by Richard Anthony Palmer
HAVE AN IDEA First of all, keep your goals realistic. If you are new to the gym and start off attending a gym only a few times a week, say three sessions a week, continue this for one month then attempt to go to the gym four times a week and see how that works for you. If you are someone with previous fitness experience then you can maybe attend the gym four times a week for one month then increase it to five times a week. Things to think about: Do you have a goal? WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOUR NEW TO TRAINING If you are brand new, I'd say only go to the gym a small amount of times a week because it can be quite a lot for the body to handle both physically as well as mentally because you are also having to learn new exercises and getting to know the instructors and your peers. If it is your first time attending the gym or you haven't been in a while, it can hard to gage where your fitness levels are at and how hard you should push yourself so starting with a few sessions a week will allow you to see where you're at and ease into a fitness routine that works best for you. As well as going to the gym, classes are a great way to get started with fitness and there are so many options to choose from including Boot Camp, yoga, pilates, spinning, CrossFit, Functional Fitness classes, Running Club, Cycling Clubs, Triathlon Club, Boxing Gyms, MMA Gym etc. All these gyms and activities will help you to improve your fitness levels, gain strength, reduce the risk diseases, help recovery from illnesses and help aid weight loss. Things to think about: Do you know someone that is new to fitness that can give you more information on what to expect? Do you know any fitness professionals that can give you some more advice? Having someone who's been in your shoes and or is a professional can you give you point of views from both sides. HEADING TO THE GYM TO LOSE WEIGHT Please note you do not need to go to the gym if you want to lose weight. Weight loss is all about what you are putting in your mouth. Things to think about: Do you know any nutrionalists ? Personal trainers and supplement companies aren't always the best people to get nutrition advice especially if you have any allergies. LOOKING FOR A PT If you're going down the PT route, have an idea of how many sessions you want to attend per week to improve your fitness levels. I recommend a minimum of two session per week minimum. When I say only two times per week it doesn't mean for the rest of the week do nothing, it means PT sessions as well as other activities i.e. you go for a run, go to a class, do a yoga session, something on those lines. Things to think about: If you are after something specific like powerlifting, olympic lifting, kettlebells, boxing or swimming ask to see proof of qualification or experience, someone being a qualified personal trainer doesn't mean they know how to teach specific skills. KEEPING MOTIVATED So to be self-motivated, have a goal in mind and speak to a professional, a personal trainer, a coach or someone that is or has been within the gym industry for a few years as they will be able to tell you if your goal is achievable so that you don't pick something that is unrealistic. The goal can be muscle gain, strength, or a competition. Secondly, don't always repeat the same thing because after a while it can get boring. Throwing something new in every now and then even if it's just one month once a month attending a different gym, trying a different instructor, bring your friend to the game for that one month, anything to spice up or make a difference to the norm. Things to think about: Do you know someone who has the same goal as you? Do have a diary to keep track of you training and progress? It’s not for everyone but sometimes it’s good to meet or have someone who has similar goals to you. Keeping track of your progress can also help boost motivation and reminds you of how far you come since you've started. TAKE BREAKS Take a break for a for a few days or a week to give your body time to recover. Unless you are planning to compete in a competition there is no need to train all year round. Take small breaks, enjoy your training, reflect on what you've done and get back to work. Breaks are important and don’t worry, you won’t lose all the gains you've made from taking a week off training! Things to think about: Going on holiday but still going to the gym is NOT taking a break!