There is a lot of focus on health and fitness these days and that’s a good thing. Aside from eating a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise needs to be a part of the picture and many people opt to join a gym to improve their fitness levels, reduce body fat and look better overall. If you’re a beginner to the gym environment, you’ll want to understand the best way to train and avoid novice mistakes. This article will be highlighting some things to be mindful of when attending a gym for the very first time.
Should You Get a Medical Check Up Before Starting At the Gym?
This is not absolutely necessary unless you have some concerns. Maybe you have a preexisting health condition that you’re a little worried about? Or, maybe you’re not that young anymore and are concerned vigorous exercise at the gym could put a strain on your heart?
While not mandatory, it can be wise to book an appointment with your GP for a check up first and to discuss your fitness goals and plans with your doctor.
Work Out Your Fitness Goals
Everything is more effective if you first start out with a plan in mind. What are your fitness goals?
- To trim off body Fat?
- Increase muscle mass?
- Get fit to play a particular sport?
- Strength training?
- To become more athletic, agile and flexible?
- To improve cardiovascular fitness?
- Increase your stamina and endurance?
Your goals may include one or more from the above list. Why it’s important to define your goals before you begin is because your goals will tend to dictate the type of exercises you choose to do and how you go about exercising. For example, if your main aim is to lose weight, you’ll want exercises that target fat burning rather than gaining muscle mass.
Research and Formulate An Exercise Routine That Matches Your Fitness Goals
Now that you have defined the goals and objectives you have for your personal fitness, it will be time to formulate an exercise routine that will help you achieve your objectives.
One of the best and easiest ways to come up with an exercise routine is to do some research online that pertains to your particular fitness objectives. There is loads of good, free information available on the internet and even watching some videos can prove to be extremely helpful.
You might also want to consider enlisting the help of a personal trainer or another fitness professional to create an exercise routine that aligns with your fitness goals.
Should You Start Working Out Light Or Go Hard?
You could go hard right off the bat but more than likely you’ll be spending the next week at home recovering rather than advancing your fitness levels.
Many gym beginners make the mistake of working out way too hard and vigorously when they first join. All you end up with is a massive build up of lactic acid in the muscles that can take days or even weeks to dissipate. You’ll be so sore you won’t be able to workout again for a while.
Going too hard too soon can also result in sustaining an injury and some injuries related to lifting weights and other gym-related exercises can take months to heal up properly.
Ego can often be the cause of newbies exercising too hard when they first go to the gym. For example, if someone is doing strength training by lifting weights, they don’t want to appear like a weakling, only lifting light weight, so they load up the bar or the machine and push their body beyond limits that it is not yet ready for.
Forget about ego when you join a gym. You’re not in competition with anyone. Just stick to your plan and your own routine and build things up slowly. If weight training is your exercise routine of choice, spend the first week or two only lifting light weight and doing a lot of repetitions. This will allow your muscles and ligaments a chance to adapt to the exercises before you load them up with extra weight.
You’ll be way less sore and vastly reduce any chance of incurring an injury.
Is It Wise To Hire a Personal Trainer?
This is really a personal choice but there can be numerous advantages to hiring a personal trainer. Just be sure to find one that understands your fitness goals and what you are setting out to achieve. Some trainers have tunnel vision and only like to focus on weight training, and heavy weight at that. Other trainers might have an ego and push you too hard too soon (as discussed in the last section). You want a personal trainer that will motivate you and encourage you to push through to the next level, but only when the time is right. At the very beginning is never the right time to go hard.
Have a Member Of Staff Show You How To Use the Equipment Correctly
The staff who work in your gym will only be too happy to show you around and also demonstrate the correct way to use all of the equipment. If it’s your first time to workout in a gym environment, then you’ll want to take advantage of this service, which is included in your gym membership.
Not only will performing exercises correctly reduce the chances of getting an injury, you’ll achieve faster results as well.
Deciding to join a gym to achieve your health and fitness goals is a positive step to take. Just be sure to follow the tips provided in this article so you get the absolute most out of your workouts, avoid sustaining any injuries and reach your fitness objectives sooner.
Ashley writes the articles and posts for MyMedici and other websites. He has a background in digital marketing and provides services through www.websitestrategies.com.au and www.ashleybryan.com.au. He lives on the Sunshine Coast, QLD with his family.