So you finally decided it’s time to join a gym… now what? If you haven’t been to the gym before, or it’s just been a long time, knowing how to approach this new journey can seem overwhelming, but there are some things you can do to get the most out of your gym experience.
Set a Goal
You need to decide what exactly you are trying to accomplish, whether that be toning or weight loss. For example, some people start working out in a gym to increase their endurance and stamina, some want to build muscle mass, and others want to get healthier.
When you set a goal, it is so much easier to stay motivated to get to the gym. When you wing it, it’s easy to slip back into old habits. No matter what you are looking to do, make sure you have a goal.
Have a Plan
The easiest way to fail at anything is to head into it without a plan. If you have the mindset of “I’ll figure it out when I get there,” it makes it easy to lose your motivation once you get there. Sure, you can wander and find something to do, but if you have a list in your mind of what you’re going to do, it makes it so much easier to stay encouraged and busy.
Schedule Your Workouts Wisely
When you’re planning your gym time, think about what time of the day you would prefer to work out. Many people love getting up early to start their day with one of their favorite meal replacement shakes and a good workout before work or school, and others prefer to wait until later in the day.
If you don’t have a preference, either way, think about what types of workouts you’ll be doing and what time is best for those. For example, if you are into weightlifting and there are many people in the weight room in the afternoon, you may want to go earlier in the day, so you have your pick of weights.
Alternatively, if you prefer to go when it’s not crowded, pay attention to how many people are there at different times and schedule accordingly.
Ask for Help
Most gyms have trainers and other knowledgeable people on staff to help you out when needed. So whether you have questions about how to do a specific workout or are at the gym alone and need someone to spot you, there should be an employee around who can assist you.
One of the best things about gyms, especially larger ones, is the available classes. Many gyms even offer classes in your membership, with no additional charges. So no matter what your interests are, you should be able to find one that suits you.
Some of the most popular fitness classes include:
- Zumba combines hip hop, martial arts, Latin dance, and resistance training for a fun workout
- Barre is a fitness class inspired by ballet that helps with muscle control, muscle tone, strength, and posture
- Bikram, or Hot Yoga, is a 90-minute class where you do yoga in a room that has been heated to 105°
- Pilates is great for anyone that needs a low-impact workout to help sculpt their body whole using bands and an exercise mat
- Boot Camp is a class that includes agility work, cardio moves, and strength training via military-style workouts
- Spinning is an indoor cycling class that is offered in boutique fitness clubs and larger chain gyms
- Crossfit is one of the most popular classes currently and combines weight-lifting, strength training, and gymnastics to give you a full-body workout
Get a Buddy
If you have trouble staying motivated, a workout buddy or accountability buddy might be just what you need. Whether they go to the gym with you every time or not, having someone on your side going through the same journey can make it feel like you’re not alone in this.
Trust the Process
Ultimately, trust your body, the diets, and the workouts and understand that you aren’t going to have the perfect body overnight, if ever, but your health is still so important, and you deserve to feel good and look good, too.
So whether your goal is to get healthier, stronger, or slimmer, going to the gym with a plan and goals in mind will help you get the body you want.