Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John F. Kennedy
Fitness can make you a passionate, motivated, ambitious, active, healthy and good-looking person if you let it. And it all starts with the first workout.
The gym is there, waiting for you. There are millions of different ones, you just have to find yours – it may be a small local one, a gym only for females, a big one with all kinds of machines and a lot of space…
Just go, start and don’t give up. The wonderful changes in your life take some time.
If you’ve just started, then you’re a newbie, which is okay. This is not high school or else so don’t make the same excuses. Many things will come and make you think that everything is pointless, that you are never going to be fit and can’t become like one of those guys around you that lift heavy. Well, ignore that voice.
It is the second obstacle you’ll meet on your way to physical success (the first is getting a membership and going to the gym for a second and third time).
Remember that it’s all in your head and all the things you now consider hard will soon be a piece of cake for you.
So if you are new to the gym, here is a list of the things you will eventually need to know. It takes a lot of time to learn them from experience so you can just understand them now and avoid making the mistakes thousands of people have been making again and again. Read about them now and fix your way of training and thinking so that you can start shaping your body the right away.
1. Ask for help and advice.
In my gym I’m always eager to learn new things, so at the beginning I was asking those who – in my opinion – were working out professionally.
They were so glad that someone new had such a desire to improve his body and way of training that they didn’t hesitate to show me new exercises and correct the ones I was doing wrong.
Soon they were helping me without even being asked, and after some time I was taught the most important things about fitness.
What I want to say is that asking for help or advice is always beneficial. Notice who has the most well-shaped body and works the hardest, and no matter how uninterested in everything other than his workout he looks, be sure that he would love to share his secrets with a passionate newbie who is willing to give his best.
Don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere.
2. Don’t overtrain.
Most of the times, especially during the first workouts, everyone is too enthusiastic about his workouts and stays in the gym too long, using every machine for a long time.
You have too much energy (maybe because you haven’t been training lately) and now want to burn it all, but it can’t happen at once.
You may hit the gym and push hard the first time you go there, but don’t forget that on the next day you may not be able to get up from your bed.
You need to be reasonable in the energy you spend during your first few workouts. Stay there for an hour, then have a nice meal and a good sleep. Be fresh and do it again on the next day.
3. Create a workout schedule for the week.
It’s good to try different things, combinations, exercises, weights, machines, etc. and understand what works best for you and your body.
You may like some cardio machines more than others. Get to know how your body reacts after working on your arms (or else) two days in a row. Maybe training some parts will get you much more exhausted than working on others. Notice the details – if you sweat a lot, if you get too bored doing the same thing over and over again, etc.
After that you are ready to build a schedule for your workout for every day of the week and stick to it.
For example you can set 2 days for cardio, 2 rest days and 3 strength days (one for the lower body, one for the upper and middle).
Then, if you want to emphasize on strength, you can minimize cardio, have one rest day and make your strength sessions last longer. It’s up to you.
Don’t wait to see new muscles showing up on your first workout.
Give your body time and for now just concentrate on improving your training program and making fitness a habit.
Confidence will come soon after you’ve started seeing results from your effort.
5.Collect information from different sources.
Read everything about the way muscles and your body work, machines at the gym and how to use them, cardio and how it should be done, rest between sets, supplements, eating before and after a workout, the body’s reaction to every exercise and so on.
6. Don’t get too obsessed with others.
Realize that nobody is staring at you or laughing at the way you do the exercise. Everyone is there to train and doesn’t care what the others are doing. Just concentrate on your workout and ignore the rest of the world.
7. Know your limits.
If a dumbbell is too heavy for you, use the lighter one; if an exercise is difficult and you feel pain while doing it, try the easier version of it for now.
Don’t act like a hero and don’t forget that you are the only person you need to impress at the gym.
What mistakes did you make when you first went to the gym? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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