If you’re considering joining a gym, there are many things to consider. From my experience as a personal trainer running mixed and women’s only fitness classes, here are some do’s and don’ts you should bear in mind when getting started in the gym.
1. Don’t rush; ease into exercise slowly when beginning your fitness journey at the gym.
Take time to ease yourself into it and increase intensity as you go.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race, ” especially for reaching your fitness goals. Making small changes steadily is vital to eventually reaching your target.
Setting big goals is a common mistake, and getting overwhelmed is easy. To stay on track, break down your goal into smaller achievable tasks that can become habit-forming! Focusing on achievable tasks is vital to staying motivated and reaching your end goal.
2. Avoid over training – it’s a common mistake.
Over the years as a trainer, I’ve noticed that when people start in the gym, they usually try to do too many exercises and routines too quickly. It’s too extreme! Trying to make drastic changes too quickly is not a good idea. Take it step-by-step and be patient – that’s what I usually tell my clients.
Exercising can be exhausting if you push yourself too hard and quickly; tiredness kicks in, and you can become demotivated. Plus, if you’re not careful, you risk picking up an injury. Then all the hard work and progress is wasted, and you’re back to the start.
3.. In your first month, focus on changing habits.
Week 1. So kick off the week with a change! Try getting two walks in, or go to the gym for an introductory session with a personal trainer – that alone can make an impact, even without considering other changes such as diet and routine.
Week 2. Start going to the gym twice a week, drink lots of water and cut down on sugary drinks and sweets in tea! Work on adding physical activity to your daily routine and adjusting your diet; both will significantly impact your health.
Week 3. Add 30 min walk to your exercise routine – once or twice a week. At the same time, reducing fizzy drinks and the number of takeaways you have each week would be helpful. Simple changes like these can make a real difference in your lifestyle.
Week 4. Keep up the excellent work from Week 3, and add 30 more minutes of walking into your daily routine. You can also continue trying to make your meals healthier by adding some nutritious food!
4.. Get into the habit of working out and make it a regular routine!
The first month or so is crucial when you’re trying to make a change. It’s tough to adjust, but getting started is vital, just like you need speed for a plane to take off or momentum to get into your fitness routine.
“Unless you build up your fitness momentum, you will crash, lose interest and burn out.”
Don’t underestimate the power of minor adjustments! By gradually establishing new habits, you can keep them for the long run. Make sure you practice them enough to become part of your daily routine.
Let’s take weight loss as an example: it’s generally easier to lose 1 lb a month for 12 months rather than trying to lose 10 lbs in a single month and then gaining back more than you started with at the end of the year!
Don’t expect miracles – not every day is gonna be a winner. Some days will be better than others, but that’s how life goes.
5. Sign Up With A Personal Trainer or Join a Fitness Class.
Yeah, I’m biased, but speaking honestly, if you feel stuck on something and can’t move forward, it might be time to ask a professional for help.
Working with a personal trainer can help you stay focused and reach your goals. They have the proper knowledge and experience to create a plan that works for you and encourage you every step of the way.
If you live in or around Cork, sign-up to one of my fitness classes Cork; otherwise, I am available for remote coaching.
Shane Sull Fitness