Thinking of going to a gym for the first time? It may seem as if everyone else has been doing it for years, so asking questions feels awkward, but everybody has to start somewhere. The health boost it will give you is well worth it whenever you begin. This guide will help you prepare so you can go into it with confidence.
Getting the Gear
The first thing you will need is the right gear. This includes sneakers that give you good support, flex well with your feet and have a good grip. You’ll need cotton socks to draw sweat away from your feet and if you’re female you’ll probably need a sports bra. Other than this, most people prefer a loose t-shirt on top because it soaks up sweat very effectively and doesn’t restrict movement. A sweatband for your forehead is also a good idea. If you plan to lift a lot of weights, you’ll need to invest in suitable gloves.
When it comes to support for your lower body, compression underwear is a great choice. It helps men to keep everything in the right place and it can improve muscle performance, letting you work harder for longer, which is exactly what you need if you’re trying to build up your muscles or burn calories.
Equipment You Will Find There
When you first arrive at the gym you’ll probably already be familiar with barbells, dumbbells and weight plates. You can use these as you do elsewhere but you’ll also find benches you can use to give you the choice of a greater range of exercises. Some bars are also designed for doing bending and stretching exercises or for focusing on particular muscle groups, and you’ll also find bars designed to help with this.
Alongside this static equipment are the machines. Several of these are designed to help you build up your legs through squatting, pushing and pressing exercises. Others are designed to help you work the muscles in your back or chest. You may also encounter treadmills or cross trainers, there to help you improve you aerobic fitness.
Before you can start using the gym you will need to go through an initiation process. This is basically designed to make sure that you know how to use all the machines safely and effectively, and that you’re able to work around any disabilities or temporary injuries that you may have. It’s also a good chance to ask any questions you have, so think through these before you go and make a list if you think it will be helpful. This will ensure that you’re able to make the most of the available facilities.
Getting the hang of using the gym doesn’t usually take long, but what you will need to work on is your self-discipline so that you can keep going back and putting in the effort necessary to improve. If you can get to grips with it, this will really boost your fitness, and you’ll feel both physical and mental improvements as you work your body into prime condition.