Welcome to the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Gym!
As part of our Strength 101 series, this guide will swoop deep into everything you need to know well-nigh working out properly in a gym.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll never have to wonder “what should I do in the gym?”
Plus, I bet I moreover make you laugh once or twice with bad jokes and perfect gifs.
We’ve helped thousands of Online Coaching Clients build conviction and start strength training in the gym, so I worked with our coaches to create today’s Ultimate Beginner Gym Guide!
Okay, time to start working out. Let’s hit the gym and explore the following:
- Scared to work out in a gym? Read this first.
- How often should I go to the gym?
- Level 1 Gym Workout: Your first day in the gym.
- Level 2 Gym Workout: Cardio Cadet.
- Level 3 Gym Workout: Bodyweight Brigade.
- Level 4 Gym Workout: Dumbbell Division.
- Level 5 Gym Workout: Barbell Battalion.
- Level 6 Gym Workout: Gym Matriculation Hero.
- Gym Etiquette: Tips and Tricks.
- How to build the gym habit.
Regardless of your physique, if you are 400 pounds or 100 pounds, going to a regular commercial gym for the first time can be intimidating as hell.
And that’s only if you can get yourself to use 20 Seconds of Courage to walk in the door!
I explain exactly what I midpoint by it in this video:
I know many people who say “gyms are not for me,” or “gyms are dumb” and never plane go into one, simply considering gyms can be scary/not welcoming/not cool.
Now, if you CAN work up the valiance to walk through the door, you’ll be faced with the following:
#1) People with pained looks on their faces dutifully using machines that somewhat resemble medieval torture devices.
#2) Others on cardio machines, treadmills, and ellipticals, and you can once picture yourself wiping out and ending up in a YouTube goof montage.
#3) Really strong jacked people picking up heavy self-ruling weights so effortlessly that you can’t help but instantly compare yourself to them…and get intimidated.
If you struggle with self-confidence, or you don’t love how you look, you might seem that everybody virtually you will be judging you the whole time and don’t want to subject yourself to this torture.
In fact, you might think that somehow you need to get in shape FIRST, and THEN you can go to the gym…
You go to the gym TO get in shape. And I will get you there.
If you are going to start using a gym, here are some truths you need to know:
- Everybody virtually you is just as self-conscious as you are. Yes, that super jacked dude. Or that thin (or jacked) fit woman on the elliptical. They aren’t focused on you, considering they’re too rented living inside their own throne wondering if everybody is thinking well-nigh them.
- Everybody starts somewhere. You don’t squint good so that you can then go to the gym. You go to the gym to get stronger, increasingly confident, and then squint good.
- MOST will applaud you for trying. When I see somebody who is severely overweight at the gym, it makes me happy – they’re trying to largest themselves! That’s freaking AWESOME. This is the mentality 90% of the people will have.
- MANY will be too self-focused to plane notice you. These are the dudes lifting up their shirt in the mirror to trammels their abs, doing bicep curls in the squat rack, and/or making sure they take photos to post on Facebook to prove they did in fact go to the gym. #Fitspo #Instagram #OtherNonsensicalHashtags
- A RARE few will judge. Though, they’re not just judging you, I promise. They’re judging EVERYBODY virtually you, considering they can’t help but compare themselves to others and they’re terrible people. This is no variegated than in real life. Screw these people, haters gonna hate, slaters gonna slate.
Sure, you can say “people are mean, the gym is scary, I just won’t show up.” But then, the terrorists win. And so do those people. So f*** that!.
Instead, this is going to be your gym mentality:
- Accept that some people suck (like anywhere in life), and most people are indifferent or focused on stuff self-conscious themselves. Everybody else will applaud you for trying and stuff there.
- Make an epic Spotify playlist that makes you finger heroic.
- Wear gown that you finger well-appointed in.
- Keep your headphones on, zone out everybody, and go well-nigh your business. Imagine you’re the only one there.
- Use 20 seconds of courage when necessary to get you to take action.
These are tips Mentor Matt brings up in his video How to Overcome Gym Anxiety:
We work with all of our Online Coaching clients who are worried well-nigh looking foolish in the gym. We know this is a huge challenge, so we create small levels and missions for our clients to get them well-appointed in the gym.
