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How to Kill it at The Gym: “As a Beginner”

Make a kick ass playlist

Music makes all the difference when you need a boost of adrenaline to finish that last set during a workout. Having a fire playlist will really get you going and make cardio less boring. Try EDM or pop music for things like running or biking, and rap or hip hop for when you’re lifting weights.

Go with a friend 

We all know it’s hard enough to get motivated to start working out, let alone to stay consistent. Going to the gym with a friend helps to keep you on track and encourages you both to push each other. Also, it gives you that little bit of obligation to go if you make an agreement to go twice or three times a week. Going with a friend also makes the gym less scary; if you feel like you look dumb doing a move, it really doesn’t matter because you’re doing it together!

Make a plan of exactly what you’re going to do

I found that when I first started going to a gym, I would avoid the weight section because I really didn’t know what to do or how to work the machines. I would often walk around the gym and end up hopping on the treadmill because I was too scared to try anything else. Having a plan or list of moves, reps, or even drawings of how to execute different moves will make you feel more comfortable walking into the gym. Also write down what equipment you will need, and find your own space. I like to do mat work and free weights, and then move onto machines or cardio. Try to mix it up and have fun with it! Just make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard or lifting more than what you can handle. I would also suggest watching fitness experts on YouTube―this is a great way to find out new moves and how to do them.

Wear clothing that makes you feel good

Comfort is key when hitting the gym. Firstly, you will want high quality running shoes that have support. Secondly, go for whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable. Sweat-resistant fabric is also great because it can get hot in there! And don’t be scared to break out those colourful leggings or that bright mesh top, as cool clothing can make working out more fun and boost your confidence!

Eat a good meal/snack that will fuel you

When I started working out, I would try not to eat before the gym because I thought it would make me feel sick, but I realized I could not push myself without any fuel―my body would tire and I would feel like crap. Try eating a good meal with nutrients, carbs, and protein an hour or two hours before hitting the gym; that is what I have found works best for me. Others also suggest eating a piece of fruit or other high energy foods such as almonds before hitting the gym.

Don’t worry about the weight 

Everyone wants to look cool lifting a load of weight, but start small. Form is much more important than the weight on the bar. Make sure to practice your form in the mirror at a low weight, then work your way up. Many girls in the gym are scared to add weight to their routines as they want to avoid “bulking,” but weights are highly beneficial for creating muscle, feeling stronger, and burning fat. Don’t be scared to try out machines as they will also help you perfect your form. Just take it slow!

Equipment

If you want to invest in some gym equipment to make your life easier, I have found these to be the most useful at the gym: bluetooth headphones (you can find cheap ones on Amazon), arm band holsters for your phone (you can find these at Marshalls or online), a good refillable water bottle, and a yoga mat for floor exercises.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Hi there! My name is Hayley and I'm a fourth year English/Environmntal Studies student at Queens University! I love writing and voicing my opinions on various topics from self esteem to my vegetarian diet. I love animals and long deep convo's with my friends. I'm looking forward to writing many articles for Her Campus and I hope you enjoy!     
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