This post was supposed to be published back in March. But then we went on lockdown due to COVID and I didn’t think it was right to share a blog post with tips for beginners at the gym since all of the gyms were temporarily closed. As gyms are starting to re-open across the country I thought it would be a good time to finally share this post. Most of us are stepping back into the gym after 3 months away so in a way it’s like starting over.
I remember when I was new to the gym. I just stuck with cardio equipment because I didn’t know how to lift weights. I didn’t know what weights to start with, how to use them correctly, or how to program my own workouts. It took me years to feel 100% comfortable in the gym. I initially started with group classes- spin, body pump, and boot camp classes so that I could be instructed on proper form. I stuck with group fitness for years especially when I moved to southern California. It was how I met some of my best friends (Thank you Body One Fitness and the Tone It Up Community) and allowed me to grow more and more comfortable in the gym.
It can be intimidating stepping into a gym alone or even in a class alone for the first time, so today I’m sharing my tips for beginners at the gym!
- Start slow– don’t go all out hitting the gym 6 days a week. Start out with 2-3 days at most. You want to ensure proper recovery and don’t want to burn out the first week weeks. As you get more comfortable in the gym over the first few weeks, add on an extra day of working out.
- Set attainable and realistic goals– set a goal that’s achievable, like being able to do 5 regular pushups in 4 weeks or getting to the gym 3x week.
- Always include a warm- up to prevent injury- Incline walking, band walks, dynamic stretching are all great options.
- Start with the basics and don’t overcomplicate your workouts. Once you have these perfected, you can then begin more advanced movements. Just because you see everyone on social media performing these complicated movements, doesn’t mean you have to. It’s important to master the basics first!
- Find a time of day to work out that works best for you! Do you have a long workday? Early mornings may be best for you then. Or how bout a lunch break? You may be able to sneak in a lunchtime workout. or maybe you feel the best working out in the evening! We’re all different.
- Bring a friend with you! Working out with friends is a great way to stay accountable. It can also make the gym seem less intimidating when you have someone by your side.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help- if you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment ask one of the staff members, class instructor, or trainer to prevent injury.
- Start with a class or work with a trainer. As I mentioned earlier, taking a class is a great way to learn new exercises, get comfortable in the gym, learn how much to push yourself, and even meet new people. Personal trainers are also great too if thats an option financially. You’ll get 1:1 attention and learn how to use all of the equipment and weights in the gym.
- REMEMBER NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU! When you first start training, it’s easy to feel like everyone is watching. In reality, no one really cares. Each person is too busy focusing on their own workout.
- Fuel yourself properly! Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout.
If you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- Oatmeal with fruit and almonds
- Toast with nut butter and banana
- Nutrition Bar (Go Macro is one of my favorite pre-workout bars to eat)
Post- workout Nutrition:
Carbs and protein are the two most important macronutrients to have after a workout. They help prevent muscle breakdown, help with muscle growth, restore glycogen stores, and enhance recovery. It’s recommended to have 20-30 grams of protein after a workout.
- Protein smoothie (Berry Power Protein Smoothie)
- Veggie omelette with chicken sausage and toast
- Oatmeal mixed with protein, banana, and nut butter
- Cottage cheese or greek yogurt with fruit and granola
- Grilled chicken, roasted veggies, and sweet potato
What’s your favorite meal to eat after you workout?