Beginners Guide to the Gym

Here we are. It's the New Year and you are excited to get into the gym. You haven't been in ages or you're going for the first time. Where do you start? How do you navigate the judgmental eyes of the gym veterans? What do these crazy machines do? These are all valid concerns that all have answers!



The First Big Question: Where to Start?


When you first go to the gym the biggest question seems to be, "What the hell am I doing?" There is a lot of strange equipment, very impressive guys and gals, loud noises, and aggressive sales staff. No worries! I am here to help with all that.


The first step starts before you even step foot into the gym. You need to decide what your goals are. They can be anything from losing weight, gaining weight, or even just getting towards a more active lifestyle! Whatever you choose to do, it is important to have a clear plan so you know what in the gym will be of most value to you.


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You're in the gym, what now?


Now that you've made it in, where do you go now? The #1 thing to remember when you're at this point, NO ONE knew what they were doing at first. You are not alone. Even the most muscular person in the gym started knowing nothing. Feeling embarrassed is natural but just keep that in mind.



The #1 thing to remember when you're at this point, NO ONE knew what they were doing at first.

Having a plan can help reduce a little bit of that embarrassment. For beginners a 3 day plan is typically the best. Working your full body 3-days a week with rest days in between gives your body enough resistance to get excellent results. Finding a plan can be difficult so I have provided a FREE 3-day workout plan listed below for anyone to use!


FREE Full Body Workout


Set realistic expectations


You have broken the barrier. You went to your first few days at the gym and are developing the habit of going. Now you keep checking the mirror every day to see the fruits of your labor. While there is nothing wrong with checking yourself out, realize that what you expect is going to be far from what's realistic. This isn't meant to discourage anyone! This is a road block that we all come to and this either drives you forward or spirals you into quitting. We want you to keep coming back and keep improving so be sure to align your expectations with feasible goals.


Realistic - Losing one pound of fat a week

Unrealistic - Looking like your favorite fitness influencer after 3 months


Something else that will trip newcomers up is the way that your weight works. When I say it's realistic to lose one pound of fat a week, that doesn't necessarily mean that the scale will reflect that. You will be potentially gaining weight at the same time because of you gaining muscle while you lose the fat. This is a very special time in your life when this is possible and doesn't last long. Be sure not to panic when it happens! It can take months and even years to look the way that you are picturing in your minds eye. Enjoy the journey and celebrate the small victories along the way!



Supplements, should you use them?


This question is a tough one to sort out since the fitness industry is overrun with people trying to sell something. Whether its fat burners, protein powders, or greens, someone is trying to sell it to you. There are really only two supplements I would recommend to a new gym goer.


CREATINE - Despite what fitness influencers and 80's bodybuilders would have you believe, creatine is not like a steroid. It won't shut down your kidneys, you won't lose hair, and it won't make you gain a ton of water weight. This supplement has been researched so much by many scientists to show that it is extremely helpful in the muscle building process. It also helps your energy stay higher than normal so you are able to exert more effort during your workouts directly translating to more results. For those interested I have linked a source from a 2021 study below*


Protein Powder - This one is a recommendation I make on a case by case basis. Normally I would say that you should eat your food versus drinking it. However, some people just have a hard time getting in the nutrients they need through food. If you fall into this category with protein, I would say pick up some protein powder. Protein is very important in the process of muscle building and how much you take in could reflect how well you make progress. You need about .8 grams per pound of body weight which can feel high if you don't normally eat loads of protein rich foods.


Aside from these two I don't recommend any others until you get more advanced. Supplements aren't this cure all that fix every weight loss/gain problem you're having. They can be a helpful tool in your journey but only if you are doing every other thing correct first.


Be kind to yourself and enjoy your life


This is my last piece of beginner advice. It is very easy to look down on yourself when you aren't making the progress you think you should be or when you mess up on your diet. Just remember that one day doesn't destroy weeks of hard work. It takes months and years to build the physique you want and you can't destroy it after a weekend of enjoyment. Find that balance in living your life and not letting it hinder your progress entirely. You can go out and have dinner with your friends and still make great progress. You can even go out to clubs and bars. When you do, be sure to tell yourself that it will be ok and not beat yourself up. Just get right back on track and put those extra calories to work!




As a beginner we can get intimidated and not know the next step or even the first one. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. There are other nuances that I didn't cover but if you focus on these things you will be unbelievably successful in your new fitness journey.




*Source



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