Going to the gym for the first time can be nerve wracking.
I mean, you’re walking into a room full of the hottest people all lifting and exercising in ways you didn’t even know was possible. Plus, it doesn’t help that you constantly feel like you’re being judged.
Trust me, we’ve all been there. And while it does get better after a while, it freaking sucks.
So as someone who’s been in your position, I decided to put together a list of my most useful tips and tricks for those of you who are just starting out. Because let’s face, you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
Whether you’re there because you want to look better, or you want to improve your health, doing anything for the first time is stressful.
So long as you have a clear goal in mind, these tips will help you skip the first few weeks of feeling anxious so you can get started on achieving your goals in confidence.
1.Invest in your workout clothes
While it sounds phony, having the right athleisure for the gym can make a world of difference in your experience.
What you want to do is invest in gym wear that is comfortable, durable, supportive, and cute!
You want to find clothing that you not only feel safe and secure to move around in, but that you also genuinely like to wear! This will instantly boost your confidence which in turn will not only help you perform better, but also enjoy your time better!
If you’re going to be spending an hour or two of your day doing something, don’t you want to feel good doing it? Not to mention the whole point of going to the gym is to feel good!
So don’t be afraid to treat yourself (responsibly, of course) and invest in gym wear that makes you feel confident and ready to take on the sweatiest workouts.
RAREFIT™ specializes in making athleisure for women that is not only designed to support your every move during your workouts but to hug and accentuate every curve on your body so you’ll radiate confidence with every step.
2.Have a program to follow
I cannot stress the importance of having a program or a workout plan to follow enough!
If you have a goal in mind, you need to have a plan to reach that goal. Following a program will help keep you consistent, which is key to achieving your goals, and it will also help ease your nerves.
What sounds better, walking into the gym for the first time not knowing what to do and just kind of winging it? Or walking into the gym knowing exactly what you need to get done?
Obviously, the latter is much better.
When you have a clear idea of what you need to do, you can do so with so much more confidence than if you were aimlessly wandering around not having a clue as to what to do first.
Whether you put together a little program yourself, or you purchase a program made for people with similar goals as you, you need to have a game plan.
Booty King offers a 12 week “Booty Program” that includes lower body and upper body days designed to help you shred fat while building muscle so you can get in the best shape of your life in just 3 months. On top of providing a workout plan, the program also comes with instructional videos and nutrition guides to help you get the most bang for your buck!
3.Find the right supplements to support your goals
While supplements are not an absolute necessity, they are an extremely useful tool if used correctly.
If your goal is to build muscle, supplementing with Protein, Creatine, and BCAAs can help you take 3 steps forward instead of 1.
On the other hand, if you goal is to shred some fat, then some Pre Workout and Metabolism Boosters will give you the helping hand you need to see your results fast!
If you’re simply aiming to improve your health, don’t worry about supplements for now. You’ll know when you need them, and you will have gathered enough data from your peers to know which supplements you should be taking to support your goals.
4.Get the right gear
The gym, depending on what kind of gym you sign up to, will have a limited selection of gear.
Being prepared with your own lifting and ankle straps, resistance bands, and booty bands will help you not only prevent injury while working out, but also help you go the extra mile.
Nothing’s worse than knowing you can lift heavier, but not being able to because your hands keep slipping or not being able to finish your workout because you can’t find a piece of equipment.
Plus, think of how many people have used the equipment at the gym. I mean who knows who’s used what and what they’ve done with it. Save yourself from sharing germs with strangers and just come prepared with your own equipment.
Less awkward waiting, less sharing sweat with people you don’t know, and less wishing you already had your own gear.
5.Don’t be afraid of what people think
This goes without saying, but just in case you need the reminder- no one’s thinking about you.
I know it seems like everyones looking at you and judging you, but I promise you, no one is.
