Did you feel overwhelmed when you first went to the gym? Everyone is busy with their workout, but you don’t know what exercises you should be doing and which equipment is right for you. You may feel embarrassed because you don’t have everything you need to prepare in advance. This article answers the novice’s questions and guides your first gym experience. So, what should we prepare for our first time at the gym?
First, you should have a balanced mentality. Many people feel shy or inferior because they are not as strong as people who work out a lot. However, those experienced in fitness have their own training plans and will not pay attention to your training. They used to have ordinary body shapes, and it was only through the accumulated exercise that they have beautiful muscle lines today. If you have any questions, you can ask them during their training interval, which will usually get enthusiastic answers.
Next, you need to prepare the following items:
Compared with beverages (except sports drinks), water is the healthiest and can better replenish lost fluids. Most gyms are equipped with water dispensers, so we can just prepare our cups. If you need to build muscle, you can also bring a small box of protein powder and drink it after your workout.
Fitted sportswear can make your exercise more efficient. You need sneakers, quick-drying clothes, and leggings. A suitable sports bra is also what you need if you are a girl. You can buy more professional sports equipment after a period of workout.
3. Bath supplies
Generally, gyms will have some bathrooms. You can bring a change of clothes, towels, shower gel, shampoo, etc. After exercising, you can enjoy a comfortable hot shower to avoid clothing odor caused by excessive sweating.
Scientific Training Plan
When you have all the above things ready, you can start to formulate a scientific training plan. The most accessible training formula is warm-up + anaerobic training + aerobic training as a novice. Some people can’t distinguish between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. To put it simply, if a workout can make you exhausted in 90 seconds, it is usually an anaerobic exercise, such as heavy weight lifting. On the contrary, if you can stick to more than 90 seconds, generally, there is more aerobic energy supply, such as jogging, cycling, yoga, etc.
Then I will explain how to warm up and formulate your training plans.
Adequate warm-up can increase the mobility of joints, activate muscle groups, improve blood circulation, and avoid injury caused by deformation of movement. Warm-up usually take 5 to 10 minutes, and you can choose the following two groups of recommended exercises:
a. Warm up with a treadmill or elliptical machine, or do two 1-minute sets of jumping jacks. Mainly to improve blood circulation and body temperature.
b. Twist your wrists, shoulders, waist, ankles, knee joints, and hips to increase the mobility of joints.
2. Training Plans for Different Groups of People
a. People who want to lose weight: 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up + 20 to 40 minutes of anaerobic training + 40 to 60 minutes of aerobic training.
For people who want to lose fat, anaerobic exercise can increase muscle mass and help boost basal metabolism. You can start with the fixed equipment in the gym, choosing four groups of 12-20RM* weight exercise. Aerobic exercise will increase calorie expenditure. The most recommended is the elliptical machine, followed by the treadmill and rowing machine. The elliptical machine is simple to use, and it is not easy to damage your knee joint. On the other hand, Treadmills can damage your knees and ankles if you run improperly.
(*RM: Take 12RM as an example, the weight to failure after 12 reps is 12RM)
b. People who want to build muscle: 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up + 40 to 60 minutes of anaerobic training + 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic training.
Many beginners eager to build muscle prefer to spend 40 to 60 minutes working on small muscle groups, such as the biceps, which can only bring little effect because the biceps is only a small part of the muscle group in your body. So we should focus on the exercises of large muscle groups, such as the chest, back, and legs. Then, through the movement of large muscle groups to drive small muscle groups together, supplemented with a certain amount of small muscle group training. As a novice, you can choose four sets of 8-12RM weights on fixed equipment in the gym.
Finally, don’t think you can go home directly after your workout! Muscle stretching is as important as fitness. It can not only help to build perfect muscle lines but also avoids muscle soreness and strain caused by muscle stiffness. You can choose to static stretches and stretch your back, chest, shoulders, legs, abdomen, biceps, and triceps for about 10 minutes.