When it comes to getting started at the gym for the first time, there can be a lot of things to initially consider.
Unfortunately, though, it’s my belief that many people often delay getting in shape right away because they believe it’s a big and complicated process.
However, it’s actually a rather simple process, and in this article, I will give you the “down low” on everything you need to know so you can get in shape and healthy right away!
Choosing the right gym
For starters, you have to chose the right gym. ( I know, I know, look at me being “Captain Obvious”)
There’s 3 main things to consider when choosing a gym:
Without a doubt, the cost of the membership often plays the biggest factor in your decision.
If you’re a little tight on cash, don’t worry as there are plenty of gyms out there that offer very low rates.
In fact, some gyms offer rates for as low as $10 per month.
They may not be the best gyms, but if you’re tight on cash, they will be your best choice.
This is HUGE!.
Is the gym close to your place?
This will make it so much easier to consistently get your workouts in.
If the gym is too far, you could try and justify that it’s “too far of a drive” and start skipping your workouts.
Also, are the gym hours convenient?
Perhaps you work shiftwork and a 24/7 gym would best suit your needs?
If you can afford it, sometimes it’s better to go with a gym that is more convenient, even if it costs a couple extra bucks a month.
3. Type of gym
This also plays a huge factor when you’re picking a gym.
Some gyms have more of a “meathead” style with huge guys jacked on roids and equipment that may be a bit dated.
These types of gyms are great if you plan on focusing more on weight training and want a lot of equipment to work with.
Some gyms offer more of a “studio” style with fitness classes and often have a smaller weight room section.
If you feel fitness classes or yoga would be more your thing then this is likely your best choice.
An finally, some gyms offer a weight room, a pool/spa, and perhaps a basketball court, tennis court, and/or a running track.
These gyms typically cost the most money, but if want all these features, go for it.
As for what you should wear?
This is entirely up to you.
For tops, you have the option of athletic tops, tank tops, or t-shirts.
I personally prefer athletic tops.
In fact, I consider Under Armour to be the highest quality workout gear on the market!
I have several Under Armour workout shirts so I can personally vouch for the quality.
I hang dry mine instead of putting them in the dryer.
I’ve had this shirt for over 4 years now and it’s in just as good of shape as when I first bought it.
I think the big thing with tops is to buy ones that fit well.
If you happen to be a little out of shape at the moment, it’s often a bad idea to wear really tight tops as they will only amplify the appearance of excess weight.
If this is the case, I recommend baggier tops, at least for now.
If you’re already in good shape, there’s nothing wrong with wearing some tighter/fitted/”compression” tops.
For bottoms, some guys prefer shorts, whereas some prefer sweats or splash pants.
Again, up to you.
Don’t put too much thought into this.
You should DEFINITELY get some gym shoes!
In fact, some gym owners would literally like to remove your head from your body if you ever dared to walk on their gym floor with muddy or dirty shoes.
Aside from being respectful by wearing gym shoes, a good pair will also improve your performance at the gym as you can buy ones that are specifically tailored for performing exercises.
They don’t have to be expensive, just make sure they’re comfortable.
They’ll also last a long time if you only wear them indoors at the gym.
Gym accessories are totally your call.
Some guys like to use straps while performing certain lifts.
Also, some gyms like to chalk their hands before a lift.
If there’s no “chalk on the house” at the gym and you need to bring your own, bring it in a dish.
Do not spill chalk all over the gym floor and/or equipment.
Weight belts are an also option if you’re concerned about your lower back while performing heavier lifts.
Some gyms have spare ones around, but often you’ll have to buy your own.
The gym can be a great place to meet friends or even a woman
The gym can be a great place to meet fitness minded friends.
You give a guy a spot here and there on the bench and next thing you know you’re going for a round of golf together.
It’s definitely great to make new friends, but make sure you don’t get to the point where you start socializing more than working out.
Just as you can meet friends at the gym, you can also meet women.
This can be kind of hit and miss, though, and is more “your call.”:
Although I certainly don’t recommend hitting on every woman at the gym, if you see one that catches your eye and you’d like to get a date with her, I say go for it.
Speaking of women….
Don’t be a perv
I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but it’s true.
“But, Mitchel, aren’t yoga pants God’s gift to men?”
Ok, you got me.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t “sneak a peak” here and there.
I mean, how can you not at times?
That being said, though, it’s one thing to take a look, but another to stare and creep out women.
There’s no such thing as the “squat form inspector.”
Also, keep in mind that there’s TONS of mirrors around.
Don’t be this guy….
A workout partner can be excellent as they can help you stay motivated in achieving your fitness goals.
That is, assuming they’re a good workout partner.
Get a bad workout partner and your workouts will SUCK!
They won’t want to go, or they’ll always be late.
If you work a random schedule, a workout partner may not be the best idea as it can be tough to jive up schedules.
Be courteous to those around you
If you add some weight to a bar or machine, unload it afterwords.
It’s very bad gym etiquette to not put your weights away.
The next person using the equipment will have to unload it and it can also lead to some confusion as others will be wondering if you or someone else is still using the equipment.
Also, if you suspect someone may be using a piece of equipment, ask them if you can hop in or if they are done rather than just barging in.
Also, make sure to wipe your equipment down once you’re finished.
Relax and have fun!
Chill out, bro!
I’ll let you in on a little secret….
NO ONE REALLY CARES WHAT YOU ARE DOING AT THE GYM!
I have NEVER heard anyone say, “Look at that loser over there who’s out of shape and can barely lift a thing”
You’ll often find that the “regulars” are quite focused on their own workouts.
They’re not even paying attention to you.
Also, don’t be scared to ask a member for a spot or a staff member for help if you’re unsure of something.
You’ll find that most people are quite helpful.
Enjoy yourself at the gym and make it a place that you frequently visit 🙂