Whether its your first time entering the gym or you are looking to get back in and need a refresher let us tell you how to workout in the gym and get on track with your fitness goals!
First off, if you are just beginning your fitness journey, stepping into a gym can be very intimidating. If you are worried about people look at you, which we all go through, more in the beginning but even veterans have this concern, then go at times where the amount of people working out are minimal.
You can figure this out by asking the fitness coordinator when the gym is least populated, they will know the best times to come. Not only will this minimize the intimidation factor, it can also mean that there will be less people using the equipment, allowing you to get your workouts in faster, getting you out faster and onto the rest of your day!
What Machines To Use When Working Out
The best thing to do when it comes to how to workout at the gym for the first time is to start out with a nice warm up. This can include basic stretching for your quads, hamstrings, arms and calves.
Next you will want to warm up a bit, which can be done on the bike, treadmill, elliptical among other cardio equipment. This will allow you to raise your heart rate a bit and prepare yourself for your resistance training. A ten minute warmup will suffice, where you aim at a resistance level that is comfortable yet challenging. I like to advise people first working out to do their cardio at a level to where you can still hold a conversation.
If you aren’t sure what the resistance is, it is basically what makes a workout more challenging or less challenging, which the button will usually state “resistance” which you can push the up button or down button depending on how hard you want to workout, which again start with a moderate resistance.
After you have completed your warmup, next thing you want to do is get into some resistance training. Now being that you are new to the gym or haven’t worked out in a while, you want to stick to the machines.
What Body Part To Train
Even if you are just beginning, the machines can offer you a myriad of options that mimic other free weight lifts, allowing you to target pretty much every muscle group you have. But starting out, I advise you to start with a 3 day a week workout routine where you do full body.
When you sign up the sales person will give you a tour of the gym, which will allow you to become familiar with the exercise machines. When you start jumping into your workouts, do workouts that target all different parts of your body, but do them in a fashion where you do different parts of your body at different times, don’t work for example just chest exercises for multiple sets.
You want to target one muscle group, say chest which can be done on a bench press machine, then go do legs which can be done on a leg extension machine
Doing the Exercises Right And How Much You Should Do
If you are worried about correct form or doing the exercise correctly, there are almost always visual and text guides on the machine showing you how to complete the exercise. Following these instructions will ensure proper execution of the exercise you are doing.
So like we said you want to train each body part separately where you want to hit:
I only suggest doing the circuit of these exercises for two rounds for the first month to three months. This will allow your body to acclimate to the demands being placed on it and also start giving you good results when it comes to getting more lean.
After you have surpassed a month to three months you can start doing 3 or 4 sets, or better yet targeting two body parts per day and doing 4 sets of exercises for each of the two muscle groups you are hitting, for example biceps and shoulders.
If you don’t now what a rep is, that is one completion of the exercise phase, which for example say you are doing a bicep curl, one rep would be the curl up then bring the weight back down. You want to do this 12 – 15 times. Make sure the weight is manageable and don’t try to go to heavy to fast. Once you get the routine down and your body gets familiar with resistance training, feel free to bump up the weight a little bit.
Now lets not get ahead of ourselves. Back to doing a circuit, which once you have worked out every body part mentioned above twice, you want to do a cool down. Doing a cool down will allow your heart rate to even out and also burn a few more calories in the process.
Cooling down can be done by getting on a cardio machine of your choice and doing it at a lower resistance level than you were doing in your warm up. Do this for 5-10 minutes and then you are done with your workout!
Hiring a Personal Trainer For Working Out In The Gym
If you really feel as if you are not ready to take on the challenge of working out alone, which is totally understandable, then you can always hire a personal trainer. You don’t have to keep the trainer for long, only long enough to have them walk you through the basics to get you started.
Also a lot of gyms will have a free session where a personal trainer will devote a small amount of time to showing you a few exercises. If your gym doesn’t offer that right off the bat, tell them you are interested and personal training and ask if you can have a trainer show you some things. They usually will be more than happy to have a trainer show you around.
Also, don’t be scared to ask people questions, trainers as well as other lifters. The gym is a community where all people are accepted and people like to be asked for help, it shows that they are an expert boosting their confidence!
Finding a Workout Partner
Working out at the gym with a workout partner can not only take some of the first time pressure off, it can also create healthy competition and keep you in the game much longer. Find someone who looks like you or has the same goals as you and get with them and you can encourage each other on your fitness journey!