Get Gym Ready With These Tips for Success

Sometimes, walking into a new gym for the first time is the worst part. You are unsure bout where everything is, the equipment might be unfamiliar, and you probably don’t know anyone there. Add in the intimidating group of muscle heads in the back corner who mock the newcomers, and it’s no wonder so many people give up their gym memberships within a couple of months. Don’t let “gymtimidation” scare you off. Instead, use these tips to find your footing and fitness success.

Get Familiar With the Equipment Before You Arrive

There are a few reasons for this approach. The first is that you will be more confident knowing exactly what types of machines are there. It also lets those other gym-goers watching know that you are not a complete newbie (even if you really are). Finally, knowing what equipment you’ll have to work with gives you a chance to prepare a comprehensive workout program that you can start on day one.

You can find this out by calling the gym and asking what brand and series of equipment they have. It’s also a great idea to read reviews and look at pictures online. Some gyms offer virtual or in-person tours that give you a chance to get a good look at each machine. So, even if you’ve never seen one before, you can learn how to pull off cable machine chest workouts like a pro.

Keep Your Goals Front and Center

No matter what anyone else is doing at the gym, you are there to move closer to your goals. Keep this idea at the forefront of your thoughts to help you stay on track. If you haven’t established fitness goals yet, and are instead working on a vague notion of “getting fitter,” take the time to make them now.

Setting SMART goals is widely regarded as the most effective approach. These goals share a set of qualities that make them so, including being:

  • Specific — Ditch the vague ideas of losing weight or getting fitter. Your goals need to have a specific output (e.g., a set number of steps or calories consumed per day).
  • Measurable — There must be a way to measure whether or not you are meeting your goals, so make them quantifiable in some way.
  • Achievable — Goals should be realistically achieved with a fair amount of effort. This sets you up for success.
  • Relevant — Every fitness goal you establish should move you closer to the bigger outcome you are hoping for. To do that, they must be relevant to your fitness journey, current lifestyle habits, and where you see yourself finishing.
  • Time-Bound — Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach each goal. Measure your success at the end of that time.

An example of a solid SMART fitness goal is saying, “I will take three hour-long classes at the gym each week for the next four weeks.”

Ask About Personal Training Packages

Many gyms have personal trainers on staff. If yours does, signing up for a session or two is a great way to get started. Working one-on-one with a trainer allows you to develop a personalized plan to help you meet your goals, but it does more than that.

This is also your opportunity to learn about different types of exercise that might benefit you, explore the machines at your gym, and meet some of the regulars. It also gives you an instant ally at the gym, which can help you power through any intimidation that does pop up in the first few weeks. Plus, you can get accurate answers to any of your fitness-related questions that come up during that same time.

You have just as much right to be in the workout area as anyone else, regardless of how long they’ve been working out. You also have the right to succeed in meeting your fitness goals. Keep these things in mind as you prepare to make the most out of your new gym membership.



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