Armed with a grand total of three long weeks of gym experience, Angelique Carr has some choice tips for gym newbies and gym newbies-to-be.
If you go to the gym and don’t use your platform as a writer for your university magazine to tell everyone about it, then did you really go to the gym? I started going to the gym a couple of weeks ago and I’m here to give all you fellow gym newbies three tips that I have learnt in my short time as a gym rat.
Shop around for the best deals
There are a lot of gyms these days, ranging from hardcore muscle factories to personalised boutiques. It’s important to find the one that best suits you. The better you like your gym, the easier it will be to go on a regular basis. Think about factors like location, opening hours, classes you can take, whether you have to sign a lock-in contract and the attractiveness of the personal trainers. I mean, the professionalism of the personal trainers.
For me, I chose a gym that didn’t have the best reputation, but it was close to my house, offered one free personal training session when I signed up and was half the price of the nearest competitor.
Lots of gyms have free trials, so I recommend you try before you buy.
Pay attention to etiquette
Once you get to the gym, it’s important not to step on anyone’s toes, metaphorically and literally. There are some unwritten gym rules only the buff people know, but I’m not sure what they are yet. I’m still waiting for my six pack to show up before I can be inducted. I do know, however, that the most important gym etiquette can be condensed into four simple rules:
- Respect others (just like every other area of your life).
- Respect the equipment. Put weights back when you’re finished and don’t drop them.
- Use a towel to wipe down after yourself. This is a combination of 1 and 2, but important enough to have its own heading.
- Walk the line between not enough and too much deodorant (just like every other area of your life).
Everyone has their own opinion, but the only one that will work is yours.
It seems like everyone knows what’s best for you when you’re first starting out. Aunt Mary might tell you to take up swimming because it’s easier on your joints, but Harry down the street might tell you to try running to strengthen your bones, neverminding that you’re not even training cardio.
When you first start working out as a complete beginner you’re going to see results from any program you stick to. You’ve gone from nothing to exercise three times a week, of course there will be some sort of progress. For those in the know, this is called ‘newbie gains’.
This is why all those late-night infomercials can claim to have amazing results, even though you know they’re bogus in the long run. The main point is that, as long as you stick with one program (and you practice it safely), you will see progress until you are no longer a newbie.
Oh, except CrossFit. It’s dangerous and totally not worth it. Watch the CrossFit Games on Netflix and see how many people faint.
Going to the gym can be a rewarding experience, and all the people I have met since going have been welcoming and friendly. If you’ve always thought about joining a gym, but have been waiting for the ‘right time’, then this is your sign.