So you wanna start working out, eh?

Brandon Hahn July 31, 2012 Training Articles

For many, there comes a time in our lives when we’re just not happy with ourselves and our bodies anymore. Some people get the itch to make changes around New Year’s, while others have their eye on the summer beach scene. Yet there are those who have pondered hitting the gym for a while but just haven’t quite gotten around to doing so. As someone who grew up looking like a football player (because of my size) yet wouldn’t know what to do with a ball if it hit me in the face, I’ve been there! I know what it’s like! But sometimes, it’s all in making that first step through the door count.

Choose the Right Place

Big chain gym, small hole in the wall, or the ol’ YMCA? If there are multiple opportunities in your area, check out ALL of them. See which one suits your style and has enough equipment for you to do everything you might want to do. A good mix of free weights, machines, and cardio equipment is best. Also look for a gym with good location to fit your habits. My gym of choice is closer to work and easy for me to hit up before I head home for the day. Face it, once you get home after a long day at school or work, are you really going to make that extra trip out?

Get Yourself Equipped

The clothes may make the man, but being stylish in the gym is simply NOT going to impress anyone. Pick out some clothes that you are comfortable in, that are lightweight, and allow enough flexibility for you to move. Gym shorts and a t-shirt are just fine for the beginner and the advanced alike. Contrary to what the other dudes may think, you’re probably not going to get anywhere with that cute cardio bunny by wearing expensive T-back tank tops and high end designer duds.

What about “gear”, you ask? If you need to wear some sort of gloves, go for it. A lot of people that I have seen at my gym wear them, but just as many people do not. Gloves can protect your hands from the bars and equipment, but I personally don’t see much use in them. Get in there, get work done, develop a few well-earned calluses, and call them war wounds! No pain, no gain, right? Are you going to need a belt? For the beginner, most likely not. Until you get into a pile of weight and need them for protection and support, skip ‘em! Buy more t-shirts without sleeves instead.

Have a Plan

Whatever you do, don’t walk in the first time without any notion of what to do. If the gym has personal trainers available they may offer to give you a “prescribed” training plan for beginners. You’re paying to go there; you so might as well make use of the services if they are free. If your gym du jour doesn’t have free personal trainers, then do your homework at home. Read up on exercises for beginners, or ask folks who know (like me)! There are even training apps for your smartphones, include a really great one in development from Athletic Xtreme, than can get you on your way without the hassle of dealing with others.

Prepare to be Sore

If you’ve never lifted before and are not used to increased level of physical activity, prepare yourself to be sore the next day, the day after, and possibly longer than that! The body will react to the work that you do and will recover from it. The soreness will go away, and in a rather short amount of time, it won’t happen as often or nearly to this extent. But rest assured, it will happen, and the most important thing is that you can do is…

Don’t Give Up!!

Yes, you’re sore. Yes, you feel awkward for going in there with a bunch of strangers. Yes, there was probably that one guy who looked at you funny or even scoffed at the comparatively small amount of weight you were pushing. And OMG did you see all of the people at the gym staring at you like you were some kind of freak? Are they going to laugh at you? Are they there to support you? WHY?? So what!!! Remember that everyone is there with a purpose and a goal, and no matter what yours is, it is your business and YOU are there putting forth the effort to achieve it. Go lift, go home, be sore. Then come back to the gym in a day or two and do it all over again. And again. And again. Work hard, reap the benefits, enjoy a better you.

Now go do it!!

About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.