Going to a gym is an excellent way to get in shape and learn about new exercises. While the gym visit has many benefits, novice gym goers might feel a little intimidated and lost in the initial phases of enjoying the facilities.
Working out at the gym does not mean it is necessary to go through that period of feeling lost an intimidated.
Start With Orientation
Many gyms offer orientation for new members who have just joined and it is often a free service to help new members learn about the gym and the facilities available for their use.
During the orientation, new gym members can expect to learn about the classes offered at the gym, the location of any facilities like a pool or sauna and the different machines available in the gym.
While taking a tour with the employee of the gym, take time to ask a few questions. This is a major component to avoiding that lost and intimidated feeling on the first few visits. A gym has equipment that many individuals are not likely to own or know how to use in that first visit.
As a result, it might seem intimidating and the gym can end up leading to feeling a little lost and confused.
Take the orientation as a time to find out more about the machines. Ask what the machine works on and a few basics about how it is used.
The more questions asked during the orientation, the better a gym experience becomes. During the questioning session, ask about any rules or sign in sheets that might apply to the gym.
Arrive Early for Classes
Taking a scheduled yoga, aerobics or other classes at the gym is a great way to get excellent workouts.
In the beginning of the training, it is important to arrive early and talk to the instructor. This is particularly important on the first day for a few key reasons which include:
- Getting a few tips to keep up
- Allowing the instructor to suggest placement to avoid problems
- Giving the instructor an opportunity to help as appropriate for the class
By pointing out that it is the first time attending a class at the gym and taking time to talk to the instructor before starting, it is possible for the instructor to take measures appropriate to the situation.
In classes like yoga, that might mean getting a little help with the unknown forms. In other classes it might simply mean the instructor shows the movement more than once or slows down a little to make it easier to keep up.
Instructors will want to know who is new to the class to help minimize the potential problems that might arise, such as running into other members or other accidents.
Some gyms will have specialized classes for beginners while others do not, so it is important to arrive early and find out as much as possible from the instructor before the class begins as possible.
Ask Employees for Help
The gym is likely to have a wide range of unfamiliar equipment, particularly in the first few days. The unfamiliar equipment is a key part of why new gym members often feel lost and confused. With so many machines geared toward muscle building that look complicated, it is easy to become confused about how it works and which muscle groups it is designed to help.
When facing an unfamiliar machine, it is best to ask an employee for assistance. The employee can explain how the machine works, the muscle groups it is designed to strengthen and safety precautions to prevent injuries.
In most cases, the employee is the ideal individual to explain the use of machines and equipment.
Some older gym members who have been using the machines regularly might also offer help, but it is usually best not to ask for help from other gym members if they do not offer.
Distractions during weight training can lead to injuries, so employees are ideal when seeking assistance with a machine.
Asking the employees for help is the best solution to most of the problems new members might face, including issues that are unrelated to the basic use of equipment.
When in doubt about anything at the gym, it is best to ask questions to avoid feeling more confused later.
Work With Known Equipment
When the feelings of confusion seem to get in the way of a good workout, it is best to turn to well-known equipment instead of trying out new items. Gyms have more than just the complicated weight training machines, so it is not necessary to get bogged down with too many new machines at the same time.
Instead of using a weight training machine, it is possible to make use of dumbbells and free weights instead. Most gyms will have a set of basic free weights that are not part of any machine. Some gyms might even have resistance bands for workouts that are more familiar at home. By opting for these weight training solutions, the complications are reduced and it is easier to get past the burden of feeling lost.
As a general rule, it is best to try learning about only one or two machines with each visit and use comfortable exercises for the rest of the visit. That will not only make it easier to avoid confusion while learning the machines, but it also gives an opportunity to get into great shape.
Remember to Wipe Down Equipment
Not only is it hygienic to clean the equipment before and after use, it is often a matter of manners. New gym goers who are not naturally worried about germs might wonder why the gym always has paper towels and spray bottles or the other gym members are constantly cleaning the equipment. The reason is simple: hygiene.
As a new member of the gym, it is easy to feel lost about gym protocols and this is particularly problematic since many gyms have different rules relating to hygiene, sign in sheets and manners than others.
Though wiping the gym equipment varies by gym and not all gyms will have the paper towels and cleaner by the equipment, it is generally considered good manners to clean the equipment after working with it.
For machines like a treadmill or elliptical, which have limited body contact, it is still best to wipe down and clean the handles and any area touched on the machine.
This is primarily a matter of cleaning up the sweat from an intensive cardiovascular workout at the gym as well as a hygienic way to avoid the spread of sicknesses or other problems.
Feeling like a fish out of water at the gym is a common experience. Many gym members feel uncomfortable and out of place with the first few visits.
Fortunately, it is easy to overcome the feeling that the gym is intimidating by taking extra time to ask questions, learn the particular protocols and manners of the gym and avoid getting bogged down by trying to learn only one machine at a time. By following a few simple keys, it is easy to get a great workout in the gym without feeling lost.
Now that you have a better understanding of what to do at the gym be sure to check out WeightTraining.com Workout Plans and log your workout to build consistancy and results!