The time has come! You want to start exercising in a gym regularly. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of time playing sports and want to improve your game by adding strength or size, or both. Maybe you’ve spent a long time working out at home or outside and feel its time to add the gym to your regime or maybe you’ve never exercised before and want to change your life by improving your heath, fitness and wellbeing.
I’m going to talk about how to start exercising in a gym and maintaining that habit, discussing points like dealing with beginners nerves, deciding on a goal and feeling intimidated.
You’ll also need planning and knowledge of what to do when you’re in the gym and methods of staying focused and consistent to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goal.
I’ve been working out in gyms for around 15 years now but I still remember the nervousness I felt when I first began. It was a combination of feeling self consciousness, inadequate and unknowledgeable, but the first thing you need to realise is that every gym goer has been in this very same position, every single one.
The next thing to do is focus on YOURSELF and no one else because you’re doing this for you alone, and for whatever reason you have for embarking on this fitness journey. Probably just as important to remember is that no one else in the gym is bothered about you or really interested in paying you any attention, they’re there (or should be) for themselves, just as you are.
Always focus on yourself, and my advice would be to carry that mindset with you always.
Visit some gyms if you have the option to do so and pick one you like the feel of most. That may be because of a recommendation or because of the facilities and remember you can change gyms at any time.
Decide on a goal
One thing that is going to help with those nerves is deciding on the goal you want to achieve in the gym. This step is really something that you will likely complete before you even step in a gym and goes hand in hand with the reason for you wanting to begin working out in the gym in the first place but its definitely significant in terms of helping to quash any nervousness.
Whatever you do in the gym with any purpose will always improve your fitness. Your goal could be to lose weight, get stronger, gain muscle or improve your cardio fitness but having decided on what it is going to be is vital for long term success.
With a goal your’e going to walk in there on the first day and every day thereafter with purpose and a genuine and real reason for being there. Focus on your goal.
Even with your mindset focused on yourself and being equipped with your goal, feeling optimistic and excited going to the gym for the first time, especially alone can be very intimidating so its worth keeping in mind that if you’re feeling this and its overwhelming, its a feeling only you are creating, but its natural.
Tell yourself you will manage it and overcome it, because I’ll say again, other people really are not concerned with you. Remember that. Try not to think too much about this feeling and focus your thoughts on your goal and your plan (which I’ll talk about next!).
Something that could eliminate this feeling entirely is to start going to the gym with a friend. Having a workout partner can be very beneficial in lots of ways.
By the time your first session is over you’ll be feeling much better because you’ll have done something great! You’ll know it. Try not to leave it too long before your next visit, maybe rest a day or two and get back in there. Next, Your plan.
Planning and Knowledge
Planning of your workout program, and the knowledge needed to do that is crucial, especially if you’re a beginner but it need not be complicated. Your plan will go hand in hand with your goal and should be fairly simple and straight forward. You don’t want to make this difficult for yourself early on so it risks putting you off continuing to pursue your fitness goals.
To help with this you could pick body weight exercises and practice at home first for example or keep things even easier and just use the treadmill, rowing machine or exercise bike on your first few visits to become accustomed to the new experience.
Pick a simple, small amount of exercises that you feel confident in being able to complete in the gym. Use the internet or a fitness app to research what you want to do and how to do it beforehand, read and watch videos to educate and inspire yourself. Talk to friends who stay fit and workout and learn from them. Spend as much time doing this as you need and keep telling yourself you can and will do this..in fact, KNOW you will do this.
I for one do this all the time and used to buy lots fitness magazines and there is nothing wrong in doing that but I felt that I didn’t need to do that anymore as there’s an infinite amount free fitness information and knowledge on the web that’s available to everyone nowadays. You can literally research any aspect of fitness you could imagine. Take advantage of this.
Staying Focused and Consistent
You have your goal and you master plan and you’re on your way to a fitter, stronger and healthier you and by the time you’re a few visits to the gym in to your new lifestyle you will hopefully be really starting to enjoy yourself and everything about it.
What’s most important now is that you don’t give up on yourself and the decision you made to start all this. You spent time and a lot of thinking about this beforehand for a reason. Keep that reason in mind and keep in mind what you have overcome and achieved to get you to this point. Preserve that decision and don’t give up.
Going back to your planning and the type of exercise you’re doing, again at first making this exercise manageable is key. You need to create a habit of gym going and exercise first. If you instil this habit and make it a part of your weekly routine you’re highly likely to keep it and enjoy it and eventually not want to lose it believe it or not.
Take as long as you need to develop the habit and focus heavily on this and being consistent with visiting the gym regularly. There will inevitably be times when you don’t want to go but if you do, and because your exercise is manageable, you’ll feel proud for ‘getting another one done’ you will easily develop your fitness in the long term by doing this.
So hopefully these steps are going to help you in some way if you needed some motivation on how to start exercising in a gym. They may have helped if you needed motivation on getting back in to the gym or fitness after a long break.
Enjoy yourself and remember your reason, your goal and your plan. Stay focused on yourself and consistent and keep all of this in mind as you move forward and become more fit and healthy and you won’t go far wrong.