It’s a very unfortunate moment when the realisation hits that you no longer have your childhood metabolism.
God, that freedom to just eat and do whatever I please are days that I ought to bid farewell, as now having to resort to ‘healthy’ eating and doing my daily 30-minutes’ of exercise is something that’s just gotta happen. So, with that in mind, I have devised my own plan (which I am very much still getting to grips with myself) of my gym routine, and here are some pointers for those who also have a desire to get moving, but aren’t too sure on where to start.
Go when it’s quiet
It’s no shock that many people perceive the gym to be a place that makes your anxiety sore, more so for those who are complete novices at using machines, weights, resistance bands etc. All it takes is a single glance over at the person using all of those things (and looking amazing whilst doing it!), for you to wish you had the same knowledge as them. So, therefore, to get over this initial fear promptly, it is best advised that you go to the gym at non-peak hours. It’s typical that regular gym-goer’s workout before and after the standard 9-5 working day hours, so you’re best avoiding the gym any time before 9am and between 5pm-7pm. Granted, this can prove to be quite awkward if your work pattern falls in this way, however this doesn’t have to be forever! It is a mere method of building your confidence without having an abundance of fit and toned people surrounding you when you’re getting to grips with the basics.
Ask a PT – they’re there to help
Whether it be your monthly gym membership sets you back £60 or £15, the chance to ask personal trainers questions regarding your progress has never been easier. Many gyms have their own apps for you to pre-book slots with a personal trainer, whilst others operate on an ‘ask on the day’ basis – whereby if you see a gym worker wandering around, feel free to stop them and ask whatever is on your mind. With that, inductions are a fantastic way to learn the basics of gym machines. It can be incredibly easy to injure yourself whilst exercising on gym machines, especially when weights are added – it can be as simple as having slightly off form that can cause you to tear a muscle, resulting in you simply pushing yourself further away from your goals. Ask the question before assuming you know what you’re doing.
Don’t go so hard on yourself
^This sentence can be applicable in two senses when calculating your gym routine: overdoing it by using heavy weights at the beginning, and expecting results to come through instantly.
Firstly, it’s SO important that you start off light and build up as you go, even if you find the weight you’re using on the easy side to begin with, as once you get to your third or fourth set, you’ll begin to feel it. It is a lot better to start off light and work your way up, but it is best advised you only add weight once you’re entirely confident with your progress.
The latter – results don’t come overnight. It takes a fair few sessions for you or anyone else to notice changes. If you’re going to the gym 3-4 times a week whilst also switching up your lifestyle and eating habits, it can take at least 2 weeks for you to recognise changes. I recently saw this post on Pinterest and with a positive and healthy mentality, this could be you too.
Track it ALL
Runnersworld.com, Wired and an array of fitness influencers like Grace Beverley have all stated that tracking your fitness is the best way of keeping at your routine to achieve your goals. Take note of your start weight and check in every week or 2 to record your improvements. If weight loss isn’t your desired goal and more so toning and muscle gain, take clear photos of yourself at the start of your fitness journey, again, checking in over the course of a few weeks to see your improvements. Having clear-cut, concrete evidence that you’ve pushed yourself and it’s been worthwhile will encourage you to keep going.