Are you all set to hit the gym for the first time? If yes, then maybe you are scared a bit of thinking how well it will go.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner, the first day in the gym is always the most daunting. Getting out of your comfort zone and going to a new place is always challenging. When it comes to gyms, the prospect of entirely new equipment and new people is enough to get the better of everyone. A bad first day can ruin the whole gym experience.
That’s why we’ve come up with this guide to help even the most nervous gym-goers navigate through their first day. From gym ethics to clothing, we’ll cover everything to ensure that you fit in as best as possible on your first day.
Without much further ado, here’s everything you need to know to prepare for your first day in the gym.
Creating a Fitness Plan
One of the most significant mistakes the new gym-goers make is going to training without a proper plan. Suppose you don’t have a proper strategy on the first day. In that case, you’ll find yourself wandering around aimlessly and getting overwhelmed by all the equipment. The most you’ll end up doing is a little bit of cardio on the market, to a few bicep curls, and then you’ll end up trying machines that you don’t completely understand. As a result, you’ll come home from your first day at the gym feeling inadequate and unsure about whether to continue!
You can avoid all this confusion by approaching your first day with a good workout plan. There are so many resources available online. A little bit of research beforehand will save you a lot of trepidation on the first day. With a proper workout plan, you’ll have goals in mind, and your first day at the gym will be more fruitful. Instead of leaving the gym without a sense of accomplishment, with a plan, you’ll leave knowing that you’re heading in the correct direction.
Here’s a simple workout that you can do on your first day of the gym!
A great way to start in the gym is by making sure that you work with each muscle group. Perform all the exercises below in 2-3 sets for 10-12 reps.
- Legs- Squats
- Chest- Dumbbell Bench Press
- Shoulders – Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Biceps – Dumbbell Curl
- Triceps – Cable Pushdown
- Abs/Core – Plank
It’s essential to start every single day in the gym with a warm-up exercise. Not only will it help in ensuring that you don’t suffer from any injury, but it’ll also help in building a routine. If you don’t feel comfortable stretching, another option is to jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes.
What Equipment do you Need?
When you’re just starting, there’s no need to invest in fancy gym equipment. As you learn more about working out, your gym kit will grow naturally. However, at the start, it’s best to keep your equipment as simple as possible. Here’s a checklist of everything you’re going to need for your first day at the gym.
- Gym Bag
- Toiletries & Clothes (if you shower at the gym)
- Your workout clothes
- Water bottle
- Workout headphones
- Membership card or tag
That pretty much covers all the equipment you’re going to need for your first day at the gym. A good idea is to pack your bag the night before, so you’re all set. That helps avoid any pre-gym anxiety about your outfit or gear. Speaking of which, one of the biggest fears people have on their first day at the gym is dressing incorrectly.
What Should you Wear?
Entering a gym for the first time can be intimidating. You’ll see all kinds of people in gym clothing, shredded to their core. There are all these gym clothing brands with so many different options, and it can be daunting. However, at the end of the day, nobody cares about what you’re going to wear to the gym. Almost every person at the gym is too preoccupied with bettering themselves to worry about what the other person is wearing. Here’s a basic outfit that you can wear to the gym every day.
- Shorts or Tights
- Basic joggers
That’s pretty much everything you’ll need for your first day at the gym. Even if you don’t have any joggers, any pair of sneakers you use to walk every day will be fine! Once you start going regularly, you can invest in more gym clothes. Always remember that functionality is the most important thing. Ensure that your gym clothes allow you to move freely and don’t restrict movement in any way!
What’s the Best Time to go to the Gym?
Many first-time gym-goers are guilty of fixating on the best time to visit the gym. The best time refers to when the gym is the least crowded and all the equipment is free. However, for many people who work full-time jobs, that level of flexibility isn’t possible. Whatever time you can visit the gym is the best time!
For those that can afford a bit more flexibility, it’s a good idea to ask the trainers at the gym beforehand about the off times. They can give you the best idea about when the gym is empty and when it’s rush hours. Generally, on the weekdays, the gym will be quietest during the late morning or early afternoon.
Regardless of how you see other people behave at the gym, it’s always important to remember basic gym etiquette. Always be respectful of other people at the gym, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the trainers there.
Aside from generally being respectful towards other people, there are a few basic etiquettes that’ll help ensure that you fit in appropriately at the gym.
- Take care of your hygiene
Always take a shower before and after you visit the gym! While many people follow the showering after the gym a bit, a surprising number of people will skip out on taking a shower before. It doesn’t matter if you’re excited or late. Make sure that you shower before the gym and wear clean clothes. Nobody’s going to be welcoming to someone that smells like the pet store, no matter how friendly they are!