We’ve helped people just like you go from sheepish beginner to barbell-wielding badass. Let us help you!
Sign up in the box unelevated and I’ll send you this workout self-ruling (along with some other goodies):
- Complete this workout at home, no equipment required
- Avoid the worldwide mistakes everybody makes when doing bodyweight exercises
- Learn how to finally get your first pull-up
Many people think they need to hit the gym 6 days per week, dutifully successive weight training with cardio and bootcamps to get that jacked/toned soul they’re after.
That sounds exhausting and miserable to me…
…and I LOVE the gym!
So here’s what you need to know well-nigh gym frequency:
Go as much as you can, or as little as you want.
All of the workouts in this guide are “full-body workouts” which ways they work out all of the muscles in your body.
And as we lay out in “Strength 101: Beginner Strength Workouts,” your muscles get wrenched lanugo in the gym and then they rebuild themselves stronger over the next 48 hours.
For that reason, we recommend you hit the gym 2-3 times per week, with a day off or increasingly in between each session.
This translating comes with a few caveats:
- If you’re a single mom or working two jobs or just rented living your life and you can only go to the gym once, great! Once a week is largest than zero times a week!
- If you have specific sturdy or cardiovascular goals you’re training for, then hitting the gym increasingly commonly might get you faster results.
- If you are trying to lose weight, going to the gym increasingly commonly probably WON’T get you faster results. It’s all diet.
“Steve, just tell me how often I should go to the gym!”
Fine! Try to work up to going to the gym 3 times per week.
I like Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout plans.
Start and end the week with good wins!
Oh, what’s that? You want to exercise on your off days too? Cool. Here’s what you should be doing on your non-training days.
We craft our workout routines for our coaching clients virtually their schedules – some people hit the gym 5 days per week, while others only go once a week. We’re all unique snowflakes!
Okay! Now that we got THAT out of the way, are we ready!?
Great! Let’s level up in the gym!
The toughest part well-nigh going to a gym for the first time is just walking through the door.
If you do that, you’ve once gone farther than 74% of the population (a totally made-up statistic that I’m using to prove my point), so requite yourself a pat on the back.*
*Don’t have unbearable mobility to pat yourself on the back? We’ll help you with that too.
So on your first day in the gym, just GOING to the gym is a big step in the right direction. And I’m proud of you.
Note: You might need to moreover transpiration into gym gown if you’re coming from work. I know walking out onto the floor in gym gown might be intimidating too (another endangerment to use 20 Seconds of Courage).
But now you’re wondering, “Steve you half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder, what do I DO on my first day at the gym?”
If you haven’t once washed-up so, ask somebody at the front sedentary the following:
- “Hey I’m new here, could I get a tour of the gym?”
- “Excuse me, today’s my first day, can you point me in the direction of a place I can stretch?”
- “Can you help me work the treadmill?”
- Go full YOLO and try to icon these things out on your own.
If you’re worldly-wise to get a personal tour, great! Ask the treadmill question when you get to them. If they can’t walk you through, just do a lap yourself and see where things are and who is doing what.
Pro tip (also works outside of the gym): pretend you’re confident – plane if you’re dying inside – walk with purpose, and nobody will question why you’re doing what you’re doing.
So, when you’re ready, walk over towards the stretching area, and do a few basic mobility/warm-up stretches while standing to get the lay of the land and see what people are doing (don’t stare excessively, cool? cool).
Not sure what to do for warm-up movements? That’s okay!
Day 1 Beginner Warm-up Routine:
- Roll your throne in half-circles slowly, from shoulder to shoulder. 5 circles in each direction
- Slowly roll your shoulders forwards and backwards. 10 each way.
- Keep your legs stationary, and twist your torso, left and right. 10 twists on each side.
- Quad stretch: Hold each stretch for 5 seconds. Do 3 on each side:
- Cross one arm in front of your chest, then the other, as demonstrated here by lead coach Jim: Hold each stretch for 5 seconds. Do 3 on each side:
These movements have the superstitious side-effect of you stuff worldly-wise to squint virtually the gym and get the “flow” of things, while still looking busy. Jim STILL uses this “trick” when checking out new gyms.
