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Gym and fitness centres are spaces for working out. They typically allow members to train based on a membership plan or gym pass. These plans offer access to fitness equipment and other amenities such as group fitness classes.

What to do on your first day in the gym?

Your first day in the gym?

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Ultimate Gym Guide

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Types of Gyms and Fitness Centres

Not all gyms and fitness centres are the same. Some only offer fitness equipment. Corporate gyms tend to benefit from the help of dedicated personal trainers and extra facilities such as showers, spa areas, massage rooms, and even dedicated group class facilities. Here are the most popular types of gyms.

24-Hour gyms

Open 24 hours per day, 24-hour gyms are ideal for busy customers. They remain open through the night offering the possibility of getting in shape to all types of people who might work irregular hours or to those who don’t like to train when the gym is the busiest.

Aquatic & fitness centres

Aquatic centres are ideal for swimming and water sports. They typically run on a membership basis similar to a gym. The main benefits of such premises include access to one or multiple pools, specific pool-based gym classes, and guidance from professional swimming instructors.

Boxing gym

Boxing gym is ideal training grounds for boxers. They include a boxing ring, punching bags, battle ropes, boxing gloves, and other boxing training equipment. These gyms typically run boxing classes.

CrossFit gym

Cross-training gyms incorporate elements from all types of gyms. These fitness centres have dedicated workout space for weights, cardiovascular training, and even stretching. CrossFit gyms are an example of cross-training fitness centres. These are affiliated with the international CrossFit community. However, there are many cross-training gyms not affiliated with CrossFit.

Health and fitness club

Health and fitness clubs are general wellbeing facilities offering gym access. They also offer complementary health packages such as access to massage therapies.

Martial arts studio

Ideal for those who want to get into martial arts these studios run on a group training schedule. Martial arts classes are scheduled throughout the day and access to the studios is normally based on booking a place in a class.

MMA & kickboxing gym

MMA gyms are ideal for those who want to get into MMA. They run similarly to boxing gyms with plenty of punching bags and additional fitness equipment that also supports kicking and other kickboxing techniques.

Personal training studio

Personal training studios are ideal one-to-one fitness centres. They offer personalized guidance through personal trainers with the purpose of achieving the desired fitness goal faster.

Pilates studio

Pilates studios only run Pilates classes. These are group classes guided by at least a trained Pilates instructor a few times per week.

Weightlifting gym

Weightlifting gyms are focused on heavyweights. They can feature more free weights such as dumbbells and more weightlifting machines such as leg presses compared to a standard general gym.

Women’s only gym & yoga studio

All-women gyms can split into different categories. Standard gyms where only women are allowed to train are the first type of fitness space where men aren’t allowed. Yoga studios for women are also highly popular.

Some fitness centres are solely dedicated to a certain sport or physical activity. Yoga gyms are known as yoga studios or yoga fitness centres. They don’t have any gym machines as they’re focused on group yoga classes. These studios also operate on a membership basis. You pay per session, per several sessions, or for monthly access.

See our latest article: What to do on your first day in the gym?

5 Benefits of Exercising at The Gym

But why would you train in a gym and not at home? Apart from being a great place to meet people, gyms also have a bit more serious benefits for reaching your fitness goals.

  1. Excellent equipment choices. You can find better fitness equipment at the gym. Even those with a home gym find multiple other options to train with at the gym. Most gyms have the equipment to target both large and smaller muscles.
  2. A motivating workout space. The gym can be a motivating place to train. When you see other people training you feel like training yourself. It can sometimes be difficult to find the right motivation to train when you don’t see anyone else working out.
  3. Access to group fitness classes. Gyms often offer group fitness classes. These offer a standardized training program. Many gyms allow free access to these group fitness classes to their members.
  4. Working out solo or with a partner. You can also train on your own or with a training partner at the gym. Training with a friend is easy since there are plenty of fitness machines to choose from.
  5. Easy access to personal trainers. Personal trainers aren’t typically available for one-on-one sessions on a standard membership plan. However, you can sometimes hire a personal trainer at the gym for a standard fee per session. Commercial or branded gyms often have in-house personal trainers you can hire to help you get in shape faster and safer.

Types of Gym Passes

Accessing gyms and fitness studios is based on a membership plan. Many gyms offer a free first training session so that you can see if you like the workout space or not. You can proceed to choose one of the following gyms passes from there.

