Are you considering joining the gym? Is it your way of distressing, or do you want the hot body you always desired? Either way, joining the gym is the best thing you could ever do for you, your body, and your health. But what if it is your first time; how and where do you start? Well, have no fear, today I will show you how to start gym for the first time. Additionally, I’ll give you some tips for beginners to help you out. Let’s waste no time and get right into it!
Essential Items to Carry to The Gym
Joining the gym comes with its gear. Therefore, don’t fret; it’s nothing expensive. These are just regular things you will need to carry with you to the gym for an effective workout routine. These are the top 8 essential items you will need;
- Gym bag- you will use this bag to store the rest of your essentials
- Gym clothes and shoes- these two are essential to your workout routine. They can include; clean underwear or a sports bra, headband, and more
- Gym towel
- Reusable water bottle
- Headphones or earphones- tunes to help you along
- Personal care items- like deodorant, comb, sanitary pads, etc.
- Energy bar- for refreshments
- Membership card- this will depend on whether you are an official member
How Often Should You Go to the Gym
There is no straightforward answer to this question. First of all, the number of times you go to the gym depends on your fitness goal. Is it just to stay active or are you working towards a specific goal? So, you need to know your fitness goals first.
Secondly, consider how much time you have. If you can find enough time to go to the gym every day, go for it. However, this can be exhausting and even your body will get tired. You might also not have enough time to go to the gym every day.
Therefore, it is great for you to go to the gym at least three days a week. Also, you can choose to go to the gym every other day. This kind of routine ensures you don’t miss out on the important exercises and you still stay active. However, if you can only squeeze one or two days for the gym a week, do that. It all rests on you.
Your Gym for The First Time- Where to start
The first place to start will of course, will be the warm up. The warm up prepares your body for the exercises you are about to do. Moreover, it ensures you don’t sprain or strain any muscles. You can do at least 5 minutes of warm up before you start exercising.
Some of the warm up exercises you can do include dynamic stretching, which works on your shoulders, legs, and head.
Consequently, start by rotating your head at least 5 times, both clockwise and counterclockwise. Do the same for your shoulders. Stretch your hands and your quads for about three reps of 5 seconds each.
Furthermore, stand with your legs straight and firmly planted on the floor. Next, twist your torso from one side to the other around 10 times.
Since this is your first day, you don’t want to overwork your body. Don’t do resistance training for the first day, even if you want to do more. Do warm up exercises for around 15 minutes. You can incorporate weights into this routine, start with smaller weights, and build your way up.
For your lower body, do two sets on the leg press. Add a step and do two reps of 10 leg presses for each leg. You can also use a row machine as it works the entire body.
For the upper body, you can do some arm exercises. Use a stability ball or dumbbells and do 30 bicep curls per hand. The do 30 triceps push downs. You can use a bench to do bench presses if the gym doesn’t have this machine.
Finally, do a 10-minute cardio workout. The workout can be a jump rope, going on the treadmill, or the stair mill. However, if these machines aren’t available, you can do some high knees, butt kicks, or climbing actual stairs. A cardio workout is a perfect way to end your day one exercise.
Things to Do on Your First Day at the Gym
I know you are nervous; this is your first time at the gym after all. But relax, there is nothing to fear. Everyone is there to do their own thing. Therefore, don’t pay any mind to the creeps who are just roaming around. Focus on yourself and remind yourself why you are there. Here are essential things to do on your first day at the gym.
- Familiarize yourself with the surrounding
Since it is your first time, you probably don’t know anyone there; this is for those who are not dragged to the gym. The first thing you should do is walk around and get the lay of the land. Learn where all the different machines are, and how to use them if you don’t know how to. Additionally, you can get someone to show you around, kudos to those who already know someone there. You can also walk around on your own. Be mindful not to interfere with another person’s space.
- Don’t be anxious
We all at one point have felt like people are judging us, and you might feel that at the gym. You should know that people, just like you, are there to focus on their bodies, so don’t worry. Even if you don’t believe this, just focus on yourself.
Have a set plan to help you out. Know what workouts you plan to do and follow them by bringing your music is also a great way to focus on yourself. It will keep you in your world and help keep you cantered.
- Observe gym etiquette
As with everything else, even the gym has its set of etiquette, you should follow that will go a long way into helping you blend in. These sets of rules ensure the gym is a safe and clean place for everyone to enjoy. Make sure you observe the rules of etiquette set in the gym for a successful workout.
- Bring workout gear
They can be old clothes that you have or new ones that you just bought. Either way, having the correct gear will help make the workouts easy. Include items like weight gloves. Don’t forget to carry a towel to clean up after yourself.
