A few months before my 18th birthday, I remember my friend inviting me to join the gym with her.
It was a fairly new concept to me, the whole exercise because you want to thing.
I hated gym class back then (and fainted as you know if asked to run) and even though my dad was a runner, exercise was not exactly a family topic.
As much as I recall going to the gym routinely over the last 18 years (am I really 36?!) and never really stopping except for the first couple of years of my son’s life, what I don’t remember at all is how I figured out what I was supposed to do once I was inside of the gym.
We are just about in the middle of February and I am curious to know how many people who joined a gym as their New Year’s resolution have already given up.
Maybe though, people are giving up because they are lost once they get inside.
Maybe it has nothing to do with lack of desire to get in shape but everything to do with being intimidated, feeling out of their element and unsure of where to start and what the heck to do.
What can you do to become better acclimated to your gym?
Most memberships offer you access to a training session/evaluation. Use it.
Take the opportunity to set up the appointment and have one-on-one time with a fitness professional who can direct you to a routine, show you how to use the machines and answer your questions.
What to ask:
What is the right setting for each machine for me?
Where do I position the seats for me? How exactly do I position the seats? (those knobs can get confusing)
How many sets for each machine do you recommend?
What muscle group(s) does this target?
What weight should I be setting the machines to? How do I change the weights?
How often should I use this machine and should I being doing certain machines together on certain days?
How do I use this machine?
What are the best settings?
What muscle groups does this machine target?
I still don’t know exactly what type of cardio machine this was or if I was using it correctly but I liked it.
Check out a group fitness class or two.
Even if taking classes won’t become your thing, you may learn a few key moves to incorporate into your own routine.
Sometimes those body pump classes are great for teaching you which muscle groups to work and what to do with the free weights on your own.
And, a spin class may help you to recognize how to push yourself on a cardio level which you can incorporate on your own time in the cardio section of the gym.
Make Whatever You Do Count.
What I mean is, if you are going to bother to do anything in the gym, show some effort which doesn’t have to be complicated or overly involved.
Of course walking at 2.0 is better than sitting on the couch but I have a feeling you can bump up your pace, put some hustle in your step and make the workout work for you.
I spent way too many gym days trying not to ruin my hair when I should have been focusing on breaking a sweat, producing some endorphins, boosting my fitness and toning my muscles.
You may lose weight at first just because you are moving your body but over time, if you are looking to see the full results you desire, you gotta work for it.
Don’t give up.
It takes a little time to navigate your way around in terms of developing your fitness routine, finding your groove and making it a healthy habit.
I don’t know exactly how I figured out what to do in the gym but what I do know is that my natural workout approach has always been pretty simple and cardio-focused.
Not everyone is like me.
Plenty of people prefer weight training and I really don’t think there is a “right” approach to fitness other than learning to find what you love, doing it often AND being mindful of working all of the muscle groups which means a combo of both strength training and cardio in your life.
I know how to run but what I do with the free weights is questionable.
I won’t even try to offer your strength training tips, routines and workouts.
Instead, here are some of my favorite fitness blogs to check out for their weight-training and circuit workouts, demonstrations and easy-to-follow (and understand) advice:
I hope this helps!I joined the gym, now what do I do? #fitness #workouts Click To Tweet
How old were you when you first joined a gym?
Are you more cardio-focused or strength-training focused?
Do you go to the gym before or after work?