Going to a gym for the very first time can be one of the scariest experiences of your life because you will obviously have no idea what you are doing and won’t know how to use many of the machines either.
Plus you will probably feel really intimidated because everyone else appears to be in much better shape than you are, and seems to know exactly what they are doing.
Don’t let this put you off, however, because it is natural to feel a little bit anxious on your first day. The key to overcoming this anxiety is to either sign up with a personal trainer, who can ease you in gently and show you how all of the machines work, or go along with a friend who can show you what to do.
Alternatively, if you are going alone, you can start off with some really simple exercises that are easy to perform, and use some of the machines and equipment that are relatively straight forward to use, ensuring of course that you don’t overdo it on your first day and get yourself injured.
Here is a guide to some of the exercises that you can do on your very first day at the gym:
Exercise Bike Workout
One of the easiest exercise machines to use is the exercise bike. Although they may sometimes have slightly confusing controls, you can usually just jump on one of these bikes and start pedaling away at your own pace.
Depending on the type of bike you use, the resistance can be adjusted using a lever or a knob, or electronically using the buttons on the console.
Apart from the obvious cardio benefits of working out on an exercise bike, you will have time to sit and observe other people and make yourself feel comfortable in your new environment.
The other cardio machine that is really easy to use is the treadmill because there are only two settings that you need to worry about – speed and incline.
Indeed in many cases there is a quickstart option. So all you need to do is jump on the treadmill, press the quickstart button and away you go. If you want to increase the speed and the level of incline, just look for the respective buttons on the console.
Once again, walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes is a good opportunity to watch other people, and learn how to use some of the other machines on your first day.
Bodyweight Exercises (With Exercise Mat)
Once you have finished using one of the cardio machines listed above, you can grab yourself an exercise mat and find a quiet part of the gym to do your own exercises.
For example, you can do push-ups, sit-ups / crunches, squats, planks and burpees to get your heart pumping and tone many different muscle groups.
Strength Exercises (With Bench)
If you are feeling confident and want to start working your muscles a little more intensely, you can wait for a bench to become free, grab a pair of light dumbbells and start doing some upper body and arm exercises such as bicep curls, tricep curls and dumbbell bench presses.
If you are not using a personal trainer, it is a good idea to watch as many training videos as you can before going to the gym in order to learn how to perform these moves with correct form so that you don’t injure yourself.
The key point is that you can do several of these exercises without feeling intimidated because they are fairly easy to perform.
You don’t want to push yourself too hard on your first day because apart from the fact that you might get injured, your muscles will probably ache for several days afterwards if you push yourself too hard.
It is a much better idea to ease yourself in gently with some light exercises on an easy-to-use cardio machine such as an exercise bike or treadmill, or do your own thing using an exercise mat or bench.
Use this as an opportunity to start to feel comfortable in your new environment and to watch over people using all the different machines to help you learn how to use them yourself. Then you can start using these same machines in future sessions.
If you ever need any assistance, or are feeling confident enough to start using some of the more advanced machines right from day one, don’t be afraid to ask one of the members of staff for help because they obviously want all of their members to use their equipment safely and effectively without getting injured, and will be only too glad to help.