you are returning to the gym after a lil time out, welcome back (don’t ever leave us again 😢). You may find that the following tips are useful in assisting you adjust back into the life.
So without further ado, I bring to you the 5 best tips for new gym members:
1. Make a commitment
Simply getting a membership will not suffice and much like the old “I’ll start the diet tomorrow”, tomorrow never comes. We all find it far to easy to flake out on ourselves so, agree a time and date to go to the gym with a friend, book on to a class or at the beginning of the week declare to yourself and those close to you the days and times you will go workout. Making these kinds of declaration creates some level of accountability and commitment. Letting someone else down is not so easy, just the same as acknowledging letting yourself down is not easy. Make a commitment and hold yourself to it.
2. Set goals
Be specific in your aspirations. What are your reasons for joining the gym? Some examples may be fat loss, muscle gain, increase fitness or even to be social. By identifying goals before heading into the gym you are preparing for the time spent there to be productive. Additionally, if you ask for help, straight away you have identified your goals and are in a position to receive appropriate guidance.
3. Get a Workout plan.
Workout plans are a godsend to us all! Walking into the gym without a plan is like going shopping without any money – pointless and frustrating. Whether you are a newbie, just getting back in to things or a junkie, having a workout plan not only outlines your goals and how you are going to achieve them but it mentally prepares you. Plans are commonly anything from 4 to 12 weeks. It is more likely that those with a plan will continue to attend the gym to complete the program than those who go with no plan and wonder around for an hour ‘playing’ on bits of equipment, more often than not those kinds of people get bored and quit after a couple of weeks. Your plan outlines what you are going to be working towards and as you work through you get such a sense of achievement you don’t want to quit!
Now we aren’t talking university dissertation levels here. A simple understanding of the human body and ensuring you know exactly how to execute the exercises on your plan will suffice and save much embarrassment. Nobody likes the guy that bicep curls in the squat rack. On a more serious note though, doing your research and fully understanding what you are doing will aid in injury prevention and achieving results.
5. Track progress
Sufficient means of tracking progress are essential. If you are trying to lose weight, are you actually trying to lose weight or are you trying to lose size? The difference between the two is that in the former a set of scales in an appropriate means of tracking progress whereas in the latter, scales may give contradicting results especially if gaining muscle in the process, you may be losing size but actually gaining weight and so with this aim a tape measure would be the appropriate method of measurement. At the start of your program, decide how you are going to assess progress and record your stats. Do this every week until the end of your program. Looking at yourself on a day-to-day does not allow to see the changes as progress is slow and minimal but comparing week 1 to week 12 say, would definitely highlight any differences. Having recorded the weeks inbetween you also have an additional assessment period. If you get to half way through and statistics haven’t altered then you are alerted to this before reaching the end of your program and being disappointed and disheartened. You can change things up or seek advice as to what issues there may be and how to fix them.
That’s it, my top 5 tips for a gym newbies! I have no doubt that the above tips will set you off in goodsteed and who knows, you may even become as blissfully addicted as I am!