Really, just get your soul moving. We don’t have to make you a gym warrior on Day 1. Some stretches and sightseeing will be good enough.
LEVEL 1 MISSION:
Take a lap virtually the gym and do your stretches.
If you walked out right now without doing these things, it’s still a win for Day 1 in a gym. Seriously – I don’t superintendency what you do on Day 1 – as long as it leaves you feeling good unbearable to come when for a Day 2!
GYM LEVEL 1 RECAP:
- Walking through the door makes you a winner.
- Ask for a tour if you need to know where things are!
- Change into workout clothes.
- Stand in one spot, do a few stretches, get the lay of the land.
If you’re up for MORE or ready to level up consider going to the next level, wilt a cardio cadet!
Get on the treadmill and start it up, based on the staff’s instructions.
If you weren’t worldly-wise to get instructions, many treadmills have a “quick start” sawed-off that will start things up.
Why start with just walking?
It gets you moving and out of your head! I know you’re smart – you’re reading NERD Fitness. But you moreover probably deal with “paralysis by analysis” a lot by overanalyzing everything, so we need to get OUT of our heads and get moving!!
Not only that, but walking is an AMAZING form of exercise. Walking is how Tim, the NF Prime member, lost 50 lbs through walking and nutritional changes. Don’t underestimate walking!
So, for your first 10-15 minutes, just walk. Set the treadmill at 3mph or 3.5 or whatever speed is well-appointed but not too strenuous.
A speed that gets you moving and gives you a endangerment to decide what you’ll do next while you squint virtually the gym. (Aka, it gives you a endangerment to get out of your throne and stop thinking everyone is looking at you. They’re not)
LEVEL 2 MISSION:
Do your Level 1 stretches, then spend 15 minutes walking, and then you are self-ruling to go home.
Repeat this as many days in a row that you need to until this starts to finger well-appointed and you stop feeling self-conscious.
Scientists, Benedictine monks, and German scholars refer to such a thing as a “routine.”
As you get increasingly comfortable, you can increase your walking speed or length of walking (20 minutes, 60 minutes, whatever)
If I’m gonna walk, I like to crush podcasts while doing so (My favorites: Watch out for Fireballs, Pardon My Take, and Bill Burr). Maybe you listen to Harry Potter on Audible.
Whatever floats your boat.
GYM LEVEL 2 RECAP:
- What you do in the gym doesn’t matter – build the habit of going regularly.
- Develop conviction at the treadmill with just walking.
- Start to realize you have just as much of a right to be there as everyone else.
- Give yourself a upper five for stuff you.
This routine of walking and stretching might only be one day in the gym for you, or it might be two months of this surpassing you finally finger like you don’t want to jump out of your own skin while in the gym.
Going to the gym is the habit I want you to build, so this is a unconfined start. Remember, you should be thinking in terms of “days and years,” not “weeks and months”:
We have many coaching clients who spend MONTHS just walking and working up the valiance to move vastitude the treadmill. That’s cool. We’re all on our own journey, at our own pace, so go at the pace that fits YOUR schedule.
After getting well-appointed with the stretching/treadmill routine, you may want to hop on a weight lifting machine at this point like the leg printing or chest printing machine.
Is this progress? Sure!
Can you do this? Absolutely!
But, but, but… we are going to recommend you try some bodyweight exercises instead as your next step.
Controlling your soul through space (not outer space) is going to be increasingly salubrious in the long run than strapping into a machine and moving through a set path.
If you can do bodyweight exercises proficiently, then stepping into a machine is “easy.”
The reverse is not unchangingly the case.
So, if we’ve convinced you to try some bodyweight exercises, then next thing is to identify a place in the gym you can do bodyweight exercises where you’re not in the way. This oftentimes might double as the place that some people are doing stretches, where you’ve once been before!
If you don’t know, ask the front sedentary or find a trainer! That’s what they’re there for!
LEVEL 3 MISSION:
After your 5 minutes of warm-up (Level 1) and 10 minutes on the treadmill (Level 2), your next step is to go to a place you can do the Level 3 Gym Workout:
- 10 bodyweight squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 bodyweight squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 bodyweight squats
- 10 push-ups
Can’t get through it all? No worries, do what you can.
