I got asked if I could write a little guide for someone new at the gym… (this is towards strength training, not cardio ;))
My first bit of advice is to Do your research!! Google and YouTube exercises so you know how to do them. Also you can practise doing the movement in your room, just so you feel confident.
Write up a plan: How are you going to workout? What are you going to do? Reps and sets? Do you have a time limit?
Write up your workout plan and exercises on your phone or on paper so you know what you are going to do.
I always have a plan before I go to the gym, otherwise I’ll just buzz around in the gym and do 2 sets on one machine then stand there and try tO figure out what my next exercise will be etc
If you don’t have time to make a plan before hand. Then step on the treadmill or sit on the bike and think out a plan. Then you can feel more confident.
Have a back up: Having a back up plan of different exercises can be good if the machines you want to use are taken or there are lots of people.
Watch what others are doing: Subtly!!! I’ve had before where newbies are very obvious they are new because they stand there and just stare while you do the exercise. This creeps me out and i feel nervous!! But say you are having your rest in between sets then subtly look over at others to get inspiration and see how exercises are Done! I do this all the time… Whether it’s because I think the guy doing the exercise is cute or because I am really impressed by the exercises the girl behind me is doing or because it’d a new exercise i want to try!!!
Don’t be scared to ask for help! This is important! It’s better to do right than hurt yourself. Infact the last day when I did a chest workout (only my second one because I don’t like training chest) i asked one of the older guys working out if he could look at my technique and he said it look good. And that helped alot, i had done my research and looked at videos on how to preform the exercise beforehand. So that helped me.
Don’t let your ego get in the way, ask for help if you need it!!
Create a good workout playlist! If you have good music it will motivate you even more and get you pushing that bit harder!!!
Onto actual strength training bit….
Begin with getting the technique. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, push ups, chins etc you want to make sure you do correctly before you add weight (squats and deadlifts) It can be good to ask someone to look at your technique.
Focus on contact and technique before weight: I prefer to focus on contact rather than weight, sometimes I need to lower the weight and do more reps to feel the burn. Sometimes when you add too much weight you lose technique and then don’t feel the contact in the right muscles.
Don’t be scared to increase weight: When you feel that yiu have the technique don’t be scared to increase your weight…. don’t just stick to 3&;4kg… but go higher.
Depending on what your goal is between 8-15 reps and anywhere from 3-12 sets. (I can do up to 10 sets on one exercise sometimes.)
Begin with maybe 3 strength training workout a week and then increase if you want. Aim for 40-90 minutes. ( mine are usually 45-60 minutes).
The amount of exercises i do depends…. sometimes 4 exercise sometimes 12.
For warm up, make sure the muscle you ate working is warmed up before. Whether you run, do the cross trainer or use a light weight and do some exercises for that muscle group is recommended!!
Remember to rest and eat properly when you strength train!!! When working your muscles, you break them down. And it’s when you eat and rest that they grow back stronger!!!
Feel confident, motivated and ready to go when you enter the gym!
Also, good workout clothes can really help you!!! For me, when i have a good workout outfit i feel 100% more motivated!!! 🙂
THIS post can help you make a strength training plan 🙂