  • Standard membership plans

Gym membership plans are based on weekly, monthly, or multi-month access. Most gyms charge a monthly fee for unrestricted access for a full month. Discounts might apply when you buy a membership in advance.

  • Pay-per-class

You can pay per session in some gyms. Ideal for visiting members, some gyms offer a session or a full day’s access best at a fixed price.

  • Free gym passes

Free gym passes are given on open days or to members who can invite a friend for a workout. Specific to corporate gyms, free gym passes are often awarded to regular members who can choose a specific day to train with a friend. You can also benefit from a free gym pass when you first want to try out a new gym.

10 Useful Tips for Gym Beginners

Going to the gym for the first time? You may find the experience a little bit daunting and terrifying at the beginning. There are many new things to learn, the different machines, the new routines and the unique social etiquette that gyms have. Don’t panic! Here are some useful tips to help you get through this first experience.

1. Try to get a one-day pass

Most gyms offer a one-day pass to attract new clients. If the one that interests you have this offer, take advantage of it and visit the gym, have a look at the machines and see first-hand how they work and what the trainers have to offer to the beginners. On the other hand, if the gym you want to try does not have any promotional offer, give them a call, and ask for a one-day pass to try their services. Most certainly they won’t miss the chance to sell a membership, so they will gladly offer you to try their machines and visit their facilities for free.

2.  Try to get a workout partner

Probably you have never heard about workout partners before. It is a great way of staying motivated and don’t miss your fitness targets. If you find a friend or a colleague to go with you to the gym, then it will be more difficult for you to miss your session. You can also make the arrangement with someone that is in the same situation as you are in the gym and make arrangements to meet and train certain days of the week.

 3.  Realistic expectations

You need to understand that building up muscle and eliminating all the excess fat takes time and that it is very unlikely you will see immediate results. Patience is the key word here. Learn the techniques correctly and do as you are told, focusing doing lots of stretching, light weights and improve your flexibility.

4.  Start off gently

When going to the gym for the first time you just want to try it all. Big mistake! You may be tempted to go every single day two hour per day, but honestly, that is not the right approach. It is important you avoid overdoing during your first sessions. Start gently, only with some exercises and then, little by little, increase the intensity, repetitions and duration of the workout.

5.  Regular workouts

To succeed and achieve your fitness goals it is recommended to train regularly. When starting at the gym it is important to keep a routine, for example one hour per day, three days a week. It is recommended for newbies not to go to the gym consecutive days, as you need to let the body recover and rest in between sessions.

6.  Avoid free weights

When you start going to the gym, at the beginning is recommended to stick to machine weights instead of using free weights until you learn all about them.

7.  Start with light weights if you have not done weights before

Don’t start working out with weights that are too heavy, as you can injure your muscles. You need first to make your muscles get used to lifting weight and that can only be achieved by starting light.

8.  Personal training sessions can be a good idea

At the beginning, it is most likely that you will have an induction with one of the trainers at the gym. With this person you will set the goals and he/she will give you a routine to follow in order to achieve them. However, after this induction you are on your own, following the instructions and routine by yourself. Therefore, it is a good idea to pay for a session with a personal trainer at least once every six weeks, so he/she can assess your progress and recommend a new or different routine if necessary.

9.  Try the classes that the gyms offer

Nowadays there is much more than weights and machines at the gyms. Many of them offer different types of classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba, body combat or martial arts. Many gyms will include these classes as part of your monthly payments, so why not take advantage of it? Taking a class or two will help you to feel more comfortable in the gym and you will also have the chance to meet other people.

10.  If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask

Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to ask a question or two… or more. The staff at the gym is there to help you and assist you with any questions or doubts you may have. Bear in mind that their mission is help you achieve your fitness goals and by answering your questions they are contributing to your achievement.

Going to the gym for the first time doesn’t have to be a scary experience. On the contrary, it has to be one that makes you feel happy, satisfied with yourself and most importantly, an experience in which you feel supported every step of the way.

Gyms and fitness studios are the ideal space for working out. They benefit from a wide range of fitness equipment which allows you to train all muscles and even to consider multiple types of training such as bodybuilding and cardiovascular routines. You can become a gym member by paying for a membership plan. These plans start with covering the basic access to the fitness equipment. But they can also come with add-ons for accessing other facilities such as spas and swimming pools.

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