This style of successive one exercise with flipside is tabbed a circuit workout, by the way!
If you don’t know how to do those movements well, watch coaches Jim, Staci, and myself show you how!
HOW TO DO A PROPER PUSH-UP:
HOW TO DO A SQUAT:
If you just did the above mini-workout for a month, you’d be off to a unconfined start! If you’re feeling frisky and starting to find some confidence in the gym, it’s time to workshop out more!
GYM LEVEL 3 RECAP:
- Warm up on the treadmill with a 10-minute walk
- Find a place where you can do bodyweight movements out of the way
- Complete 3 circuits of 10 push-ups and 10 bodyweight squats each at a pace that works for you
Stay at this stage as long as you need, until you can move on!
Note: If you enjoy the bodyweight brigade, or you’re not quite ready to start doing weight training yet, that’s tomfool too.
We have tons of 1-on-1 coaching clients who have gotten in GREAT shape without overly picking up a weight. It all comes lanugo to constantly increasing the rencontre and making progress each week.
It’s time to wander into the place that strikes fear in the heart of most gymgoers:
The self-ruling weight section.
DO NOT FORGET THIS: If you are a 400-pound woman, or 85 years old, or a 100-pound man, you have just as much of a right to be in the self-ruling weight section as everyone else.
It might take yet flipside 20 Seconds of Courage to wander in there, so I’m challenging you to try it.
LEVEL 4 MISSION:
After you do 10 minutes of walking on the treadmill, go to the dumbbell section, grab a single 10 lb (4.5kg) dumbbell, and find a unappetizing seat like this:
Stand next to that bench, and make sure nobody is using it. If somebody is at a seat nearby, ask them “is everyone using this bench?” If they say no, put your towel on the bench, your 10 lb dumbbell on it, and stand next to it.
We’re going to add a 1-arm dumbbell row to our spin above:
That’s it! Just one dumbbell exercise! Boom! You are now weight training like a boss.
Here’s your new Level 4 Gym Workout Circuit: Dumbbell Division A
- 10 bodyweight squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 one arm dumbbell rows (10 per arm)
Do this spin once, and then repeat two increasingly times if you’re feeling good.
To recap, or if you skipped Steps 1-3 (I’m only slightly offended), here’s how to properly do:
A BODYWEIGHT SQUAT:
A PROPER PUSH-UP:
Congrats! You’ve used dumbbells!
Remember, everybody started somewhere, and we’re just working on getting you well-appointed stuff in the self-ruling weight section.
Want to protract subtracting dumbbells movements into your workout? Let’s add them to the squats.
Use the same dumbbell to do “goblet squats.”
They’re named as such considering it looks like you’re holding a goblet that you don’t want to spill.
Here’s a video of Staci and Jim demonstrating the Goblet Squat pulled from Nerd Fitness Prime:
So your Level 4 Gym Workout: Dumbbell Division B is 3 circuits of the following:
- 10 goblet squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 dumbbell rows/side
If you go to the gym 3x a week, work your way up to the pursuit routine:
- Light stretching and walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes
- 3 well-constructed circuits of this beginner circuit
- Go home and eat good supplies and play video games
This will put you superiority of 95% of the gym-going population. You’ll be on a unconfined path to towers a healthy, antifragile, resilient body.
Add a little increasingly weight here and there- making the minimal possible jumps each time (going from 10 lb to 12.5 lb dumbbells, for example).
Make your push-up variation a little harder over time.
You can stick with the whilom for MONTHS.
Ready for flipside upgrade?
The last dumbbell exercise to learn is the dumbbell Romanian deadlift (RDL). This is like a cousin of the bodyweight squat where we move through the hips increasingly than the knees.
Grab a pair of dumbbells now, push your hips when and bow forward like you’re stuff polite. Or, you’re like one of those novelty “drinking birds.”
Bring the dumbbells lanugo to well-nigh your knees, not to the ground, then stand when up.
You can see the exercise right here:
Every other workout, swap out the goblet squat for the dumbbell Romanian deadlift.
So our spin is now successive with each gym workout.
Do 3 circuits of each if you can! If the weight is too light, use heavier dumbbells the next time you train.
