Looking for a gym but never been to one before?
Updated: Feb 27
I am Dr Susan Baxter (PhD) and I am a fitness and nutrition educator for personal trainers and allied health professionals. I also work with my own online clients and have helped over 500 people reach their goals over the last 16 years. This I can do both with and without a gym.
I was recently asked the following questions as part of an interview and I thought you might find them helpful if you are new to starting at a gym and don't know what to look for or where to start:
1) If someone has never been to a gym before, what should they know? Gyms are full of people who are also striving for their best, and just want to be a better version of themselves. Most people attending the gym have no special education to know what to do in the gym and they all started like you are right now. (2) What can a gym provide that home workouts or home gyms can't?
Safety: there's people who can help you out if you get stuck. Mental health: it's a new space to be and it helps keep your home for entertainment and rest purposes. Weights and equipment that would be too bulky and expensive to have in your home.
(3) What are the main reasons to join a gym? If you buy at home equipment, unless you have it "up and out" you're more likely to keep it away. Most of my clients tell me they use their equipment at home as a clothes horse or just under the bed. The way to get fitter is to use more weight or do more complicated exercises/ it's hard to afford all of that for your house! And it goes rusty if not properly stored! Access to classes and social support is huge too. (4) What should someone take into consideration when finding a gym for their goals and lifestyle? Look for one which has "introduction sessions" or "on ramp" this caters to beginners. I like to look for gyms that have my age group there to make me feel more at home. Staffed open hours are also a factor if You are new. Look for some that let you try them out to guage the level of membership you require. Because I know I need to fit exercise into before or after work then i know it needs to have shower facilities/ hairdryer (with no long wait times) (5)What gyms do you recommend for beginners? Try smaller gyms as then there will be a more familiar feel. But do try before you commit. Also unless you have very antisocial hours try to find one that is staffed when you plan to attend so that you can get assistance with machines when you need it. (6) How can someone feel more comfortable as a beginner?
Dress the part- having a new workout outfit can make you feel more confident and work harder in your sessions. It doesnt have to be designer, but it does mentally help you prepare if you change into something different for the workout.
Join an intro session
Bring a friend and be new together.
You may also want to check out my ultimate guide on eating healthy to build more better habits while you're starting out your new lifestyle.
Did you find this helpful? Let me know what worked for you.