Getting started at the gym: 4 simple steps to kick start your fitness journey!

May 24, 2019

 

I remember the first time I signed up at the gym. It was a couple years after taking a course to become a personal trainer. Even after finishing the course, I was still super intimidated to start at a commercial gym. 

 

The gym in my area had a promotion on for 12 free days, so I dragged my (now) husband along to check it out. I had a plan ready, and spent the entire drive trying to pump us up.

 

“No one will judge us, they’re too focused on themselves.” 

“We’ll just go in and do this quick workout.”

“We’ll do it together so we’re not alone!”

 

Needless to say, we went and survived. I signed up that day, and my husband took another 3 years before he finally signed up.

 

Gyms are intimidating places, especially when you’ve never worked out in one, or in your life.

 

Going from a big commercial gym in Vancouver to Port Alberni’s Slammers, even I was nervous the first time coming in for a workout. It’s totally normal! Like I said, the gym is an intimidating place- but it doesn’t need to stay that way!

 

Coming to Slammers the first time, I was blown away by how nice and welcoming everyone was; members and staff alike. If you’re nervous about being judged, you won’t need to worry about that at Slammers.

 

Okay, so you’ve quelled your nerves for now, and you’re ready to start your health and fitness journey (or take it to the next level!).

 

First off, we want you to know how proud we are of you! Making the decision to better your body and life is huge!

 

So, you’re ready to sign up… now what?

 

Well, first off, get yourself here! Stop by, say hi, and check out the gym for free. We’ll take you around and show you where everything is before you get started. Try out the equipment, walk around and explore the space, get comfortable! 

 

Now that you’ve tried it out, it’s time to get signed up! Our Member Services team will be happy to help get you signed up for a membership. 

 

You’re set! The hardest part is over!

 

We’re so excited to have welcome you to the Slammers family! Now we can get into the fun stuff! Here are the 4 simple steps to help you get comfortable at the gym:

 

1)Housekeeping. 

Indoor shoes: We live in a rainforest, which means lots of rain and muck. Please bring a change of shoes to wear once you’re at the gym! It’s never fun putting your hand in rocks or mud while trying to do push ups.

Hygiene. We totally understand, you’re here to sweat- but that doesn’t mean you need to smell! Please make sure that you’re wearing deodorant and clean clothes, it makes for a much nicer experience for everyone.

Clean equipment after use. No one likes to use a sweaty machine, so please clean up once you’re done. Please try to use one towel for your entire visit, so that there is enough for everyone. 

Share the equipment. Sharing is caring friends! If you’re going back and forth between equipment and someone needs to use something, offer to work in between sets. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make a friend!

 

2)Start with the basics. Everyone tends to gravitate towards the cardio equipment when first starting at the gym; it’s a comfortable and fairly non-intimidating  place to start. While it’s better than nothing, these 5 movements will give you a far greater bang for your buck. If you hit all of these 5 movements, you’ll work your entire body functionally- helping you not only lose weight, but move better in your day to day tasks!

 

Squat

Deadlift

Push up

Row

Core

 

Start with 3 sets of 10-15 repitions. Check in with yourself as to how challenging the exercises are, my favourite way to check in is using the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale, or RPE. As you’re going through the exercise how you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10 (see below). You want to aim for a 5-6/10 for your warm up and 7-8/10 while you’re working.

 

RPE Scale:

1- easy peasy lemon squeezy

2-easy peasy

3-easy

4-still good

5-starting to get challenging

6-harder

7-challenging but I've only got a couple in me

8-umm this is heavy

9-almost maxed

10-maxed out

 

Another way to check in with yourself is how you feel for the last 3 repetitions, they should be challenging but not so hard that you can’t do it. 


Adjust your weight, reps, and sets based on how you’re feeling, and remember to continue to challenge yourself week by week!

 

3)Try a class. If those movements still feel a little intimidating, trying a class might be a fantastic place for you to start! We have a wide selection of classes like yoga, spin, HIIT, and deep stretching. Our instructors will guide you through the class and you’ll leave feeling on top of the world!

 

4)Meet with a trainer. If you’re not a class kinda person, you’ve ever had an injury, or you feel like you need the extra support, I would highly recommend meeting with one of our Personal Trainers. Our role is to teach you how to move properly and safely, while fast tracking your results. We take the guesswork out of what to do in the gym, all you need to do is follow the customized program we provide. Plus we motivate, hold you accountable, and challenge you to show up as your best self!

 

There you have it, 4 simple steps to get started at the gym! Remember, everyone starts at the beginning and you’re already steps ahead of the people that haven’t started yet! This journey has no finish line or time limits. You’re going to stumble and it’s not always going to be easy, but I can promise that it will be worth it.

 

Be sure to check back next time to learn how to set goals and achieve them- without motivation or willpower!

 

Now go kick some ass!

 

 

 

 

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