One of the most common New year resolutions is “I’m gonna hit the gym”. We all know how easy is to say that especially when you haven’t been to the gym before.
Most people think it’s simply a place where you can do the exercises, and it really is. That’s exactly what the gym is. But I’m not writing this post to tell you what the gym is. I’m writing it because I remember going to the gym for the first time, and being overwhelmed.
So now, after years of experience, I’m going to tell you exactly how to start working out at the gym!
So many machines, weights, people… What am I supposed to do? Which muscle group? Should I just go with cardio? Or should I get on the machines? Am I doing this right? Are people laughing at me? What if I’m not doing this properly? How does this machine work? And so on…
All these questions usually get people to quit eventually, and even worse, this experience creates hostility towards the gym, and that’s not a good thing.
If you consider making a go-to-the-gym New year resolution then I got your back. Here’s everything you need to know.
Make a plan before even going to the gym
A lot of people get nervous when showing up in the gym because they don’t know what to do, so they’re standing there, looking around, and feeling overwhelmed.
The best thing to avoid that is to make a plan before even stepping into the gym. And the best way to do it if you are not comfortable with the gym is to literally watch YouTube videos.
By watching YouTube videos, you will learn the proper form of exercises and get familiar with what should you do.
Also, I would recommend not watching some bodybuilders giving advice for losing weight in the gym. Yes, I know their knowledge is great, but bear in mind that they are bulking for many years, and probably forgot what beginners can or can’t do.
There’s plenty of people on YouTube who lost weight and have a channel just for weight loss. If they don’t have any gym videos you can check out other fitness gurus, but certainly not bodybuilders.
The other way to make a plan is to basically think about your goal. Do you want to build a bigger booty and small waist? Big arms? Strong legs? Lean abbs? When you figure that explore the machines in the gym that hit those particular muscles. You will definitely get muscle inflammation but that will last only for two or three days. After that, you will know which machines hit those muscles best.
Consider hiring a trainer
This can be a two-edged sword because there are some good trainers, and really bad ones out there. When you look at their Instagram profiles they all look the same with their hot bodies.
We already talked about how to choose the RIGHT personal trainer and it’s very important to know it.
Good trainers will provide you with their knowledge without wasting your time. It’s key to learn all about machines, exercises, and other stuff, not just to listen to trainers blindly and do what he wants.
Bad trainers will stall the process and waste your time. When you ask them for example “Why am I doing this exercise?” or “what is this machine actually for?“, usually, their attitude is like “Because I said so“.
Don’t forget that you are paying them to teach you. So don’t waste your time or money on someone not worth it.
I had lots of experience with bad and good trainers. The last trainer I worked with was an awesome guy, who though me everything in about 7-10 sessions. He really made me feel comfortable in the gym and provided me with enough knowledge to carry on on my own.
Make sure to check out all the steps for choosing the right personal trainer.
Get a friend to go with you
Ideally, if you already have someone of your friends that regularly goes to the gym, the best thing would be to ask them can you go with them.
Without even asking for help, your friend will get you all set, and you can even work out with them.
On the other hand, if you don’t have anyone of your friends going to the gym, then take your bestie by the hand and just tell him/her “you are going to the gym with me“. This action will result in many positive ways:
- Your friend shocked face is priceless, and you know it
- You will have someone who’s lost just like you are, but being lost with someone si fun
- You can have a discount in the gym, for bringing someone with you
Your friend will probably realize that you need support, and if it’s a true friend it will go with you, at least for the first 5 times.
When you have a wingman you feel more confident, safe, and comfortable.
Do things you are comfortable doing
It’s a really stupid thing to do to go to the gym for the first time and try all the things you saw on YouTube.
When I went to the gym I was afraid of lifting free weights. I saw all those guys there, and I looked nothing like them, which caused me to be insecure. Even though I know now that is bullshit, I can’t change the past, and I’m okay with it. I think it was just a phase when I accepted that nothing is being made in a comfort zone.
Anyway, the thing I did was a game-changer. I wasn’t comfortable with lifting weights so I started with a bike – because I was comfortable with the bike. All it takes is to sit down on it, roll the pedals, and do that for 20-30 minutes. Plus, it burns fat. Can it get better?
Well, it did for me when I found out that 80% of machines are built to be used with proper form. For example, when you sit down on a leg extension machine, there’s no way you can mess something up. The only thing you can do is to lift your legs up and engage your quads.
The point is to find machines and exercises that don’t require much skill but are effective. With time, you will feel more secure to level-up and go with something more difficult like a lats machine.
You have no idea how music can affect your workout.
Headphones are kinda isolation. Make a playlist on your phone with the music that motivates you, that keeps you pushing forward, get the plan I start grinding.
When I started in the gym, I didn’t want to be like others, waving heads while listening to music, getting pumped, etc. My main thought was “why would I need my music when there’s music in the gym?“.
After a few weeks, there was no internet in the gym, so there was no music too (I know, lousy gym, haha), so I took my headphones with my playlist. After that, I never did a workout without them.
That’s because I had music that pushed me forward, which gave me strength for another rep, and after starting to use my music, I saw incredible improvement in my progress but in my form too.
Also, make sure you pick the best choice because using headphones at home, and in the gym is completely different.
I’d recommend checking out these ones! I personally use them, and they are amazing!
You are going to the gym because of you
This is something most people do not understand.
You need to get to the point when you will realize that you are going to the gym because of you and that other people are going to the gym because of themselves.
90% of people will not come to the gym, to sit around and make fun of the other people. Like, who does that?
Even if you are approached and someone says you don’t belong there, before even reacting, think about this: People often tend to tell someone things they think about themselves!
It is a shocker to find out, but really, the psychology of the human is very complex. And psychologists found out that we often insult people based on what we are deep inside.
So if you are approached like that, don’t even bother fighting. Say politely “thank you for your opinion” and carry on – this answer will get them pissed because they insulted you in the first place to get a reaction for you. Since they didn’t get it, their evil cravings are not satisfied, which makes them unhappy.
You are in the gym because of you, no anyone else. You work and go through that pain of exercise because you have a goal. Don’t even mind other people, because they likely won’t mind you.
Other tips for the first workout
Make sure to hydrate. Always bring with you a bottle of water, but don’t let it be too cold. Too cold water will constantly drop your temperature down, and cool you off, and you don’t want that. You need a higher body temperature to sweat out the water and burn fat.
Get enough sleep before the workout. This is not a tip for just a first workout, it’s the tip for every workout. Good sleep will let you have bigger.
There are some great supplements for weight loss that are inexpensive and worth a few bucks to boost your progress. When you are training in the gym, your muscles are experiencing shock, and are trying to recover hours after the workout. Good supplementation will boost your progress, recover your muscles, and give you more strength.
Make sure to stretch after the workout. Stretching will increase your flexibility and motion, which can burn more calories. Also, proper stretching will give you more power.
Don’t forget that 80% is nutrition and 20% is exercise. You cannot out-train the bad diet and you will never be able to. So make sure to have a healthy diet for weight loss, and then to engage in the workout.
- 5 Best Supplements For Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
- 8 Best Exercises For Small Waist And Big Butt
- 7 Healthy Diets For Serious Weight Loss That Actually Work
Founder at Extreme Loser