So, you’ve finally decided that you’re going to do it. You’re going to start going to the gym. You’ve been threatening this most drastic measure for months, but today is the day.
You bought your membership, you’ve performed a brief examination of the gym’s layout, you’ve got a new pair of shoes and a ratty t-shirt that are just begging for use.
But you’ve never gone to the gym before. The first thing you should do is not worry. Every experienced lifter has had a First Day. There was a time, believe it or not, when Arnold Schwarzenegger or The Rock had a terrifying first day at the gym.
The point is that you will overcome it. But, just to make things easier, here are some tips to help smooth the process out.
Tip #1 – Have a Plan
There are a ton of workout routines for every level of athlete all over the internet. Do some research, find a good beginner routine, and save it to your phone before you get to the gym. You can also buy these steroids for sale to boost your routine.
You don’t want to be walking around aimlessly, racking your brains, trying to come up with another exercise – all you have to do is come up with your exercises beforehand. And, if you’re unsure of how to do some of them, use your resources before you get to the gym.
Check out this blog for dumbbell exercises for instance. There are also plenty of training videos on YouTube that can expertly coach you through the motions. This way, you’ll feel a little more confident going in.
You have a plan, you know how to perform that plan, all that’s left is the actual execution of it. This confidence is of vital importance, especially for a beginner, because often, the gym is a place of perceived judgment.
Tip #2 – Stay Focused on Yourself
As I just said, for many people, the gym is a place of perceived judgment. A combination of your own inexperience, plus those grunt-lifters in the back, the ones who are benching 400 pounds, or curling the 120-pound dumbbells, creates an aura of intimidation.
You don’t belong there. Do your best to ignore the other lifers. Play your game, stay focused on yourself. And keep in mind that a gym is a place for people to get in shape. You don’t get there because you’re already jacked, you go there to get jacked.
There is never a scenario in which you don’t belong there. And there is every scenario where those grunt-lifters are annoying. So stay focused on you, stay confident, stay strong. You’ve got this.
Tip #3 – Have Some Etiquette, People
The worst thing a beginner can do is ignore the rules of gym-etiquette. They are unspoken and invisible, but every lifter knows them well.
If someone is in the middle of a set, don’t bother them. Don’t ask them a question, definitely don’t tap them on the shoulder, don’t try to get their attention. Whatever you may need from them can wait for them to finish their set. The odds of you causing an injury are high, so just don’t do it.
Also, don’t hog equipment, especially if you don’t need it. This means no curling in the squat rack. And, if you’re doing chest presses, don’t just lie there on your phone for five minutes in-between sets. Do what you need to do, take a rest, and keep going. Benches are prime territory; don’t abuse them.
When you’re done with a set of weights, make sure to re-rack them. Those people that leave their weights scattered across the gym are just creating a series of hazards. Don’t be that guy.
Otherwise, keep in mind that, as long as you’re not interrupting a set, you can ask questions – if you want to know when someone might be done with a piece of equipment, go for it. If you want a tip or a spotter for a few minutes, go for it.
More often than not, people will be willing to help. And the weight-lifting community is a strongly-bonded community; you’ll get the help you need, so long as you ask.
Tip #4 – Form
The most important thing I can tell you is that form is the most important part of lifting. Don’t go for speed, don’t go for weight – those things will come later. Go light and go slow, and make sure to nail that form perfectly every time.
A good form, even if you’re working with lighter weights, is much better than a sloppy form with heavier weights. You won’t be judged for going light; you’ll be safer, and you’ll get stronger. Form first, always.
Tip #5 – Protein Powder?
You don’t really need it. It might make you feel cool, but studies have found that protein powder really only benefits those extreme super lifters. Otherwise, make sure you’re eating enough food, but keep that food whole and natural.
First times at anything can be scary, and the gym is no exception. But, if you do it right, with a plan and a general knowledge of the dos and don’ts of the gym, you will be fine.
Above all, make sure that your first workout makes you feel good; this way, you’ll want to come back for more. Establishing this cycle early on is the best thing you can do to ensure future gym-commitment.