Welcome to the inaugural post at GymTips.org!
Hopefully today we can both start a new journey on the path to better things. But enough about that, let’s kick-off this post about..
GYM FOR BEGINNERS – Part 1 of … *murmurs*
Okay, so you’ve decided it’s time to shed your unhealthy habits and 80’s-action-movie-montage your way to peak physical fitness.
Your iPod is loaded up with the various Rocky soundtracks, you’ve put on your brand new “expensive but worth it because you heard a doctor say they were good for your spine or whatever that one time” New Balance shoes and are ready to go.
In the words of MC Hammer-Curl – “STOP!” ..just for a moment.
Advice #1 – You’re a Towel
Remember your towel! Nobody wants to bathe in your sweat after you’ve just repped to the moon and back on the flat bench (or any other equipment for that matter).
It’s a well known fact that sweaty gym equipment was first invented in Nazi Germany by Dr. A. Gaihnzbreu, M.D, D.Y.E.L. Please, don’t be a literal Nazi – clean up your sweaty equipment.
Advice #2 – Wherever Ego, I Go
If it’s your first ever time at the gym, or you’re a returning vet – take it easy! Leave the ego tied up outside the gym.
No-one wants to travel the (compressed) L1 down to Tornquad Blvd to get to Snap City.
What I mean is; don’t lift heavy. You’re just starting – at the moment your body is like cold toffee, ready to snap on a whim. Warm that toffee up with consistent exercise before you try and deadlift your father’s side of the family.
Advice #3 – Real Life Yahoo Q&A
Speaking of first time at the gym, if it truly is your first time, don’t be afraid to ask for help with the equipment.
That’s what the staff are there for, they won’t bite your head off. In my experience, they’ve been more than happy to show me how to use something or comment on my form.
If there’s no staff available, ask someone who clearly looks like they know what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to, a lot of people consider it a compliment to be asked for advice plus, the worse they could possibly do is beat you to a bloody pulp. When it’s put into perspective like that, it’s easier to not be afraid.
There’s more than one way to grab a ticket to Snap City, poor form and/or incorrect methods are some of the more common approaches.
Advice #4 – Short and Sweet is All I’d Intend
Okay, so you’re in the gym; towel in hand, your form is solid and you haven’t torn a muscle. Awesome! Now all that’s left to do is bicep curl and bench-press until you feel you can’t go on
Not necessarily, no.
Your time in the gym, especially as a beginner, really doesn’t need to exceed more than around the hour mark, certainly no more than 2.
A lot of roided up brahs will tell you that you haven’t had a good workout until your session lasts the length of the LOTR trilogy played back to back, but trust me, if you hammer your body like that in the first few weeks of joining the gym; you’re going to feel it for days.
Even as a seasoned veteran, 2 hours is the most you’d ever really need to spend in the gym.
To help with your time efficiency, it’s best to know what you’re going to do ahead of time. A plan of sorts…
I’d highly recommend Starting Strength or StrongLifts 5×5 as solid free workout plans. Used by plenty of gym beginners around the world, these programs are written by professionals who really know what they’re talking about. They’re very simplistic, keeping the amount of exercises needed to perform in a session right down and are formulated around the compound movements (deadlifts, benchpress, squat).
However, there are also some paid options out there which, if you have the disposable cash, can certainly be worth your while.
One of those programs is Critical Bench by Mike Westerdal*, it’s incredibly popular but a little pricey at $47 (click here for 14-day trial @ 9.95*). It’s more than just a workout plan, it has meal ideas and a bunch of answers for questions that newer gym goers might have. If you’re really lost and don’t know where to start, this can help you greatly.
All in all, the best advice I could really give to someone contemplating going to the gym is: do it. So many people get caught up in the details that they don’t end up starting the gym session because they’re slightly under their macros, they’re a little tired or simply can’t be arsed.
Ask for help and take it easy. You’ll gain the confidence to expand on what you’re doing as the weeks go by. Get used to the thought of going to the gym; of being in the gym. If you’re anything like me or a lot of other folks out there, their will come a time where you’ll want the next 24 hours to speed along so you can head back into the gym.
I’ll be adding more to this series as this site grows. Will probably keeps the tips to around 4-5 an post, for the sake of brevity (plus, let’s be real – writing constant content is hard enough, having a series to fall back on lightens that load).
I look forward to hearing all your success stories over the next few months onward.
Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Thank you, in advance for your support!