I just joined a gym . . .now what?
We are one week into 2020! How are you doing? Still feeling motivated? Got your groove back? You have your goals out there with a plan to meet them? Awesome!
But maybe you joined a gym, fitness club, crossfit gym and you got the initial information and now you feel lost. Well first off any crossfit gym will have you immediately in a program that will meet for classes to get coached on movements, correct form, mini wods so you can understand the programming and someone who is assisting you with any modifications needed and answering nutrition questions. Most crossfit gyms refer to this as 101 or on ramp. It is absolutely the safest and smartest method to get you mentally and physically prepared to make fitness a lifelong routine. You also get the community atmosphere and support and help you figure out fitness/health goals.
Some fitness clubs will set show you around the facility then offer a one time meet up with a trainer and there may be an offering of fitness classes.
These things seem incredible on paper and they are but it can also be overwhelming, intimidating and a learning curve. Things to be sure of – that you connect with a trainer or gym representative that takes their time to show you equipment. Never feel like you are asking too many questions or not the right ones. Part of the job of the gym is to educate their members.
Take advantage of any opportunities for one on one time with a trainer when joining a gym. You paid for that. It would probably be a good idea to go into knowing what equipment you are really curious about using, what your fitness goals are and what other opportunities there are for learning more down the road.
Make sure the times you can go the gym is accessible and not crazy. You need to take a hard look at your schedule and be sure you are being honest with yourself about when you can go.
Pack your bag the night before. Put it in your car. The hardest steps into the gym is just getting in there. Make it as easy as you can for yourself.
Ignore the voice in your head saying – I’m too tired. Honestly – we are talking about an hour out of your day. Go even if you feel like you are going to be sluggish. Once you get moving you will be shocked how your body adapts and then you feel so great after.
Don’t walk into a gym and expect to learn how every machine works the first week. Pick a few cardio and either free weights or machines and then you can spend a month doing combination workouts. Ask the trainer what good arm, leg day workouts might be.
Take all and any classes offered in your membership. You may think you will hate a sort of workout then go and love the workout or the instructor and decide you want to keep going. Do not limit yourself and think anything is “just not my thing” dump that sort of trash talk in the trash.
Ask other members for help – of course be considerate if someone is mid lift or just has the – don’t bother me vibes. But many people are happy to help and show you how to use a machine.
If you join a gym that is focused on spin or yoga then don’t jump into some hardcore or 105 heated 75 minute class for a while. I get it . . .you want to meet your goals and fast. You won’t by coming out of the gate too hard and too fast. You will be sore af, have longer recovery time needed and most likely injure yourself.
Crossfit 101 are so good because guess what? The classes are programmed to slowly and methodically add in more training, become more challenging and breakdown all movements for safety. You come to the classes and the coach . . .they force you to be smart about fitness. You also get to be in the same moment with other people in your group. One thing at fitness centers is that it can feel really lonely. At crossfit you don’t get to turn on your iphone and listen to your earpods and not participate. You are right there and fully engaged mentally and physically.
Most of all – no matter where you go . .don’t let that first month define you. It may suck . . .honestly it probably will. You are doing something a lot of people refuse to do and that is get uncomfortable. It’s also being brave and taking control of your body and life. It may seem so small but gaining knowledge and mastery over your body carries into every aspect of your life.
Go ahead and try it and tell us in a year how you feel. I can guarantee you will feel proud of yourself and probably dropping some serious weights, going up stairs like no big deal . .anything you can imagine.