Have you recently joined a gym? Is so congratulations!
Joining a gym shows that you are taking the first steps to living a healthier life.
The problem is joining a new gym can be very intimidating. You see all the big sweaty bodybuilders throwing around weights and it strips you of your confidence.
On top of that the machines, which are there to help you transform your body, can seem very confusing.
But even with all that, you are super excited and ready to get this party started!
Where Do You Start?
Walking in the gym for the first time can be very overwhelming.
If you haven’t been to the gym in several years, there is a good chance some of the machines are new to you.
That means you probably have no idea how to use them.
If this is the case don’t worry.
Below you will find a brief overview of the different sections of the gym.
Hopefully this will help you get off to a great start as you work towards your health and fitness goals.
Don’t Skip New Member Orientation
Generally speaking you will be offered new member orientation upon joining a gym.
Do not skip it!
New member orientation is where you learn very valuable information about the gym.
Not only will you get a tour of the club, but you will also be able to get a health assessment and body fat analysis.
These two things will give you an indication of where you are health wise so you can start making the needed adjustments.
The 4 Sections of The Gym
Most gyms have 4 key sections. The cardio section, the strength section, the free weights section, and an area for group fitness classes.
Let’s start with the cardio section.
Most cardio sections have an endless sea of cardio machines.
You will have treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, and in some gyms, a stair stepper.
The good news is almost all cardio machines have clear instructions printed on the console to help you get started quickly.
If you are a beginner stick with the treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical trainer.
Next up is the strength machine section.
This area is probably the most confusing area in the gym.
Luckily most gyms have their strength machines organized in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate.
Most strength machines will be categorized based on muscle group.
For example, all chest machines will be in one area and all back machines will be in one area.
One thing you will notice is several different machines for the same muscle group.
With so many options it can be hard to decide which one to use.
As a beginner stick with the machines that you are most comfortable using. As you become more familiar with other machines you can add them to your routine.
The free weights section is by far our favorite section in the gym.
The great thing about free weights is they don’t restrict your movements.
Because of this you are able to get a much better workout than you would with machines.
Please note this doesn’t mean machines don’t work.
Machines are great and will help you get amazing results.
But there are some movements that you should do with free weights.
Free weights will always be situated against a wall with a mirror.
In the free weight section you will find dumbbells, barbells, racks, and benches.
The last part of the gym we will discuss are the group fitness classes.
The fitness classes can be just as intimidating as the weight sections.
Especially since they usually have big class windows for everybody to see what you are doing.
But don’t let that scare you off.
Group fitness classes are a great way to get a workout if you aren’t quite ready for the weights.
They are also a great way to make a friend or two.
Some of the group fitness classes that may be offered at your gym include cycling, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, and dance just to name a few.
Some gyms will also offer silver sneakers classes for their older members.
If you want to go to a class but you’re a little shy, consider showing up to the class early.
This will allow you the opportunity to introduce yourself to the instructor and learn a little more about the class.
Once you start going to the gym you will quickly realize how awesome most gym goers are.
Many of these people have been through their own weight loss journey and know exactly how you are feeling.
Not only will they make you feel welcome, but they will cheer you on and push you to go to the next level.
So don’t be afraid or embarrassed to go to the gym.
Once you get there you will realize that most people in there have walked in the same shoes you are walking in right now.