Woman at the gym stretching with medicine ball

Your first time walking into a gym can be pretty daunting. The icy air conditioning hits your face and as you look around, the entire room stops what they’re doing to stare back at you (or at least that’s how it feels).

You scan the different stations: Weights? NOPE. Treadmills? NOPE. Preacher curl? WUT.

The good news is, we’ve all been there. And as much as we’d all love to walk into the gym looking like Nicole Scherzinger (before the yoghurt adverts began…) many of us don’t end up doing this and merely blunder through as best we can until an acceptable amount of time has passed so that we can go home.

BUT WAIT! What if there was a way of cheating? A way of strutting in, head held high as if we’d been going there for years…The good news? There is! All you need to do is a little preparation and luckily, we have the answers to helping you work it like a pro…

The Mirafit guide to looking like a gym pro

Start at home

There’s no reason why you can’t practise at home to start designing and creating your own regime. Squats, high knees, stretches, press ups, lunges, running on the spot and sit-ups are all great exercises – no matter what your skill level – and the best bit is, they don’t require any equipment. Do these regularly and you’ll soon start to build up your fitness levels as well as your confidence.

Why not Google a basic workout routine? Or try watching YouTube videos by professional trainers to help guide you in your early stages. This way, when you get to the gym, you’ll already have something that you feel comfortable doing that you can crack on with straight away when you first walk in.

 

Choose the right gym for you

Take a tour of the gym before you start to get a good look around at the place and make sure it’s somewhere you feel comfortable. Some gyms are great for weight lifting but then that might not be what you’re looking for; others are brilliant for classes – choose what you’re happy with and go with it.

 

Hear it from the experts

The gym is great for motivation and guidance: book an induction to learn the machines and it’s a good idea to get yourself a personal training programme too. A couple of free sessions are usually included in your membership package so don’t forget to use them!

 

Plan it out

It’s impossible to know where everything is before you’ve even stepped foot through the door. Most gyms however have fairly consistent layouts with weights and cardio machines split up into sections, an area for mats and a studio or two for classes.

Take an empty bottle and as soon as you walk in, scan the area for the nearest water cooler (you’ll most likely spot a small queue of rather pink and shiny individuals lining up in a corner somewhere – head towards them). This will give you a chance to take in what’s around you and relax a little.

 

Warm up

The ski machine is a great warm up station: 5 minutes at a low intensity will allow you to get going while you settle your nerves. Press the Quick Start button and off you go!

 

Keep going

It may take a little while to settle in but don’t worry. Try out the machines, see what you enjoy and don’t forget to ask questions! The gym staff should be on hand to guide you if you’re unsure.

 

Stay focused on you

Woman doing bench press

Focus on your exercises and the weights that are right for you. If you’re not sure, pick up the lightest weights and go from there. It sometimes feels like everyone is watching you but they really aren’t. Enjoy the atmosphere, relax, focus on your exercises and perfect your form.

 

Two’s company

Who says you have to go it alone? Join with a friend so you can be noobs together, or tag along with someone you know who already goes so they can show you the ropes. It’ll make going to the gym for the first time a lot easier as well as relieve some of the anxiety about stepping through the door.

 

Fit – don’t quit!

There will always be times when you think you’re under the spotlight but the more you go, the more you’ll realise everyone is busy concentrating on what they’re doing and also, that it’s ok to take your time and do your own thing. You never know, you might soon find yourself inspiring others!

Be the best version of you.