Do This First When You Join a Gym
Joining a new gym is exciting! It's like being a kid at a new playground and there is all this fun stuff to try out and play with. At least, that's how it is for me :)
However, I understand that maybe not everyone shares my enthusiasm, or perhaps you were the kid who got nervous and just sat on a bench instead of running around right away when you went to a new playground.
I see many new members joining the gym where I train, but not everyone seems to be confident and sure of what to do. So obviously, I wanted to share some pointers for our new gym friends!
Here are my top suggestions for you to try after joining a new playground. Ummm, gym. New gym.
1. Touch Everything!
What are you being shy for? You gave the gym your money. You're allowed to try all the toys! You'll probably see a lot of unfamiliar machines and exercises, but don't let the unfamiliarity scare you. Start with light weights and move slowly as you try a new exercise. Pay attention to how your body feels and what muscles you feel contracting and lengthening.
It's fine to not have perfect form on your first day; learning weight training is much like learning a new sport, and just like any sport, you won't be a pro right away. Enjoy the process of learning!
2. Try a Class
If you're still shy about trying a new exercise on your own, many gyms offer a free orientation or welcome class to get you acquainted with the equipment or workout programs.
I happen to teach a free class once a week new members can sign up for that covers how to do a full body workout; I've seen members who were shy at first branch out to other exercises after learning the circuit and start successful workout routines of their own.
Go to class!
3. Talk to a Trainer
If the trainers at your gym love what they do as much as I do, they certainly also love talking about it! So don't be nervous about asking a question about an exercise, we'll probably be thrilled you're taking things seriously instead of being a goofball doing the wrong thing.
If you are genuinely committed to your fitness journey and making a change, I'd strongly consider hiring a trainer. It's the best way to shorten your learning curve, stay injury-free, and eventually see the results you're looking for.
And I'm not just saying that because I'm a trainer; I make it a point to always talk to an expert at anything I'm trying to learn. Once your ego becomes OK with asking for help, a LOT more skills and knowledge will come your way. It just starts with asking someone :)
BONUS: Make a Friend!
Again, make the gym like a playground! Remember how easy it was to make friends with someone in kindergarten just because you happened to be in the sandbox together?
I've met some of the best workout partners just by starting a conversation, and few things in the gym are as fun as having someone to make some gains with! Some of my favorite workouts are simply me trying what someone else is doing and getting out of my own routine for a day.
On top of all that, having someone else to keep your word to also helps you keep integrity with yourself. If regular exercise isn't yet an ingrained practice for you, having all the help and encouragement you can get is vital to your progress.
Hope that's all helpful for you, I'd better see you in the gym now!