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.
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
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:
- 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.
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.