First Time Gym Guide | Surge Fitness
first time gym guide

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Gym Properly

Walking into a gym for the first time can be pretty daunting. Especially if you’re not familiar with how to use a gym and the wide variety of machines and equipment, taking those first steps through the front door might seem impossible.

But it’s not. In fact, once you get into the gym you will discover a supportive community and a world of achievements you never thought existed. A core part of getting fit and sticking to a healthy lifestyle is using a gym properly. Luckily, there’s no real secret to this – but there are a few guidelines you should follow for your safety, and the comfort of others around you.

Whether you’re preparing for your first time in a gym, returning after some time off, or just want a refresher, our guide to getting started in the gym is worth a read.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

When you walk into a gym for the first time, you may be confronted with some very unfamiliar sights. Weight machines that look like torture devices, stacks of confusing equipment, rows of people running on the spot.

Your first time in the gym, spend some time getting acquainted with the machines and equipment with the help of a qualified PT. Read instructions on machines and take it slow with new equipment. By the time you leave you will be totally familiar with everything that looked foreign an hour ago.

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Using a gym properly means using it safely. Especially while you’re still learning how to use the gym equipment and weights, don’t overdo your lifts and focus on technique. Safety at the gym means:

  • Lifting within your capacity
  • Using correct technique
  • Clearing away weights, towels, bottles etc. from your area before performing a movement
  • Staying hydrated
  • Stopping if you feel light-headed or sore
  • Using any required braces and assistive equipment


Gym Etiquette

Unless you’re lucky enough to have the gym all to yourself, be considerate of other people working out around you. If you are still learning how to use a gym you may make a couple of honest mistakes, like forgetting your water bottle or posting a #fitspo selfie. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just try to remember these general guidelines. Developing good workout (and lifestyle) habits starts from your first time in the gym:

General etiquette

  • Never interrupt someone’s workout to correct their movement or give unsolicited advice
  • If you need a spot, wait until the person has finished their exercise before approaching
  • Leave your ego at the door
  • Only take up the space you need
  • Don’t stare or hover while someone is working out


  • Always use a sweat towel on machines and benches
  • Wipe down equipment and weights after use
  • Only use chalk with explicit permission from a trainer
  • Keep shoes, shirt and socks on at all times
  • Clean up any water or sweat after using equipment

Using the equipment

  • Put weights back when you’re done
  • Take weights off bars and return them to the rack
  • Don’t hog equipment by leaving a towel or bottle on it
    • Yes, even if you are using it as part of a circuit
  • Move off the machine to chat, check social media or chill out
  • Try to accommodate other people by letting them “work in” (use the machine) between your sets
  • Don’t drop weights after a lift


  • For safety, make sure headphones are secure and cords tucked away
  • Keep volume to a level that doesn’t interfere with others
  • Only play music through headphones – if you forget them, we always have high-energy music pumping in the gym
  • Don’t use headphones during group fitness classes

Gym Hacks For First-Timers

Seems like there are a lot of rules for your first time in the gym, right? Don’t worry, it will only take a week or so before you’re confident you know how to use the gym properly. Many first-timers feel anxious that the learning curve is too steep, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your body wants to move and our trainers are here to help you do it safely. Regardless of age, fitness level, or your workout goals, you can master the gym and discover a healthier life.

Set yourself goals

Start with small, measurable goals like going to the gym 3 times a week. Then work up and out, until you’re in the habit of using the gym 4-5 times a week and have goals for every workout or week. Setting goals is an important part of motivating yourself to stick to a workout routine, especially when you don’t feel like it.

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Nobody is judging you

During your first visit to the gym you’re guaranteed to see fit and muscly people picking up weights like they’re nothing. It can be easy to feel intimidated, but here’s the secret: nobody is judging you. Most people are too focussed on lifting safely and correctly, so will likely not even register your presence. Those who do, are probably proud of you for taking the first steps on your fitness journey. Because:

Everybody starts somewhere

People aren’t born buff. Everyone you see in the gym is at a different stage of fitness. Some may have been on this path for years, others for months or just days. There is no reason for you to feel intimidated or embarrassed. Surge Fitness gyms are a safe place where everybody is welcome. We have a zero tolerance policy for bullying or harassment, and our staff are always available if you need help.


Think You’re Ready For The Gym?

Then let’s do it! Pack a bag (don’t forget your towel) and come in to your nearest Surge Fitness. Whether this is your first time in a gym, or just the first time in a few years, we are here to help you get started. On your first visit a qualified trainer will show you the ins and outs of using a gym properly, so you can start working towards your goals with confidence.

Important Information Regarding Your Surge Fitness Membership.

Yesterday’s announcement from our Prime Minister ordering the immediate closure of Fitness Facilities across the nation is significant a blow to all of us across many Industries. We understand that this decision has been based on the best advice currently available to those responsible for our safety and with the Impending state border closures, and increasing community concerns, meant that this decision was unavoidable.

As such, it is with great sadness that we today announce that all Surge Fitness clubs will temporarily close, effective from 12pm today, Monday 23rd March 2020.

At Surge Fitness, we believe that we can make a difference, change lives and build healthy communities. As a brand, we still have a lot of work to do and we all believe that we can continue to positively impact our members and the local communities at large during this time of uncertainty.

Like many of you, our business is facing unprecedented impacts both on our people and our business and we will continue to work through the issues together as effectively as possible.

During this time of closure, all memberships will be placed on complimentary freeze until we are in a position to resume our regular services. Surge Fitness has been working on contingency plans throughout the past few weeks to provide ongoing services to our members such as online & virtual training platforms including numerous resources to help support our members physical and mental health well-being.

Further announcements will be made in the coming days with communications to be published both on our social media platforms and via email once the government has clarified their position regarding the forced closure directive.

On behalf of all of the team at Surge Fitness we would like to thank you all for your ongoing support over the years. As a team we have shared some memorable experiences with you all. Today's forced closure is just a minor setback in our Health & Fitness journey together.