Level 4 Gym Workout: Dumbbell Division C:
- 10 goblet squats OR 10 dumbbell Romanian deadlifts
- 10 push-ups
- 10 dumbbell rows per arm.
GYM LEVEL 4 RECAP:
- Remember you have just as much a right as everybody else to use the self-ruling weights.
- Take a deep breath, go into self-ruling weights section, and get a 10 lb. dumbbell.
- Learn to do a wilting over row and goblet squats.
- Learn to do dumbbell Romanian deadlifts.
- High five yourself for weight training.
Training with dumbbells opens up infinite possibilities.
Okay, probably not INFINITE possibilities, but tropical enough.
If you are somebody that wants to learn how to train with dumbbells plane increasingly seriously, or you’re looking for ways to put that dumbbell set you have in your garage to proper use, let us help!
If you have a unconfined program to follow, you can get in incredible shape with just a set of dumbbells.
The two final pieces of the puzzle are things I want for you so badly, I can taste it. These two exercises have reverted my life, our lead coach Jim’s life, Staci’s life, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the Nerd Fitness Rebellion:
There’s something powerful well-nigh old-school strength training with exercises like the when squat and the deadlift.
Show me somebody that’s strong at both of these movements, and I’ll show you somebody that’s in largest shape than most of the human population.
Even an empty barbell can be heavy, so surpassing we jump into the deep end, you need to be worldly-wise to complete our spin with the pursuit weights:
Level 4 Gym Workout: Dumbbell Division C:
- 10 goblet squats – 45 lbs (20Kg dumbbell), 10 RDLs with 20 lbs (9-10 Kg dumbbells)
- 10 push ups (on knees or regular)
- 10 dumbbell rows with each arm – at least a 20 lb dumbbell
Can’t do those movements at that weight, or not sure what they are? Go when to the Level 4 Gym Workout.
YOUR LEVEL 5 MISSION:
WHEN YOU ARE READY, please read the following:
And here is a quick video sit-in of the Squat, but I would REALLY read our full article!
And then I want you to find a squat rack:
THIS IS ONE TYPE OF SQUAT RACK (the barbell is NOT unfluctuating to the apparatus). USE THESE:
THIS IS A SMITH MACHINE (bar is tying to apparatus). THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM A “SQUAT RACK”:
Note: if you are training in a hotel gym, an suite gym, or at some locations like Planet Fitness, they might NOT have a squat rack!
This can be for a variety of issues (liability, lack of space, most people just want to use a Smith Machine, etc.). They might plane tell you, “A Smith Machine is the same thing.” It is not, in fact, the same thing. You hopefully can find a gym that has an ACTUAL squat rack with a self-ruling barbell.
If your gym doesn’t have a squat rack, and you want to start barbell training, I would consider finding a new gym or just hanging out in the Level 4: Dumbbell Division!
If using a squat rack scares the crap out of you: wait to struggle your FIRST trip to the squat rack when the gym is nearly empty, or recruit a buddy who knows what they’re doing. If there’s a special day you can go VERY early to the gym, or VERY late, or during the workday, do it then.
Watch this video from The Nerd Fitness Prime well-nigh how to set the ‘pins’ in the squat rack to put the bar at the proper height!
YOUR NEXT LEVEL 5 MISSION:
Attempt 1 set of a 5 barbell squats with JUST the bar (first ask the staff or a trainer how much the bar weighs: most standard barbells weigh 45 lbs (20Kg) but your gym might not have standard barbells).
You can then well-constructed our tried and true spin – replacing goblet squats with barbell squats.
So our spin is now 3 circuits.
Level 5 Gym Workout: Barbell Battalion A:
- 10 barbell squats or 10 dumbbell Romanian deadlifts
- 10 push-ups
- 10 dumbbell rows/side
(See Level 4 for explanations on the Dumbbell deadlifts and rows)
Congrats! You’re using barbells! If you haven’t once read NF’s Senior Mentor Staci’s transformation story of how she went from barely stuff worldly-wise to lift a 10 lb dumbbell to now deadlifting 425 lbs, it’s a really inspiring story!
Speaking of Staci, let’s move on to her favorite exercise (and mine!)…
YOUR NEXT LEVEL 5 MISSION:
And watch the video sit-in here:
The deadlift movements starts with the weight on the ground, and ends with it when on the ground.
