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  • Ben

5 Things EVERYONE Should Do When Joining A Gym

In my first blog, I would like to cover five things I think everyone should do in a gym. Ranging from basic exercise advice to getting the most out of your gym experience. This list is not exclusive to first timers and ‘January joiners’, but to make us all think about our training and to change what we do for the better. I would like to welcome your comments and thoughts of what you’d add to this list.

1. Have an induction

Some gyms will require you to have an induction when you join. This is so beneficial on many levels, firstly, you’ll meet one of the gym instructors or personal trainers (PT) who will take you through; a tour of the gym floor and use of the kit, they will also answer any questions you may have in regards to the gym or your personal goals. It is surprising the number of members who think it’ll be a waste of time, only to find out something new about the gym, their training/fitness/health or even to have taken the step to start some one-on-one training. If there’s an option for a free induction - take it!

2. Try something new

If you’ve used a gym before, you can be just as guilty of this as someone stepping in for the first time. We can all stay in a workout that we like; it may well work up a sweat, hell it may even be helping to reach your goals! I would be willing to bet there’s another piece of kit in your gym that will help spice an old workout up and push you towards your goals that bit quicker. For those that have joined a gym without any previous experience, this is a toughy, trust your instructor in the induction and try that new weight exercise or explore what you’re unsure about. When you find a new exercise that has been a positive change, drop a comment below and let others know about it.

3. Try a class/free PT session

Leading on from exploring the gym, you may find yourself in the studio area with pieces of equipment you are unsure how to use, or even see sweaty red-faced members coming out of this room. The studio will be where the majority of the exercise classes your gym holds will go on – if you haven’t seen a timetable, go and have a look! Every gym will accommodate all fitness levels and abilities. An exercise class will be fun, motivating and a pre-planned workout. Book yourself on, rock up with an open mind and mention to the instructor about how its your first time if you’re unsure of what to expect. You won’t be the first or even the last person that will try a class for the first time, the instructor will ensure you feel good throughout and hopefully you’ll come away with a huge smile on your face.

Most personal trainers will offer a free trial session, don’t feel bad for asking for one, it’s totally expected. If a class setting isn’t for you this might be the way of getting your best foot forward when working on something new, or even just to get a technique check. From here you will have the opportunity to book in for private personal training sessions, to really hit those fitness goals!

4. Take your time with a warm up/cool down

If, like many people, the gym is squeezed into the busy schedule of life, you may find yourself with only an hour to workout, that’s including getting to the gym, changed and turning your music on! Ensuring you have a good warm up will allow you to make the most of a short session. Warming up and cooling down during the session will help to reduce any pain and aches after a tough workout, keeping you motivated and positive to hit your weekly workout goal.

Find a link below to a simple warm up routine for you to follow – not taking anymore than 3-5mins of your session!

5. Set yourself a goal

What are you working towards? Weight loss? A fitness achievement? Muscle building? Whatever it is write it down. Give yourself a date and plan what you’ll do between now and then to achieve it. Every workout becomes a stepping stone in your journey towards your goal, when you reach this goal, move it, adjust and go again.

Below are a few of my goals for 2019:

· The main one. During summer (between May – July) I am going to walk to the summit of Snowdon in Wales, backwards. Yes, backwards. Currently my PT and I are working together to ensure my body is going to be ready for this insane goal.

· With the Snowdown Challenge on the horizon, I needed something that would benefit my training. So, at the end of February, I am going to try and complete my first ever marathon. I won’t be looking to hit a specific time, just complete the distance (26.2mi). This will serve as a mental challenge for me and will give me confidence in myself to complete Snowdon.

· This blog, is going to be my 3rd goal. I really enjoy writing down what goes on in my head, with some time I hope it can grow. Plus, if it serves as some motivation and education then it’s a bonus to me.

Setting goals and measuring your progress is essential to keep you on track and focused – use a diary or journal to write down all aspects of your training. You can soon look back and see how far you’ve come. I like before and after photos if your trying to gain or lose weight, just try not to go back to them too often. Every three to four weeks is perfect.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for getting this far! Please post your comments below and I really appreciate your support on this new goal.

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