You’ll come to know soon enough that gym goers are some of the nicest, easy-going, accepting, and supportive people in the world. And it’s all because we’ve all started our fitness in the same vulnerable position you’re in right now. We all know what it’s like when you’re starting out. We all know how difficult your relationship with your body can be. And we all know how much it takes to put yourself out there and make a change.
On top of that, everyone is too busy trying to work on themselves to pay attention to what you’re doing, or how you look.
But if you do find yourself in an unwelcoming environment at the gym, change gyms immediately. The gym should be a fun, welcoming, and supportive environment. Don’t settle for anything less than that.
6.Be patient with yourself
One thing to keep in mind is that it will take time. Your results will come in, but it will take time. And you need to be patient with yourself.
As you get to understand your body, how it moves, how to fuel it, how to help it recover, you’ll get better at making progress. But don’t let yourself get discouraged because you’re not seeing the results you want immediately.
That’s the honorable part of all of this. It takes time and dedication and faith in yourself that you can and will achieve your goals.
You have a lot to learn, and that’s okay. You’re going to make lots of mistakes that will hold you back, and that's okay too. So long as you don’t give up. All those people you look up to, they didn’t get there in one shot.
It took them months, maybe even years of hard work to look and move the way they do.
Be kind, patient, and understanding towards yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
7.Find a gym buddy
Having a gym buddy is one of the best ways of keeping yourself accountable.
First of all, it’s nice to not have to go through things yourself. Especially if you're just starting out. Having a friend who can guide you or who’s willing to take on this journey with you makes the start of this journey so much easier.
Secondly, when you’ve shared your goals and your dreams with someone who’s sharing the same mindset as you, it becomes a little harder to slack.
Having a buddy who will not only take on the journey with you, but also help keep you accountable for your actions (and vice versa) is a really good way of making sure you stay on track.
Be careful, however, not to become dependent on each other. You don’t want to start skipping the gym on days where they can’t show up because of xyz reasons. Form an alliance with someone who will help keep you motivated, but who you don’t rely on to stay motivated.
8.Get on a meal plan
Nutrition is by far the most important part of fitness.
Getting your diet on track is the key to seeing results. Most people spend months working as hard as they can in the gym, only to make little to no progress because they believe they can out train a bad diet.
Don't be one of those people.
Instead, educate yourself on the types of foods you should be eating, how much you should be eating, and when you should be eating.
Luckily, there are lots of different diets out there that can help you fuel your body properly so you can get the most out of it. Whether you follow a keto diet, intermittent fasting, or even an intuitive eating diet, as long as you find what works for you and your body, you’ll be able to watch your body transform right in front of your eyes.
9.Don’t compare yourself to others
One of the most dangerous things you can do on your fitness journey is compare yourself to others.
It’s totally fine to admire someone's physique or dedication, but don’t allow yourself to start comparing yourself to them.
First thing’s first, you are not them. They are not you. You have different bodies, different genes, different upbringing and life experience, and different goals.
If your goal is to look like someone else or if you compare someone’s progress to your own, you’re only going to be disappointed and upset with yourself.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re starting out and you’re not seeing the same results as someone else. But you need to remember that it took that person a very long time, along with a lot of hard work to look the way they do or move and lift the way they do.
But you need to keep in mind that you’re all on different paths and that at some point in time, they started off just like you.
Focus on yourself, and figure out how to become the best version of YOURSELF. Stop wasting your time trying to become someone else and embrace who you are and where you are in your journey. And this leads us to our last tip…
10.Remember to have fun!
Your fitness journey is supposed to be a time where you’re discovering how to give yourself what you need to prosper. It’s not supposed to be a form of punishment. It’s supposed to be something you look forward to. Something you enjoy and you can have fun with.
Find an activity, whether it's lifting or yoga or taking a HIIT class or anything you want! Find an activity that you enjoy, and just do it.
The point of starting a fitness journey is to get your body and your mind in the best shape they’ve ever been in.
Find balance. Find peace. And enjoy yourself. That is all. Because life is too short doing workouts you hate. Find a way to make it fun and enjoy your journey to your best self.