If you’ve got regular, large weights (usually 45 lbs/20 kgs) on each side then the bar sits the proper height off the ground.
Some facilities have lighter plates at that same large diameter. Use them.
If you are lifting less weight (or just using the bar to start off) then DON’T do the deadlift from the ground. The bar will be too low to the ground and mess up proper technique.
Instead, do the pursuit to start your deadlifts at proper height:
1) Use blocks to retread the barbell starting height:
2) Use the safety bars in a squat rack to set the height of the bar correctly!
3) Do the Romanian deadlift instead! (Whew, glad we learned that!). It’s the word-for-word same movement as the dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, you’re just using a barbell instead.
START WITH A LIGHT WEIGHT – JUST the bar. As we imbricate in our “How much weight should I lift?”, you should ALWAYS start with just the bar.
And work on technique.
Only then should you start subtracting increasingly weight, and add it slowly – you’ll be picking up heavy weights in no time, so don’t rush it.
Here’s Staci demonstrating a proper barbell Romanian deadlift from Nerd Fitness Prime:
Once you’ve started doing these two movements in your routine, your two successive gym days will squint like this. Simply unorganized every time you go to the gym (with a day off in between sessions).
Level 5 Gym Workout: Barbell Battalion:
Day A Circuit – 3 rounds of:
- 10 barbell squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 inverted bodyweight rows
Day B Circuit – 3 rounds of:
- 5 barbell Romanian deadlifts
- 10 push-ups
- 10 dumbbell rows per arm
Not sure what a bodyweight row is? It’s an AMAZING exercise that you’ll need to master if you’re going to get your first pull-up or chin-up one day!
Read our vendible on bodyweight rows, and moreover watch our quick video sit-in here of Staci doing them:
GYM LEVEL 5 RECAP:
- Barbell training will transpiration your life like it has reverted mine.
- Learn to squat and learn to deadlift properly.
- Focus on proper form, and slowly start to add weight to the bar.
- You are now a gym “regular” and I salute you!
Now, I know the barbell squat and barbell deadlift are two complex, potentially scary exercises. It’s important to get your form correctly now when you are just lifting the bar, so that you don’t hurt yourself once you start subtracting weight!
If you want a professional to trammels your form, tell you when to add weight to the bar, and teach you other barbell movements, trammels out our online coaching program!
Did I tell you that I’m proud of you yet? I really am, I promise. Your mom is proud too. So is your dad, but he just doesn’t know how to express it.
What’s next? Requite me MOAR!!”
It’s like you’ve finally learned to cook, and now you’re asking for increasingly spices.
So, here in Level 6, we’re going to turn you into a full Gym Matriculation Hero. And it requires you to learn a super standard, incredibly challenging exercise that moreover happens to be wondrous for you…
The pull-up or chin-up!
If you can’t do a pull-up or chin-up yet, you can read our full guide on how to get your first pull-up or chin-up.
We moreover have a full vendible on doing a perfect pull-up or chin-up with proper form, but I would watch this video too for some quick ways to scale the movement to fit your wits level:
YOUR LEVEL 6 GYM WORKOUT MISSION:
Alternate inverted bodyweight rows with pull-ups or an easier pull-up variation every other workout.
So our spin will be successive these movements on your A and B Days:
LEVEL 6 DAY A CIRCUIT – 3 rounds of:
- 10 barbell squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 pull-ups or pull-up alternatives!
LEVEL 6 DAY B CIRCUIT – 3 rounds of:
- 10 barbell Romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts
- 10 push-ups
- 10 inverted bodyweight rows
Spice it up further! If you’ve read up to this point, and put the work in, we hope you finger like a Gym Class Hero, and you can start to build your own workout!
Coach Staci explains exactly how to diamond an exercise routine in this video:
SO what can you do to add some variety? Throw in or replace flipside exercise!
Want to do some planks? Put them in the spin without your other movements!
Lunges to replace the squats or deadlifts one day? Sounds good!
Want to start training with gymnastic rings? Go for it!
Want to learn how to do handstands? Try practicing for 5 minutes at the start of each workout!
There are a ton of variegated options for what to do and where to go.
