Top Ten Tips for the Gym. A bit of a tongue twister but our list of gym advice is a must-read for exercise newbies and fitness beginners, so you start off on your fitness journey with a spring in your step. Whether you’re a fresher gearing up for your first trip to the gym or have just begun to work out in your local fitness centre, this Xercise4Less gym tips guide is for you!
Before we get to our ten workout tips, Samantha, a long-time Xercise4Less Hounslow gym member, has some useful words of advice for fitness newbies. Make sure you prepare before you go to your local gym. “I always have a routine ready or a workout plan ready for my session, so I know what I’m going to work on before I get to the gym”. Use music in the gym. Samantha makes sure that “I have my workout earphones for some music, to make the session more fun”. Don’t miss out on warming up or cooling down. As Samantha knows from her gym experience, it’s vital “to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness after workouts”.
Now on with our ten useful tips for the gym!
1: Understand Gym Etiquette
Familiarise yourself with the unwritten rules of the gym and your Xercise4Less experience will run much more smoothly. Understanding basic gym etiquette, like wiping down a machine after using it, will not only make you an upstanding citizen, but also improve your reputation with the regulars. Check out our blog on gym etiquette for more tips on how to work out with the right attitude.
2: Choose the Right Workout Right for You
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? When you do what the type of exercise that you enjoy, you’re far more likely to continue working out. Why not try some of our group fitness classes, or begin with a bang with our Body Transformation Camp to learn exactly what exercises make you tick. Lift weights, run on the treadmill, enjoy Boxercise, it’s up to you. Just pick a workout that you’ll continue doing!
3: Finish Every Rep
When you’re lifting free weights or working out on a fitness machine, finish each repetition. Many beginners focus too much on lifting and not enough on lowering. Make your muscles work all the way through their entire range of motion. If you can’t control the weight during the lowering phase, you’re probably lifting too much weight.
4: Love Compound Movements
Performing compound movements in the gym challenge multiple muscle groups simultaneously. That gets you the best results for both muscle growth and weight loss. Start off with compound lifts like squats, bench press, shoulder press, bent-over rows, deadlifts, pull-ups, and lunges to see real positive results.
5: The Key to Good Lifting Technique
When you’re beginning to lift weights, you need to pick up the right habits. Control your lifts. Don’t try to lift too much weight too soon. Engage your core. Keep an eye on your posture. Squeeze at the top of every movement. Talk to one of our Xercise4Less Personal Trainers for some friendly advice on the best workout techniques.
6: Rest and Recuperate
Everyone needs some time off after a tough session. Try to get eight hours of sleep every night and make sure you take at least one rest day a week. Rest up so you can repeat another energising workout when your fitness programme calls for it. There’s no benefit to overworking at the gym.
7: Nutrition is Just as Important as the Gym
Eating the right foods for your body is just as important as sticking to your fitness programme. Replace obvious unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives and cut back on processed sugar. Try filling at least half of your plate with vegetables. You can enjoy an indulgence here and there but stick mostly to healthy food choices. Our Body Transformation Camp will get you started with its expert nutritional advice. Samantha is particularly keen on pre-workout nutrition. “I make sure I’ve had a good pre-workout meal that consists of adequate protein, carbs and fats”.
8: Gym Habits and Goals
A great gym tip is to set measurable targets for yourself. Samantha advises that she monitors her progress closely by “gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts”. Create short, medium and long-term goals and give yourself both something to aim for and something to celebrate when you hit your targets. The first time working out at the gym has to be the start of a long-term habit. Give yourself time to make the gym ‘stick’. When you’re annoyed to be missing a workout session, you’ll know you’re on the right path.
9: Patience is Key
Gaining muscle, losing weight and getting fit don’t all happen at once. Progress can be slow so it’s key to stick with your gym workout even if you think you’re failing. Be realistic and you’ll find that you’re progressing towards your targets even if it’s only in inches! You can always ask for advice from our fitness staff to keep you motivated. Just don’t quit.
10: Learn from Your Mistakes in the Gym
Nobody was an expert on their first day in the gym so don’t be afraid to make mistakes when you’re working out. Do learn from those mistakes though. A top tip is to keep a track of what you’re doing in the gym with a journal. Or sit down with a Personal Trainer to thrash out a dedicated fitness programme. You can also check out our workout guides to understand the right technique for all the major gym exercises. When you’re confident in what you’re doing in the gym, you’re more likely to keep coming back!