Gym is a place which has its own culture, different environment, language, terminology, mentality which gym beginners might find it difficult to adjust quickly in a gym. You need to learn so many things to adjust properly in a gym culture. Here I am listing some tips for gym beginners which will allow you to learn, adjust and achieve goals faster in any gym –
1) Set a goal for going to gym
You can set a goal for going to gym which needs to be completed within a specified time like someone wants to stay fit, to lose weight, to gain weight or someone wants to build those big strong muscles. Setting a goal gives you more focus and energy to perform in gym. Setting a goal is really helpful when it comes to the question of going to gym regularly, some people are unable to go to gym regularly because they don’t have a strong reason to go to gym so they simply escape it for very silly reasons like meeting a friend (that you meet every day), but once you decided that you have to achieve a goal in a specified time then it’s really simple to take a good decision.
2) Step by step progress
Everybody goes to gym with lots of expectations and want to fulfill them as early as possible but this doesn’t means that you start increasing weights on bar very quickly because someone told you to do so – heavy weights build more muscles or you increase your cardio workout timing for rapid fat loss. Your body needs time to adjust with high intensity training. Don’t neglect this point otherwise things will lead to a problematic situation like high risk of injuries, weak immune system, mental and physical breakdown etc. Simply, give some time to your body to adjust in this new environment and once you are habitual with the environment, then your trainer is there to force you out of your comfort zone to produce dramatic results.
3) Find a gym partner
Try to get a gym partner as early as possible, there are so many benefits of having a gym partner. He/she will be the one motivating you, forcing you even harder, helping you in workouts and you will be also loyal to him like never missing a workout as he/she is waiting for you in the gym. It becomes a team work which results in better performance and output but keep your team limited to 2 members only.
4) Prepare a gym bag
Prepare a gym bag for your workout, keep all necessary thing in it like towel is a must to wipe sweat, comfortable shoe for feet with good grip, deodorant if you smell too bad ;-), protein shake will allow a better recovery, hand gloves to keep your hand soft and gentle. Read more about “preparation for gym” article for details.
5) The nightmare of 2nd day at gym
When you go home after your few initial workouts, especially after your first workout, you could feel tremendous pain and stiffness in your muscles. This is because your body got a new kind of a movement after a long time or first time. Never step back from this stage, if you step back then you can’t get any kind of success in gym. Solution is keep going to gym, when you start your workout next day, pain goes away instantly and you start feeling better and the pain raising next day will end within 7-14 approx days of regular exercise in gym and then you will be enjoying your gym workouts every day.
6) Warm-up and cool down
This is always told us by gym trainers but hardly few people follow them properly, but my observations also tell that experienced guys never miss it as they know the importance of warming up and cooling down of body. Warm up causes increased blood flow to the targeted muscle which prevents injuries in gym, it’s like telling your muscles that “Get ready for the training”.
Cool downs have the same importance as warm-ups. During exercise, blood flow is increased in the targeted muscle area, after workout it should go back to normal flow through out your body. Escaping cool down can cause dizziness or light headaches in general but with growing age, risks get even severe. Generally trainers guide you for some muscle stretching or slow walk on treadmill for cool down process, so ask your trainer for details but never miss them.
7) Mystery of supplements
Supplement is a very popular word in any gym, but also very much misunderstood term as well. I was also one of those people who misunderstood supplements but luckily my brother (Rahul Tiwari) was there to help in understanding this term. Ask about this topic to someone who actually understand this, don’t listen to anyone like your friends who heard something from someone and that someone heard something from someone…. Ask to a nutritionist or any other capable health professional with an open mind to learn more about supplements.
8) Hire a personal trainer
When you enter a gym for first time or you are not enough experienced, then it’s a good idea to hire a personal trainer as he/she is a person who will be with you during your whole workout, tracking every single repetition of your workout and you will be learning things very quickly, sometimes you know the basics of gym workout then even a general trainer’s guidance is enough but you lack in concentration, motivation, focus because of your daily work in office or elsewhere. In this condition, hiring a personal trainer will be a great idea as he/she will be the one pushing you harder, providing more focus and concentration in workout.
9) Stop staring
When you enter a gym, you will find some elite men and women physique of that gym, they may have a physique that you always wondered to achieve, In this situation people start staring at those people, When someone stare at them from a distance is acceptable but sometimes people stare at them from very short distance, in this situation they start feeling uncomfortable for sure, especially in case of women’s. Simply is don’t stare at them, instead if you want to know secret from them like asking how they achieved this body or want to appreciate their physique, go ahead and talk to them, once you talk to them, they start feeling more comfortable with your presence. Communication always solves problems, never hesitate.
10) Dress yourself smartly
Two things you should keep in mind before dressing yourself for gym, first is to wear something which is flexible, comfortable, allowed in gym and in which you can perform any kind of movement without hesitation. Second is an extension to first point and it says keep fashion away from gym, if you don’t look trendy, it doesn’t affect your workout. Prefer clothes which are especially designed for sports activities, some famous names for sportswear are Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok etc.