If we’ve gotten you increasingly well-appointed in the gym, we’ve washed-up our job!
WANT MORE HANDS-ON INSTRUCTION? If you’re looking to get out of the generic workout programs and follow withal with a routine that fits your goals and lifestyle, consider checking out our 1-on-1 Coaching Program!
Sure, we help beginners get started with strength training. But we moreover help seasoned gym-goers take their training increasingly seriously, and plane help some folks start competing in powerlifting competitions.
I personally hired an online mentor in 2014, and I’ve been with him overly since. It’s the weightier money I spend every month, and the weightier investment I make in myself.
We’ve worked with men and women like Leslie here, a single mom that lost 100 pounds thanks to pursuit Mentor Jim’s program.
She now works on things like gymnastic training and handstands and deadlifts and squats!
Interested in having expert guidance in your pocket? Click on the image unelevated to typesetting a self-ruling undeniability with our team!
I asked the unshortened 15-person staff in our Online Coaching Program – most of whom have trained clients in a gym for 5 years – what information they would share with new gym-goers:
#1) Take your time. The whilom 6-level workout plan might take you 12 months to move through, and that’s okay! I would rather you slowly wade into the water instead of terrifying yourself with the thought of cannonballing into the deep end and never even starting a gym routine.
Stick with what you know, and then bit by bit, one movement at a time, workshop out and try new things.
Remember: “days and years,” not “weeks and months.”
#2) Do what makes you happy. You might have noticed whilom I didn’t mention things like bicep curls, seat press, cardio classes, spin class, etc.
If those things make you happy, start subtracting them to the mix. However, if you are only doing those things considering you think you are supposed to, don’t!
The whilom 6-Stage strategy combined with a healthy nutritional strategy will get you 95% of the way to where you want to go.
I promise. Nerd’s honor.
#3) Write lanugo everything you’re doing and track your progress. Alimony a simple note on your phone, write in a notebook, use Evernote, whatever. Write lanugo what you do so that you know what to do next time.
When you get stronger and things finger too easy, you know to move up in weight slowly (and record that too!).
Keeping track of everything is one of the easiest and most important ways to make progress. Staci, Jim, and I ALL still record every workout and never stop trying to get a teeny, tiny bit stronger with each session.
#4) It’s largest to lift a TOO LIGHT weight than try one that’s TOO HEAVY. You want to finish the workout saying “hey I could do more, this is encouraging” rather than “that was too much, I hurt myself/failed/and I’m demoralized.”
#5) If you don’t know, ask somebody who works there. If you’re worried that you’re using a machine incorrectly, and you’re sheepish and self-conscious well-nigh it, ask somebody who works in the gym.
Usually, there will be trainers that work there walking virtually the floor – ask them! That’s what they’re there for.
They can help you set the safety bars and pins on the squat rack if you’re not sure how. They can tell you how to retread the seat on a machine, or how the treadmill works. That is what they are there for!
#6) If you want to rent a trainer for a few sessions, it might be a unconfined investment! Good trainers are nonflexible to come by, but if you happen to like our style of doing things here at Nerd Fitness, we have our own 1-on-1 Coaching Program that will program your workouts and help you fix your diet:
#7) Work out with what you can work with.
If you are a member at a Planet Fitness or similar gym: Your gym might not indulge you to do barbell deadlifts, might not have a squat rack, or ONLY have a Smith Machine. If this is true of your gym, this is okay!
Do the weightier you can with what you have. Like MacGyver.
You can still get quite strong with the dumbbell workouts and bodyweight movements in Stage 4! And you’ll be that much increasingly prepared when you do start working with barbells if you sooner join a variegated gym.
#8) Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Just going to the gym takes courage.
- Trying a machine for the first time takes courage.
- Picking up a dumbbell takes courage.
- Using the squat rack takes a lot of courage.
Don’t worry well-nigh perfect, or having perfect form or the perfect routine without you finish this article, just START! It’s how we all learn: like scientists trying new experiments and subtly tweaking the variables.
These are our favorite tips and tricks with regard to the gym. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t moreover mention something equally important:
We’ve created flipside vendible in this gym series tabbed “29 Unwritten Rules to the Gym,” to make sure you won’t be an willy-nilly ass in the gym.
