You're starting your fitness journey, which usually means joining the gym. The gym can be an intimidating place if you haven't been in for a while or have never been. Our goal is to help with that initial fear of the gym and help turn the gym into a comfortable place for you to reach your goals. Let's start with a couple of basics for the beginners in the room (and reminders for the veterans).
FORM IS YOUR FRIEND
Exercise form is your best friend in the gym, especially when you're just starting out. As a beginner, having proper form is essential to your safety and to your growth. Maintaining proper form throughout the exercises you perform will ensure that when you start upping the weight, you're properly positioned to handle that weight safely.
Not sure of the proper form? Ask a friend, look it up, or ask a trainer for some help!
PUT. YOUR. WEIGHTS. BACK.
This is for EVERYONE. New people, veterans, weekend warriors, late-nighters, all of you. Put your weights back. Dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, kettlebells, bands, mats, all of it. Be courteous to the person behind you, and put it back.
Oh, you didn't find it where it was supposed to be? Don't put it back there, put it back where it's supposed to be. Be that guy/girl. You'll influence all the people around you.
Veterans, consistent gym goers, and gym staff alike will thank you all day long for putting away your weights.
Water is essential to the body's proper function, so make sure you're drinking enough of it. It will also help wake you up in the morning and keep you energized throughout the day.
Dehydration can drain the body of its energy, so make sure you're drinking enough water with some of these simple tips!
Carry a reusable water bottle around with you throughout the day. While it will feel a bit inconvenient at first, carrying a water bottle will teach you a few things. First, it will teach you to be mindful of where you put it down (or leave it behind). Second, it will prompt you to drink from it, the more you see it. When you have it at work, put the bottle up on your desk where you can see it easily. Seeing it more repetitively will make you drink more.
Replace one drink with water. Are you used to having a soda with dinner? Trade it out for water. What about tea with lunch? Trade it out for water. You don't have to cut all your favorite drinks cold turkey, just switch one drink with water.
Need some flavor? Try adding some flavor to your water. There are LOADS of options for water flavorings at your favorite grocery store, give a few a try. Keep an eye on their sugar content though if you're being mindful of yours.
WARM UP BEFORE EVERY WORKOUT
Get the blood pumping and the muscles firing before you step into the squat rack with a warm-up. Your warm-up should not only get the blood moving and your heart rate up but should also start to activate the muscles you'll be targeting in today's workout.
Here are a few tips for getting a more productive warm-up.
Start with light cardio (preferably one centered around your muscle group of the day) for 5 minutes. The goal here is not to go max effort, it's simply to get your heart rate up and lightly activate the muscles.
Keep it brief. While you want to get everything moving and active, you also want to maintain energy for the workout itself. Keep your warm-up short, no more than 15 minutes.
Stepping into the gym or into a new fitness routine at home can be tough, but it will give you one of the best rewards there is, a healthier you.
What other tips do you need help with in the gym? Let us know in the comments below! 👇️