11) Follow gym rules
Every gym have their own rules and every member should follow them, rules like locker room rules, gym floor rules, parking rules etc. They are all made for your safety and comfortability. Gym is a public place and if we want friendly and happy environment then let’s follow gym rules.
12) Listen to your trainer
When you join a gym, you pay a huge amount as a gym fees to them for your gym membership, It also include training guidance by gym trainers, so why to do workout on your own (for beginners). Let them decide your workout routine, guide you how to perform movements perfectly on any machine. They are more experienced and handle so many people so they understand much better and how it works.
13) Educate yourself
Don’t just rely on others for gaining knowledge, start learning by yourself. If you are new to topic of fitness, then I will suggest you to prefer a book based on fitness instead of reading a magazine or any random article from Internet as they generally cover some advanced techniques, we first need to learn the basics. Books always cover everything step by step, once you are done with the basics then you can go for huge repository of knowledge – Internet and fitness magazines. (One funny contradiction is this article itself)
14) Track down your progress
Tracking down progress helps you achieve better and faster results in gym because you know where you stand right now, what progress you made in last few months or made no progress at all.
Consider you are not tracking your progress and you made no progress in last 8 months but you can’t realize it as you don’t know what you were 8 months ago and what you are right now, after spending 8 months of time, you made no progress, it’s like investing world’s 2 most precious resources – time and money and getting no output. So track your progress to get maximum output from gym.
15) Be honest with everything in gym
As said, honesty is the best policy also works in gym. If you try to cheat with your workouts, diet, lifestyle. Are you cheating with the trainer or with yourself?
When your trainer told you to do curling with 5 set for 12 repetitions always means the same, never try to cheat if the trainer is not present near you (exception is extreme conditions like injury), I have seen people do 3 sets with 8 repetition and tell their trainer that they did what he said and then people expect the same results as their trainer promised them. Simply ask yourself, do you deserve those result? The same thing works with your diet schedule and lifestyle changes. Once again I say honesty is the best policy.
16) Don’t copy others
When you enter a gym, your trainer gives you a particular set of exercises with specified repetitions and in a particular manner but there are endless exercises present which will be taught to you according to various situation and time. In simple words, other people in gym will be doing some different set of exercises in different manner than yours.
Sometimes people get confused by watching others doing different exercises and try to copy those guys with great body shape expecting the same results but it can only lead to troublesome situations. Exercises can be divided into 3 stages as
1) Beginners level
2) Intermediate level
3) Advanced level
Exercises vary in all stages, if you are a beginner and trying to perform an exercise of advance level, it can only hurt you. Solution is to go with the workout given to you by the gym trainers that can give you the desired benefits from a gym workout.
Remember you can even find Arnold’s exercise routine on Internet, but that can’t make you Arnold else you can find so many of them in gyms.
17) Ask questions
Never hesitate in asking a question to gym staff, ask them regarding proper exercise form, nutrition, lifestyle etc. Gym members will be always more in number than trainers available, in this situation you can’t expect that a trainer will be with you always guiding you, teaching you, so go and ask them questions, clear your confusions, gain knowledge.
18) Offer a helping hand to get a helping hand
In weight training, sometimes you need help of other people to raise intensity of your workout with forced repetition or putting weights on bar. But to get some help, you have to help others in their workout. Remember, only support those people doing enough weights that you can handle, consider that you are a beginner and someone call you to support for 200 kg squat exercise, simply tell them you are a beginner and they will not call you again instead help those people who lift weights equal to yours or a little more than that, in simple words a weight that you can handle.
19) The barbarian culture
When we are at home, our parents teach us not to shout loudly even making ugly faces are considered as bad but when you enter a gym, you can find so many people making those ugly faces and shouting loudly. The reason is of course the weight training intensity, people who train themselves at high intensity will do this for sure but this doesn’t means that they are not well cultured, this is what you have to understand that this is how things work in gym.
20) Keep yourself away from competition and jealousy
When you enter a gym for the first time, of course your body shape may not be that good as compared to people already exercising at gym regularly. Some people try to compete with the elite physique of their gym and they start lifting very heavy weights with the help of supporter of course, which leads to no muscular development and at last these people quit gym because of dissatisfaction from their results. Solution is simply to compete with yourself. If you are better today than what you were yesterday that means you are making progress and continuous progression leads to achievement of your goals.
I guess no need to explain the point of jealousy as you can get the point easily.
The faster you adjust in a gym, the faster results you will get. A friendly, helping and positive environment of a gym allows achieving goals faster. A gymnasium also allows you to build stronger and reliable relationships with others. Its also known as the stress buster, best antidepressant, confidence booster and many more… Just try it once properly and you will be addicted to it, and it’s also one of the best addiction in this world with no disadvantages.