This list includes some obvious things like wiping lanugo the seat without you use it, or not monopolizing a squat rack, but then some other increasingly subtle things that will alimony you in everybody’s good graces!
If you read this far, 6000 words later, I have to imagine it ways you’re really interested in getting started with strength training!
The first time going to a gym can be nerve-wracking and exciting, but it’s the 100th, 500th, 1000th trip to the gym where results get made.
And that ways you need to BUILD the habit correctly for going to the gym.
It comes lanugo to a few key things:
1) Accountability! If you’re new to going to the gym, it’s really easy to fall off the wagon once life gets busy. For that reason, I encourage you to be subject to somebody other than yourself.
You see, motivation sucks, and will goof you when you need it most.
So, instead of using motivation, cultivate willpower and accountability.
Make it scrutinizingly untellable for you to skip the gym:
- Recruit a friend to join you at the gym! You don’t want to let them down, right?
- Prepay for a tuft of sessions with a good personal trainer.
- Hire an online coach who checks in on you regularly!
2) Focus on hacking into the Matrix and setting up your system! Put your workout time and place into your Google Calendar so that you unchangingly know when your next workout is. Focus on creating an environment where you are increasingly likely than not gonna DO THE THING you want to do (go to the gym). We undeniability this “Building your Batcave.”
3) Cultivate a love of unvarying improvement. Imagine this: you’re no longer going to the gym just to lose weight or squint good. Those things are a happy magnitude of what you’re really there for:
Because you ACTUALLY like to work out!
I cannot tell you how many NF Coaching Clients I’ve seen message me and say “Holy crap Steve, I don’t know how it happened, but I unquestionably LIKE working out now!”
Every week, you’re excited to hit the gym because:
- You’re subtracting increasingly weight to your squats.
- You are attempting a new personal weightier for the deadlift.
- You’re trying to get your first pull-up.
- You get to see your gym friend and hear how his day went.
- You LOVE how you finger without the gym.
Getting there takes time and energy, but that’s really when life changes and sh** gets magical with regards to your health and fitness.
These are the tools we’ve created to help you turn the gym into something you squint forward to:
1) Our popular 1-on-1 coaching program. No increasingly guesswork, no wondering if you’re doing the right program, no shame or guilt. Just results that don’t suck, and a plan that doesn’t make you miserable.
We alimony you subject to make sure you unquestionably do your workout, we wordplay any questions you have, and we cheer you on every step of the way:
2) If you want a daily prompt for doing workouts at the gym (or at home), trammels out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise increasingly frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).
Try your self-ruling trial right here:
3) Join the Rebellion! Our self-ruling polity numbers in the hundreds of thousands scattered throughout the globe, and we need good people like you!
You can join by signing up in the superstitious yellow box below, and I’ll send you a tuft of self-ruling guides and printable workouts, including our Strength 101 guide!
Okay, by now you should have all of the tools you need to get started in the gym, but maybe you have increasingly questions. If you do, I have answers!
Simply leave a scuttlebutt unelevated and I’ll do my weightier to wordplay it soon!
I’d love to hear from you too if you found this vendible helpful. Which gym workout are you following?
Have you made it all the way to Level 6 yet!?
PS: Make sure you read the other 3 wares in our gym series:
- Finding the Right Gym
- 6 Things to Know Surpassing Joining a Gym
- Gym Etiquette: Don’t Break these 29 Unwritten Rules!
PPS: Don’t forget to read our superstitious Strength 101 Series either!
- Strength Training 101: Beginner Strength Training Routines
- Strength Training 101: How Much Weight Should I Be lifting?
- Strength Training 101: Finding the Right Gym
- Strength Training 101: Building Muscle Quickly
- Strength Training 101: Inverted Rows
- Strength Training 101: How to Squat Properly
- Strength Training 101: The Overhead Press
- Strength Training 101: The Deadlift
Photo Sources:Hardcore Stormies Hit The Gym, Iron Lego, stormtrooper out of line, Venting Off, Scenes from an empty lot in Brooklyn, vol 1., siraphol © 123RF.com, tonobalaguer © 123RF.com, Edvard Nalbantjan © 123RF.com, Oops this doesn’t seem to be London 24th March 2017, power rack,
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