New to the gym? Simple starting points
I’ve joined a gym.
I’m ready to workout.
Got my tracksuit on.
I’ve just walked onto the gym floor.
I have no idea what to do!
Usually, a new member is offered a free introductory session to the gym. Now, if the Personal Trainer hasn’t nearly hospitalised you from giving a routine you shouldn’t be doing on the first session, or sat there talking to you for an hour about biceps or glutes, the chances are we’re back to square one: WHERE DO WE START? Here are a few simple steps to follow which could save you time and get you on the road to results, whilst keeping in your comfort zone.
1) Health Safety. A filled in PARQ (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) should be offered by every club when you sign up that asks basic health questions; after completing this you are then safe to start as long as there are no under lying medical issues which a doctor can inform you of if unsure. A towel and bottle of water is useful too.
2) Start slow. Running as fast as you can on the treadmill or lifting the most weight you can in a single repetition can lead to that ‘near death’ experience which none of us want as well as potential injuries which can take a long time to recover from.
3) Aim to become familiar with the cardio equipment such as the Treadmill, Cross Trainer, Bikes and Rower. As well as some resistance machines for chest and back. You may find that you prefer certain bits of equipment to others. That’s how we roll as humans! Freedom of choice. At least see if you like them.
4) Look around to see what others do. Before you attempt a triple back-flip, ask a member of staff if they can explain the exercise and ask if there is an easier version or a more challenging version. Some make exercises look good, some need a bit of assistance. Never be too afraid to ask someone. For every negative person in a gym, there are 20 really friendly and informative members and staff.
5) Record the data! If you record the times/distances/reps/weights/speeds, you will have something to aim for next time. Use a phone or just a pen and paper. By tracking this, you allow can then push yourself further each time you train and it’s a great way to track results.
The main points for going to a gym are never be afraid to ask for help and don’t try and dead-lift the same weight as the Arnold look-a-like is doing. Safety always comes first! Challenge yourself as well. If something feels a bit easy, you can probably push yourself a tad harder and this can be something as simple as running half a kilometer more, increasing the intensity a tad, or adding more weights. It’s key to learn your body and what works FOR YOU, not the person next to you.
I will add further blogs with regards to exercise ideas including basic circuits and and how to be safe in each exercise you do.
– WRITTEN BY MARK ARMSTRONG, LA FITNESS PERSONAL TRAINER AND PRO MMA FIGHTER