Top 4 worries for gym beginners sorted

You’ve taken control of your health and wellbeing and joined the gym, so why the worry? Senior Wellbeing Personal Trainer, Graham Morland, tackles gym first-timer anxieties head on.

For many people, stepping onto a gym floor is as scary as the first day of school. But however out of place you feel when starting out in the gym, be assured that you're not alone.

Let’s help you put some of those worries to one side so you can focus on improving your health and wellbeing.

"I don’t know how anything works"

It might seem like everyone else knows what they're doing, but they all had to start somewhere. On your first visit to pick up your member’s card, you will be able to organise a free Health MOT, and also a gym induction.

What happens during a gym induction?

Your gym induction will be run by a qualified member of the fitness team, who will take you through everything you need to know about the gym, the on-site services, class bookings and equipment. They can tell you how the lockers work, how to use the equipment, and even let you know when the gym is busy or quieter.

Ask the team anything – there’s no such thing as a stupid question – and remember that anyone in a Nuffield Health uniform can answer your questions at other times too.

"I look silly"

There really is no such thing as ‘looking the part’ at the gym. If you’re not sure what kit you'll need to bring, check out our pointers on what to wear to work out.

Bear in mind that people from all backgrounds, and of all shapes and sizes use the gym. Everyone will have different goals and abilities, so comparing how you look, or what you’re doing to others won’t get you anywhere.

Remember: everyone sweats and everyone’s body jiggles about to a certain extent. Don’t worry about drips and wobbles, they mean you’re working hard, and you’re probably the only one who’s noticed.

"I’m not fit or good enough to be here"

Everyone is welcome. It doesn’t make a difference whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner in training, someone recovering from injury, or if you’ve never done a sit-up in your life. If you’ve joined the gym to make changes or learn something new, then walking through the front door is the most important step.

You have every right to be on the gym floor, in an exercise class, using the pool or relaxing in the spa, no matter what you look like or are capable of. We suggest that to get started you try a little of everything, even if you think it's not 'for you'.

You never know, you might discover a passion and flair for indoor cycling or find a fellow beginner and future friend in your very first Zumba class.

"I don’t know what I’m doing"

This is one of the most common concerns people have. It’s easy to have good intentions, but translating those into results can be tricky if you don’t know the ropes. Understanding how best to work out for your goals and your body is key to confidence.

Why not choose and follow a guided workout? Lots of people print off or write down their workout routine – so it's perfectly normal to carry a prompt sheet with you while you workout or access it on your phone.

If you're in need of a friendly hand to hold, attending a class with a friend is a great idea, and can keep you motivated. Just remember not to simply copy what they’re doing on the gym floor. To ensure that the exercises you’re performing suit your physiology and will support you in reaching your particular goals, having a one-on-one session is the most effective step you can take.

You may want to book some sessions with a personal trainer. Whether it’s managing pain, training for an event, or simply feeling more confident in the gym, they can help. If you have a better understanding of what to do, how and why, you have the power to make changes for life.

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Last updated Thursday 12 December 2019