How to Gym: Beginner’s Guide to Working Out Solo
Whenever you feel intimidated in the gym and immediately want to bolt out the door, remember that your monthly membership’s just going to go to waste. You pay good money for this!
Based on our experience, getting fit doesn’t have to be too difficult. The start’s a bunch of body pain and adjustments but it’s all part of the process. I think a good reason why going to the gym or working out becomes daunting is because of people giving themselves a strict deadline. That can work for some but slow and steady is the way to go, especially for a first-timer who still is in the process of listening to his or her body. Also, that fear is temporary.
There’s a first time for everything and understand that every single person in that gym also stepped foot there clueless AF one way or another. The best way out of the first-timer’s fear is to get a trainer. It can get expensive though so if you’re set on doing this solo, here’s our beginner’s guide on working out:
Note: We are not fitness experts. We just have a lot of fun experimenting with different workouts at the gym!
Eliminate all inconveniences
First, pick a gym that you know you’ll go to regularly. One of our fitness coach friends suggested that you get a gym near to your home, this way you’ll pass by it regularly.
If it works, get a gym where your workplace is. Working out encourages the brain to produce more endorphins, so you get happy hormones throughout the day and the much-needed energy to stay productive.
Second, pick a gym that you know you’ll be comfortable in. There are small gyms with complete equipment, big gyms that will motivate you to keep working out, women’s only gyms that will lessen the feeling of being too conscious. The options are endless! Just go for the one you know you’ll treat as your second home. Ultimately, the gym should give you a feeling of calmness and release, not more stress!
And lastly, look for promos! Gym memberships are expensive so Metrodeal and DealGrocer are your best friends. Part of eliminating all inconveniences is finding a sustainable workout lifestyle for you. You have to keep this going. Some companies offer corporate memberships to their employees, and some schools even have a special rate for their alumni association members. But when in doubt, go for discount voucher websites.
They’re not looking at you.
The first thing you’re going to feel are those eyes looking at you because you have weird form or look unfit. But remember this: no one’s looking at you. Everyone’s minding their own business and if ever they become super extra to take some time off and snicker at you, it’s their problem.
If you do feel like it’s your form that’s the problem, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube for workout beginners. There are also books on fitness you can use to learn more about the exercises you’re doing. Fitness resource is never scarce so watch some videos or read up before your first day and you might feel a little more confident walking through that door.
And go ahead and step on that treadmill because you just made progress by getting that gym membership. There’s no turning back now.
Know your goals
Before you head over to the gym, you have to know what it is you want. Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Get toned? All your workouts are going to revolve around these physical goals so you have to set that straight right at the beginning.
Your goals are going to change. As you begin to understand your body more and more, you will also find that losing weight, for example, isn’t a physical goal that’s going to last forever. Maybe after a few months, you’ll be working out to get toned or you’ll feel that it’s time to gain more pounds. Your body and your own personal experience is the best trainer you can have.
Recovery is important
It’s time to work out!
Cardio is all about pacing and respecting what your body can do at the moment. You can hop on the treadmill and spend 30 minutes but try not to push yourself to the point where you feel like throwing up. Run until your body tells you, ‘Okay, hard pass.’ Rest for a minute or two, then get back to running. You’ll be surprised how long your body’s going to take you.
It’s the same for weight training. Steady and mindful movements tone your body more than incredibly fast pushups. Going heavy means fewer reps and going light means more reps. Once you feel a tight pinching sensation that’s terribly uncomfortable, back off and rest first before going on the machine or weights again.
Do what you can. Don’t push yourself just because the guy beside you has been doing one-legged pushups for two minutes now. Everyone’s different and we’re all here to find the workout that’s best for our own needs.