FIT TIPS: 6 Tips To Get You Started At The Gym

I've joined a gym... now what?

So, you've been thinking about joining a gym for a while now, but it's all just too intimidating.  Or you signed up for a membership, but you haven't used it yet? Everyone who's there, knows what they're doing and when you go, you'll feel out of place, right?  WRONG.  Everyone who is there, started from the beginning too.  The fact that you are joining a gym and making a commitment is fantastic. You should be proud of yourself, but if you want a few tips on how to feel a little more confident and comfortable, read on.


Educate yourself on some basic exercises using some simple equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, straight bars, and medicine balls so you feel confident to be more than a cardio queen.  We really suggest grabbing a few high quality fitness magazines to peruse through at your leisure prior to heading into the gym.  Both of us are continually looking for new ideas and inspiration to add something unique into our training sessions.  The picture quality and description of exercises are top notch.  Some of our favorite women's fitness magazines include:

  • Oxygen
  • Fitness Rx
  • Muscle & Fitness Hers


Pick somewhere that is either close to work, close to home or if you are lucky, close to both!  Having a location that is easily accessible makes actually getting there much easier!


If you are a parent, ensure that there is childcare available, and that the hours of availability will meet your needs.  Both of us put our kids in the childcare at our gym, and the best way for them to learn to play and socialize with other kids is to give them the opportunity to actually play and socialize with other kids.  Sometimes as parents (and especially mothers) we end up putting ourselves on the back burner for our kids.  It is important for you to make your health and wellness a priority so that your kids can make health and wellness a priority for themselves AND so that they see that YOU know you are worth putting the effort into!


Most gyms will offer at least 1 free personal training session.  Take it.  Yes, many of them want you to sign up for several sessions, but the personal trainers are knowledgeable, and they too need to make a living!  In that first session you will get the lay of the land and some basic ideas.  It really is worth the money to do at least 1 or 2 more sessions with them to make yourself feel a bit more confident, as they are experts in their field.  If you are unsure of something, ask.  I will frequently ask one of the trainers for a tip on how to do an exercise more effectively, or just a new idea to incorporate into what I do already.


And if you are not yet comfortable to hit the floor, participate in a class!  Most gyms offer a wide variety of group classes that are included in your gym fees.  There are all kinds including, but not limited to; spin, step, Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, weights, or combat and so on.  The atmosphere among the participants and the instructors is a very supportive one.  Many gyms will offer class orientations so you feel comfortable to give them a go.  


Yes, there is gym etiquette, and unfortunately not everyone knows it.  Here are some of the basics.
  • Wear proper gym clothing and footwear.  It doesn't have to be top of the line, but athletic apparel and shoes are imperative to a great workout.
  • Wear clean workout gear.  This SHOULD be a given, but my nose tells me there are some offenders of wearing and re-wearing dirty, sweaty gym gear.  Gross.
  • Wipe down your equipment.  This is a MUST.
  • Always put your equipment back where you got it from.
  • Don't talk on your phone.
  • Don't be a machine hog.
  • Be kind and polite to other people.
  • Smile

Now that you have some of the basics, be brave and head out there!


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