Best Workout Routine for Beginners
As we said above, a workout routine for the first day doesn’t have to be strenuous. It is your first time after all. However, what happens as the days progress and you need something to keep you going every day? What you will need is a good beginner-friendly workout routine that will ensure you get the amount of exercise you need.
A good routine will have the perfect blend of strength and cardio exercises. It can also involve your chest, arms, legs, and whole body in general. Here are some workout routines for beginners.
- Cardio workouts
This is a full-body workout routine that works on all your muscles. There are different cardio exercises and the one you choose will depend on what you are more comfortable with. Some of the exercises that fall within this bracket include rope skipping, brisk walking, cycling, running, and swimming. Some of the machines you can use include the treadmill, stationary cycle, stair-stepper, and many others.
Fit as much cardio as you can in your routine. The amount of time can change from time to time. Challenge yourself with your routine but make sure you don’t overdo it. Do as much as your body can handle but not too much.
- Strength workouts
These can include the use of weights. Your strength workouts can come either before or after you have done your cardio. You can select a few exercises that will require 2-4 reps each with a short rest between sets.
End your routine with 5 minutes of stretching. The stretch will ease tension and relax your body.
A full routine with workouts can include;
For cardio- rope jumping, treadmill, stair climber, or bicycle machine. Do this work out for about 15-20 minutes.
Find exercises that target specific muscle groups. You can use weights that you can comfortably lift. The exercises can include weight lifting, squats with weights, push-ups, and others. Perform the workout in 2-3 sets with 8-12 reps of each. Additionally, do strength training at least twice a week.
These are the stretches you should perform toward the end of your routine. You can quad stretches, biceps, and triceps stretching. Also, include a few yoga moves, like the cobra stretch and child’s pose for better results.
Gym Etiquette for Beginners
These are a few rules you should follow to make the gym a happy place to be. These rules ensure you keep the gym clean and safe for use, creating a positive environment.
- Carry essential items
This will make sure you are self-sufficient and won’t have to borrow anything from others.
- Don’t interrupt someone in the middle of a set
Working out requires a lot of effort. So, if you have to ask for something, wait until a person is through with their set before talking to them.
- Clean up after yourself
Make sure you leave the space clean, no one wants to work in a dirty environment.
- Use equipment correctly
Every machine and equipment has its use, rather, use them accordingly.
- Don’t hog the equipment
Remember you are not the only one who uses the equipment. So, everyone should have a fair share of the equipment.
- Put things back where you found them
Lastly, avoid misplacing things and return them to their correct spots.
Essential Tips to Manage Your Workout Program
When it comes to working out, starting isn’t the problem. The problem comes when it’s time to stick to the program. How can you make sure you manage your workout program?
- Design a fitness program
This program should depend on your fitness level. Put what you would like to work on and how many times you can work out. Don’t overdo it.
- Mix it up
Doing the same exercise can become monotonous. Also, have different workouts in your program and do them on alternating days to jazz things up.
- Reward yourself
Next, have a set goal for your workouts and a small reward afterward. It can include your favorite snack or a night out. This reward will motivate you to get through your program.
- Stick to the plan
Finally, no matter how lazy you get, stick to the plan. Making this a routine will ensure you do it even when you don’t want to.
Things to Do Before and After a Workout
Before a workout
- Get enough sleep. Enough sleep will ensure you have enough energy for the workouts. Sleeping also keeps your hormones in check, especially the hunger hormones.
- Always hydrate. Water is essential in your fitness routine. It ensures you don’t get dehydrated and makes sure your energy levels are on point.
- Energize. By energizing we mean grab a snack or a protein bar. It ensures you have enough energy before your workout.
- Wear correct clothing. Your clothing should not restrict your movements. You want to have enough space to move around without feeling squeezed. Correct clothing and shoes will help you be flexible during your workout.
- Warm-up. The warmup prepares your body for what you are about to do. It ensures your body is ready for the workout.
- After a workout
- Stretch. Stretching allows your body to relax after a workout. It returns your body to the condition it was in, leaving you ready to face another day.
- Energize. Getting a nutritious snack or a meal after a workout re-energizes you and lifts your mood. Give your stomach some time to adjust before eating, around 20-30 minutes post-exercise.
- Take a cool shower. The shower will cool you down and refresh you after the workout. This is especially if it was an intense one.
In conclusion, you now have everything you need to know for your first day at the gym. Moreover, you know what to carry, what to do, and even what rules you should follow. Remember to create a workout plan and stick to it, and don’t forget to stretch.