I am thrilled to introduce myself as the newest trainer at BTTC! Despite having over 2 years of training experience, I still find myself riddled with the excitement and apprehension that many people who are entering a gym for the first time feel.
Just like every gym newbie, I am finding where to find the equipment, meeting new people, and adapting to the new environment. For my depute article, I find it appropriate to chat about finding your footing as a new gym goer.
Tips for Gym Newbies: Entering a new space for the first time can feel wildly uncomfortable. Especially if it is a place where there is a bunch of equipment that has about a million uses each. It can feel tempting to keep your head down and stick with what you know, although there is no shame in trying something new. Here are a few tips for people entering the gym for the first time, or even those who have been stuck in the same routine for a long time.
1) Start With a Plan
Having a plan is essential to feeling comfortable and confident in the gym. Research various workout routines and find a program that fits your schedule and needs the best. It could be a general beginners workout routine, or a routine more focused on a specific goal (like improving your agility on the tennis court). A great way to get started with a plan is by meeting with a trainer to come up with that plan. Knowing exactly what you want and a roadmap of how to achieve it is HUGE for staying focused and consistent.
2) Ask for Help
Every person you see in the gym has at one point been a newbie (even the fabulous trainers). With our amazing gym community, we are more than happy to help demonstrate an exercise or help you understand how to use a piece of equipment. No matter the question, we are happy to help!
3) Take it Slow
It can be tempting to rush into a 6 day a week workout plan that involves high intensity workouts every day. Although this may seem effective, it is a recipe for burn out (especially when you are first starting out). I almost always recommend starting with 2-3 days of strength training when you are first starting, and then once the habit is built, then you can add an extra day or two. Your body needs time to adapt to the gym, then you will be able to gradually build intensity. Taking it slow is extremely helpful for preventing injuries and building a solid foundation to up your fitness gains!
4) Stay Consistent
The secret sauce for mastering any skill is by doing a little bit every day. No matter what your goal is, it is critical that you do a little every day. Not every day has to consist of a grueling working. Just by blocking a small chunk of time in your calendar to dedicate to yourself is huge. This could be blocking a 15 minute walk every day at 4pm, or blocking every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am for a 30-minute-long strength training session. Find what works best for you to maintain a consistent routine and remember that every small action you take plays into your fitness journey.
5) Enjoy the Process
There is a wise (but cliche) saying of “fitness is a journey, not a destination.” With the development of every skill, there is immense value in the learning process. Appreciate the small wins, like showing up consistently for a month, or being able to lift a heavier weight than before. These small improvements will help keep you going! It’s vital to appreciate what your body is capable of and thanking yourself for investing in your health.
I am extremely excited to get to know everyone at the club and support you in your fitness journey. No matter where you are in your fitness endeavors, I would love to connect with you and help. If you have not completed your jumpstart yet, I would love to work with you and introduce you to your new fitness path. Please feel free to reach out for any guidance or just to say hello.
Let’s embrace the change of starting a new hobby/lifestyle together!
Audrey Sharfstein
Personal Trainer & Group Training Instructor
Bellingham Training & Tennis Club