The gym is one of the most intimidating places, especially for someone who’s never worked out before. Surrounded by machines, heavyweights, and people who always look like they know what they’re doing, going in blind can be a real turn-off for a lot of people. However, the gym doesn’t have to be a scary place. From someone who went from hating the gym, to going 5-6 days a week, these are the things I found to be most helpful in starting my fitness journey.
To begin, finding a gym that you feel comfortable in is important. Many college students use the gym on campus, but if you don’t want to see your peers, there are planet fitnesses everywhere that start at around $10/month.
Next, getting gym clothes I liked and was confident in was an important step for me. I found a lot of motivation in getting dressed and putting on my sneakers before heading out. Tj Maxx always has great sets, and my favorite shorts are from Forever 21. When doing cardio especially, good support is important for your shoes so make sure you find some sneakers that fit well.
The last step before going to the gym is making a plan. You should have an end goal, whether it’s conditioning and strength, or just to get in some exercise. People often have days dedicated to legs, arms, core etc, but I personally like doing a little bit of everything. Starting small on machines rather than free weights allows you to get familiar with the movements and build up strength before getting into more advanced workouts. Many machines have diagrams on how to use them, but don’t be afraid to ask questions! Just wait until someone finishes their set, or find a staff member and they should be happy to help.
Once you’re done with your workout, writing down what you did can be helpful to track progress, and remember what weight to begin with next time. Consistency is key! Bring a friend to make it more fun, and don’t forget your water.