Going to the gym for the very first time is a daunting task. Apart from navigating your way into the right machines, you have to acquaint yourself with the gym culture. Whether you’re going to the gym for the first time or simply going back after a long time of absence, these tips will help you fit right in:
Know What to Bring
For newbies, you want to make sure you got all the right gears to start your first day at the gym. Pack a combination lock, a bottle of water, flip flops, and shower essentials together with your gym clothes. A combination lock helps keep your stuff secure. A water bottle is convenient so you can hydrate yourself whenever. Finally, flip flops will come in handy once you go to the changing area.
You can also bring your own headphones and MP3 player if you want to head solo and, of course, extra undies. The last thing you want is to stand naked in the shower area looking for underwear that you never packed to begin with.
Making a Beeline to the Fitness Machines
Now, one of the first things you see when you’re in the gym are the fitness machines. These machines are downright intimidating especially for gym virgins. If you don’t know how to operate the machines, don’t be shy to ask. What you don’t want is to call attention to yourself by using the machines incorrectly or heaven forbid, break one.
Before you start your training, you will be given a tour by one of the staff. The staff will give simple instructions to operate the machines. This is the right time to ask questions. Most gym buffs are more than happy to help. You can always ask a trainer to help you operate the machines the right way.
The Best Time to Work Out
What’s the best time to work out? That will depend on your schedule. We recommend working out before you show up to work. This way, your body is still pumping with adrenaline and happy hormones. Most gym-goers prefer exercising before working because it makes them more efficient at what they do. But again, to each his own.
When you work out around 6PM to 9PM, you can expect crowds. That means waiting for several minutes use certain machines. The changing room will be full too. So if you can avoid the rush hours, do so.
Getting a Spotter
Once you’ve developed a certain level of fitness then it’s time to assert yourself in the hard-core crowd. This will improve your training. Ask for someone to spot you during your daily bench presses. The gym staff is happy to assist in such times.
Spotting refers to assistance in weight or resistance training. Spotters are there to ensure you don’t injure yourself mid-exercise. In the gym, the most common etiquette is to offer a spot when asked. And once you got a spotter, don’t try to keep him for too long. Also, if it’s your turn to spot, don’t be too eager and grab the weight out of his hands. You want to give support, not mess with his workout.