Your First Time In The Gym

Your First Time In The Gym

We all know the score, it is your first time in the gym and let’s face it, it can be a big hurdle. I remember the first time I went to a gym properly when I lived in a fairly intimidating area of South London and I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed to do so I jumped on the first treadmill I saw and worked up a disgusting amount of sweat then headed for some machines still sweating my tits off and making a disgusting mess of the equipment. People probably thought I was an utter selfish cunt when really I was just nervous and unaware of what I should be doing.


Infact, I cannot think of meeting any former or current partner’s family as being as intimidating as that first hike up the stairs into Fitness First on Walworth Road…gym4

The problem is, not only do you not really know what each machine is or does, there’s very experienced lifters all around that you are sure think you are a twat.

The mere notion of form, compound lifts, supersets, warming up etc was nothing compared to just wondering what the pegs do on the stack.

However, what’s the reality? Nobody was born with a dumbbell in their hand, everyone starts at the same point and even if they don’t look nervous or over confident, inside they are shitting themselves and will soon come a cropper. Always be modest and polite, it will take you much further than dropping the plates on the floor.

Ultimately getting comfortable with yourself around the gym floor is key, the easiest way is to probably try a few of the machines over a period of time, these are safer and simpler to use and generally do not require a spotter or lifting partner. Not only that, it gives you a chance to scope out what the guys are doing in the free weights. If you are still unsure, try to build the up the confidence to ask one of the people you see there often, they may look scary but generally speaking if you ask them advice they will be flattered and more than happy to talk. Plus they probably love lifting and who doesn’t like talking about what they love?

The free weights are extremely beneficial to your body if performed correctly, it may be a little daunting heading over to the squat rack but once mastered it will develop your overall muscle tone, strength and confidence, additionally this applies to people of all genders and ages. I would go on to say that the squat is one of the most beneficial exercises. Period. So it makes sense to prize yourself away from the machines and head over to the barbell.  


However, do not be disheartened at seeing people squatting and benching 200, 300 and even 400lbs+ these people all had to start where you are and again, would probably be more than happy to discuss and offer any advice to a newbie.

Once you start hitting the weights, your overall health will be improved and this goes for mental and cognitive function, the endorphins released will bring over a whole sense of satisfaction and well being, so do not delay, try to push your fears aside and head in to that gym.

Always set yourself achievable goals, when you keep smashing them your will want to return for more.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.
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