Walking into the weights area of the gym for the first time isn’t always the easiest of things. When I first started I didn’t know much about what I was doing and was constantly worried about whether I was doing it right. Prior to my experience I had created a list of exercises that I was going to complete on a scrappy piece of paper and so was lulled into a sense false security that it would be really simple. However on arrival I couldn’t remember which exercises went with which name or how to judge which amount of weight I needed. So today I just want to explain five small but helpful points that will hopefully help you to become a stronger athlete by heading to the gym more often.
Familiarise yourself with the equipment when the gym is really empty. And start steady.
The first few sessions are all about getting used to using new equipment and working out what weights work for you. Start at a lower weight value than you think you’re capable of and gradually increase it throughout the sets. You probably won’t be lifting the absolute heaviest that you can on your first couple of times because you’ll still be getting used to working out how strong you really are- but this is a good thing! You want to gradually work up to hard sessions and not dive into them straight away with poor technique.
It’s also a great idea to ask the gym staff/ person on the desk which times are the quietest. It can sometimes be really crowded and uncomfortable at peak times which means you might not get the best workout. When the gym is emptier it’s much easier to feel confident and get on with your workout in your own space.
2. At first give yourself much more time than you think you’ll need: you don’t want to be in a rush.
Plan your workout before you go, maybe writing it down, and then make sure you give yourself around double the amount of time you think you’ll need to complete it. Until you get into a routine it does take time to suss out the best way to perform your workout, what order the exercises work best in, and how much rest you really need, so extra time is always needed!
3. Go with a friend or family member
This is the most important piece of advice (despite it being point 3 on the list which is argueably mildly insignificant). Having someone there to guide you through a workout is such a great help. They can give pointers on form, assistance with lifting/ un-tightening heavy things, and spotting. But most of all I think they just help you to feel confident and get a good workout in without worrying about what other gym-goers are thinking. They only need to be there for the first couple of times to help you find your footing, and after that you’ll be off.
4. Become a regular
The best way to build confidence is to keep going. I learned many exercises by simply watching other people. I also learned that many adults have awful form so age really doesn’t make any difference.
5. Follow people on social media to see how they train.
I hope this little list will help you. If you have any questions please contact me via the contact form or on social media!
Baby Lily Update
And now for the most exciting part of this blog post (not that the gym isn’t exciting but…), baby sister Lily was born on Monday afternoon (23rd October) and oh my gosh she is so cute. Before I wouldn’t have really identified myself as a baby person but now I can fully confirm that baby cuddles are the best thing ever.
Mum was induced on Friday and after an epidural, C section and four days in hospital Lily was born. I was very happy to find out that I had another sister (the gender was kept a surprise). She weighed a sturdy 8lb 5oz and has the cutest little face. She will be returning home from hospital on Monday with Mum after she finishes her course of antibiotics which will be really lovely.
I am very sorry for the next couple of years of baby spam that you’ll probably be seeing on the blog and social media!