The first time to anything is always an intimidating experience. Going to the gym for the first time is no different from going to class for the first time. It produces the same nerves. You’re nervous, anxious, and excited at the same time. In a gym, you do not know how to use the equipment or where to find the weights. It feels kind of like the same thing as your first day on the job. You don’t know anyone. You don’t even know if you have anyone to grab lunch with.
But don’t make these feelings stop you from attending your fitness sessions. Gym-goers usually keep to themselves. They are so focused on sweating it out that they don’t even care who goes through that door. You don’t know how to operate the treadmill? Don’t worry. No one will be the wiser since they don’t care as they’re focused on their own routines.
This allows you to be as confident as possible in the gym. It’s okay to make mistakes. Your fitness instructor or gym personnel can help you. Ask guidance from other gym-goers. They’re great at giving you tips, too. That being said, here are some things to remember on your very first day at the gym.
Bring Your Own Towel, Water Bottle, Gear
The gym management will tell you this during the enrollment, but it’s important to remind you again: bring your own stuff. Whether it’s a towel, water bottle, or safety gear, make sure that you have these things with you when you go to the gym because nobody else will let you borrow them. If you’re going to do weights, bring your own elbow sleeves for lifting. They should fit snugly in your elbows. They should also have the right amount of pressure in them. Borrowing safety gear is a no-no, especially at this time.
Turn the Equipment Off After Using It
Have you tried stepping on a treadmill while it’s running? It is the worst thing. Turn off the gym equipment when you are done with them. Someone else will use it after you. Wipe it with the cleaning cloth provided by the gym because your sweat might be on it. After using the weights, put them away so that they don’t cause an accident. Having the weights lying around the gym floor is a dangerous thing to do.
Put Your Phone Away (or Put It in Silent Mode)
Ringing phones and loud conversation distract gym-goers. Do you know that some gym-goers carry the weight of a baby elephant when they do weights? Imagine being caught by surprise because your phone suddenly rang. Make sure to turn it on silent mode and only answer during an emergency.
Choose the Time Wisely
Have you noticed when the best time to go to the gym is? Fridays and Saturdays are always the worst time to go to the gym. Sunday mornings are peaceful, and so are mornings of every weekday. Carve the time out of your busy schedule. You can always work out better when there are only a handful of people in the gym. You can use the equipment freely.
Ask for Help
No one expects you to know everything in the gym. Of course, you don’t know how to operate certain machines and devices. It’s the job of your fitness trainer to teach you that. Hopefully, you’re listening during the orientation so that you won’t make silly mistakes, such as setting the treadmill on 9kph when you can’t even manage 6kph. Ask help from gym personnel and other gym-goers. Most of the old-timers there know the equipment better than the actual manager.
Warm Up, Cool Down, Recover
If you don’t already know, it’s worth repeating: warm-up before exercising, cool down after, and give your body enough time to recover from the soreness of that first gym day. Don’t get discouraged if you think it’s a lot of work to warm up and cool down when you’re rushing things. Gyms are not the places to go to when you don’t have time. They’re the places you go to when you have a lot of time in your mind because you’re supposed to do the whole routine and not take shortcuts.
Don’t get intimidated by this being your first day. At the same time, don’t pressure yourself into doing so much. There’s only so much you can do in an hour or two you spend in the gym. As you turn this into a daily routine, you will slowly find yourself feeling more at home in the gym.