How to gym: Your first session

how to gym: one-to-one coaching with Ray

This is the first in the ‘How to Gym’ series for anyone looking to start their training journey! It can be a very daunting prospect! I’ll run through the different things you might want to consider and tips for getting started for your first session.

The next blogs in this series will cover how to create your training plan and when you can expect to see results, and how to make sure you actually do!

Getting your bearings

The first thing I would suggest is something you can do even before going to the gym for your first session. This is having a look around the gym so you know what to expect and where to find everything. Any gym will be happy to provide a tour before you sign up, and if not, choose another gym!

Having a look around first means that you know a) it’s somewhere you could see yourself being comfortable, and b) you know what to expect and you have an idea of where all the equipment is. This means you don’t have to do the dreaded wandering around feeling lost when looking for particular bits of equipment or machines.

Go with a plan

If you have planned out what you are going to do, and you now know where everything is, then you can basically crack straight on when you get there. This can do wonders for calming the pre-gym jitters and give you that little bit more confidence to get that first session boxed off. If you don’t know what you should do for your first session, feel free to ask a member of staff. It’s literally what they’re there for!

You could ask them during your gym tour, which means they can give you some guidance prior to your first session and you’ll be able to make a plan ahead of time.

Don’t beast yourself

By this I mean don’t push yourself to the extreme on your first session. It might be tempting; after all, you have decided to make this step. You’ve got your goals and at the end of the day, you want to reach those goals as fast as possible.

Pushing yourself too hard straight away is never a good idea though. You’ll only be in pain for the next week and unable to get back into the gym, which ultimately slows your progress. The aim for the first few weeks is simply to get your muscles used to the movements and to get into a good routine of going to the gym that works with your lifestyle.

Find out what you enjoy

If you haven’t been to the gym before, you might not actually know what it is that you enjoy. So perhaps your plan for your first session is to try a few different things and to see what you enjoy. You are going to find it much easier to keep the routine of coming to the gym if you actually enjoy the exercise you are doing. Of course, if you have certain goals, then you might need to be doing certain exercises. More on that in the next blog – Creating your training plan. Finding a way of training that you enjoy AND works towards your goals though is perfect! A bit of trial and error in the first few weeks is encouraged so you can then get a solid plan together that you know will work for you.

So that’s a few ideas for your very first session in the gym which I hope will help to quash some of the pre-gym jitters. Check back in next week for the next in the series: How to Gym: Creating your training plan.

And as always, any questions just give me a shout🙂

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Picture of Ray Hickford

Ray Hickford

Hi, I’m Ray, a health and wellbeing professional in Manchester working with clients through training and nutrition programmes to help them feel more confident, strong and happy both in and outside of the gym.
As a Qualified Personal Trainer and Level 4 RSPH Nutrition Advisor, I am constantly learning myself - from my clients, from other industry experts and sometimes myself! And sometimes I write some of this down for ya.

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