Pro Tips to Survive Your First Days in the Gym
The decision to go to the gym and start working out to get fit is commendable. It is not just good for your self-esteem – looking toned and fit – but most importantly, it is good for your health. I am sure that everyone steps inside a gym for the first time full of enthusiasm and determination to follow through with their training and become more energetic.
However, after a couple of days, when muscle cramps and fatigue set in, many people’s enthusiasm vanishes completely. They are unable to deal with the pain and the sensation of being permanently out of breath and they give up. The first few days at the gym are the hardest. If you manage to get over them and move on with your training, you will see that things are bound to get better and better.
Therefore, today’s article is a survival lesson: it will offer you the advice you need to hang in there and move on after the first critical days following the start of your training. Remember that you have the willpower to succeed. Remember that being fit is not something you achieve overnight. With these two thoughts in mind, let us start your survival lesson in the gym:
1. Do Not Overdo It from Day One
The first day enthusiasm is usually the undoing of so many gym goers. They are excited to start exercising and they keep exercising…and exercising…and exercising, until they literally drop down like a ripe fruit. The next day they will learn (in a very painful way) that sudden intense effort is not the way to start your training.
This is one of the reasons why you should start your fitness programme with a trainer. A trainer will observe your level of fitness very quickly and will tell you exactly how much you should exercise and how many days per week.
2. Do Not Imitate Others
Every gym has a few particular characters: the pro who finds it convenient to exercise at the gym in the cold season; the show-off who will try complex and sometimes dangerous routines; and the top achiever, who has gone through the initial and intermediate training phases and is now maintaining their fitness at high levels.
Never imitate any of these characters – in fact, do not imitate anyone at all. Just do what your trainer tells you (if you hired one) or stick with the kind of exercising which you can do safely and without risk of injury. The gym is not a fitness contest – it is just a place where everyone works out trying to achieve their individual goals.
3. Do Not Run on Empty
A lot of people believe that they will be more energetic and flexible on an empty stomach. This is totally wrong: your body needs fuel and nourishment to sustain the intense effort you are about to make. Always have a meal or a healthy and energising snack between half an hour and one hour before you go to the gym. It does not mean that you have to eat a full 3-course dinner, but be sure to supply your body with carbs and proteins to keep you going through the training.
4. Do Not Skip the Warm-Up Routine
You want to make the most of your time at the gym, so as soon as you have got there you hop on the treadmill or elliptical bike. This is a surefire way to pave your road to potential injury and certain muscle cramps the next day after your fitness training.
An adequate and sufficient warm-up routine will not take you more than 10 minutes and will ensure that your heart, lungs, muscles and joints are prepared for the intense effort.
5. Do Not Skip the Rest Day
Even God had a rest after creating the world, so why wouldn’t you? Professional bodybuilders and athletes who compete in the Olympic Games never skip the rest day prescribed by their coaches. Even a fit and toned body needs to rest, recover from intense effort and rebuild the level of nutrients in the muscles which help you endure intense physical activities.
In conclusion, what really prevents people from going through with their fitness training is over-enthusiasm. Learn to be moderate in your initial training sessions, listen to your body and to your trainer, and you will survive your first days at the gym. Good luck!