Heading to the gym can be intense, especially if you haven’t visited in a while. Whether you’ve had an extended gym break due to COVID-19 restrictions, or you’re starting your fitness journey with a new gym membership, getting into a new gym routine can be tricky and overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve compiled our top fitness tips for beginners so that you can feel as confident as possible when you head for that first workout.
Gym Training Tip #1: Don’t skip the warm up
When you’re keen to get into your exercise routine, it’s easy to head straight for the fancy machines and skip the warm up stage. When you boil a pan of water, you have to give the hob time to heat up – it’s the same with your body.
Give your body the opportunity to get into gym mode, and you’ll cope much better with the following exercises. Plus, a warm up period gives your mind the opportunity to get into the zone as well as your body.
So, before you begin the core part of your gym session, warm up thoroughly and pay close attention to the body areas you’ll be focusing on. This fitness tip for beginners is essential, because failure to warm up can lead to injury. In the same breath, if you only have a short period of time to dedicate to a workout then don’t spend too long warming up. Perform a couple of warm up exercises and then a few lighter sets on the exercises you are planning on doing in your workout and crack on.
Some easy warm ups for beginners include:
- Lying Thoracic Mobility
- 360 Cobra
- Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls
- Body weight Squats
When you warm up, you’re activating your central nervous system, improving your blood circulation and increasing your muscle flexibility to ensure you perform to the best of your ability during your workout.
Gym Training Tip #2: Be realistic with your goals
We all exercise for different reasons. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase your muscle mass, lose weight or improve your stamina, it’s important to remember that long-term goals are exactly that: long term.
It’s critical that you break down your ultimate goal into smaller, realistic and achievable goals to help you maintain motivation throughout your fitness journey. Many people expect too much too soon, which leads to disappointment and the abandonment of their training programme.
So be sensible. Don’t expect to turn into The Rock or Scarlett Johanson on week one. Try setting weekly, fortnightly or monthly goals that will help you achieve your long term ambitions.
If this is something you struggle with, it may be worth considering one-to-one personal training. Our personal trainers will work with you to identify what you’re looking to achieve, and match this with your body type and ability to help you set a realistic roadmap for success.
Gym Training Tip #3: Accept that you’re not perfect
When you start exercising, you’re not going to look like one of the shiny Adidas ads you see on the TV. You’re going to sweat. A lot! You’ll be out of breath. And you’re going to have some pain during and after your workout.
This is completely normal, especially for beginners who are starting or returning to the gym. Even seasoned gym goers will experience these side effects as they kick their workouts up a level. It doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to exercise, and it doesn’t mean you should quit. It just means you’re working hard.
Things worth having aren’t easy to achieve. So if you’re feeling the physical strain of exercise, it means you’re pushing your limits and your boundaries. This is how you get results. So a top fitness tip for beginners is not to be disheartened if you find the exercises difficult. It usually means you’re doing something right.
Gym Training Tip #4: Keep going
This is probably the most important fitness tip for beginners: don’t give up. The first week or two will likely be difficult. You’ll be achy and might question why you’re dragging yourself to the gym at 6am. However, your consistency and regular commitment will be rewarded with the results you’re looking for.
When you start your fitness journey, it’s not instinctive and it’s not yet second nature. Through consistent commitment, your fitness journey will become embedded into your daily routines. It’ll become a new habit that’s part of a healthier, stronger lifestyle.
For some people, having an element of accountability is beneficial for their commitment and continuity. If this sounds like you, it may be worth exploring the range of personal training services we offer at FORM MCR. Our expert trainers are always there to be the encouraging voice you need when you’re on the verge of giving up. Plus, our trainers are full of more useful fitness tips for beginners, so get in touch if you’re looking for support with your fitness journey.