New to the gym? Here are six tips for new gym starters

Denise Collman Health mentor/personal trainer at the Nuffield Health St Alban’s Gym
Tuesday 1 September 2015
Entering the gym for the first time can be a daunting experience. But help is at hand. Denise Collman gives her top tips on getting the best start.

Book in and have your Health MOT

Health and fitness isn’t just about what we look like it’s about what is going on in the inside too. It is important to know blood pressure levels, cholesterol and glucose levels and resting heart rate. The results of these tests, along with many more, will determine the intensity of your training and which exercises you should or shouldn’t be doing. A Health MOT is also an opportunity to set some realistic but challenging goals to help motivate you, whilst being able to get started with Nuffield HealthScore which will stay with you for the journey.

Don’t copy others

Other gym goers may be doing certain exercises prescribed for an injury or health condition which wouldn’t suit somebody else. Everyone is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. Also, there are many people out there who perform exercises with bad form and technique which may increase their risk of injury, so always ask a professional for advice if you’re at all unsure.

Gradually build up the volume of training

It can be easy to throw yourself into training five days a week when you’re motivated and everything is new. This will lead to burning out and more often than not, injury. Start with twice a week and build up from there. To go from nothing to everything is not advised or sustainable for the future.

Be flexible with what can work for you

Never tried a class before? Go to a beginners or lower intensity class. Never followed a programme? Get one written for you. That way you can structure your week. If you can’t get to a class you have a programme to follow and if you need a little extra motivation one day, try a class you think may suit you.

Be aware of other services a gym may provide

You may not need physio now but you may in the future or if the gym has a relaxation spa use it as a reason to treat yourself for attending the gym on a regular basis.

Find activities that you enjoy

The best training programme is the one you’ll stick to, there is no “perfect programme”. With this in mind, don’t worry about what everybody else is doing, find the activities and exercises that you enjoy and help you enjoy the experience. Looking forward to your gym visits will go a long way to ensuring that you can maintain your new lifestyle long into the future.

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Find a Gym

Find out more about getting started at the gym at one of our Meet Our Experts events.