Another good practice is to carry a towel with you to wipe off any sweat from the machine or bench when you’re done. No one expects you to be a complete germaphobe but being a little mindful of basic hygiene can help you and everyone else at the gym!
- Always put back the equipment
One of the most annoying things at the gym is people who use dumbbells and other equipment and then just leave them lying there. Not only is it rude to everyone else at the gym, but it’s also an injury hazard. Always put back any equipment that you use; it’s something that all serious gym-goers and owners will appreciate.
- Don’t make a lot of noise
Everyone has seen those videos online of guys getting together in the gym, lifting ridiculous amounts of weight while grunting like one of the orcs from the Lord of The Rings. While it does garner internet popularity, that’s not how you want to behave at the gym.
A deep breath or a slight grunt is fine, but you don’t want to attract attention because of the noise you make!
- Don’t be a creep
Lastly, there tend to be a lot of attractive people at the gym. Attractive people who want to work out without someone ogling, interrupting, or trying to flirt with them. You can socialize at the gym, but it’s important to gauge the situation and ensure that you’re not making any unwanted moves.
To sum up here are 10 useful tips of what to do on your first day in the gym.
We recommend you go through these tips to make your first day on the gym smooth yet productive.
1. Prepare a checklist of everything you need to carry to the gym
The worst thing to do when you go to the gym on the first is not taking the necessary stuff. Forgetting to take important stuff might ruin your entire workout at the gym. So, we recommend you make a checklist beforehand and make sure you take everything on the list along with you to the gym. Try to get this stuff into a separate backpack so that it is easy to carry them every day to the gym.
You can do quick research on what and all you might need in the gym with the trainer or any other members at the gym beforehand. Be careful not to forget any stuff on the first day itself and begin your gym sessions on a negative note.
Here is a quick guide of some items to add to your checklist:
- Water bottle
- Hair ties
- Membership card
- Workout clothes and a change of clothes
- Workout trainers.
2. Plan your workout
Having a prior plan will make everything easier and smooth. The same applies to workouts at the gym too. Having a plan beforehand for the workout is the key to be productive at the gym.
Being in the gym without a prior pan is not an effective way for gym training. You might have to wander around aimlessly across the gym if you haven’t planned the workout.
So, it is better to do a quick research and make a plan before you step out for your first day at the gym.
3. Warm up your body on a bike or elliptical machine
Have a brisk walk around the gym or get into the bike or elliptical machine to warm up your body on the first day. A bicycle or elliptical machine obviously is not the best piece of equipment in the gym for warming up. But these two require less concentration.
On the first day, we recommend you familiarize your eyes with the pieces of equipment at the gym. Therefore, it would be better to warm up on a bike or elliptical machine so that you can simultaneously see where every piece of equipment is placed around the gym.
4. Take advantage of the trainer at the gym
Most gyms nowadays have one or more trainers. Trainers at the gym will mostly provide induction sessions to new members. You can seek the help of these trainers on your first day at the gym to tackle your confusion and queries. Try to build a good bond with the trainers and gain maximum information to have productive gym sessions on further days.
5. Start going to the gym with a friend
Crushing your first-day anxiety in the gym will be a lot easier when you start working out with your friend. With a friend besides, training in a gym will be easy and smooth, So, consider starting your fitness journey with a friend.
6. Wear appropriate and comfortable clothes to the gym
Being comfortable in what you wear will improve the quality of your workouts. You can do a quick research and find out what is the most suitable clothing for the gym. Also, try to get into the clothes of the right fit. Make sure your dress will not catch up in the machinery at the gym.
Most of all, wear something you are confident in.
7. Hold back a bit on your first day in the gym
It is strongly advised not to get out of your comfort zone on the very first day at the gym itself. Obviously, you need to work hard and get out of your comfort zone for good results from the gym.
But it should not be done in the first session itself. Start slow and steady to achieve good results over time. Starting slow will also help you in preventing the chances of muscle soreness on the first day itself. Giving time to your body to get used to working out is the right way to start at the gym.
8. Clean the equipment after you use
Would you like to work out on machines with some others sweat on them? Obviously not. So, it is strongly recommended to clean up every piece of equipment after you use them.
Let us together build a good gym etiquette.
9. Ignore calls and messages
Taking up calls and replying to messages when you are in working out is not a good habit. Therefore, please leave your mobile phones behind from the very first day of the gym itself.
10. Put back everything after your use
Putting back everything to their place after you use them also helps you build a good gym etiquette.
Following this guide will help ensure that your first day at the gym leaves you motivated and wanting to come back for more. Taking that first step is always the most difficult, and hopefully, we’ve helped you on your fitness journey. Always remember to have a nutritious, high-protein meal after your workout to refuel and recover!