There is no doubt that the gym can be an intimidating place for newbies. The equipment itself can be overwhelming with all the different adjustments and moving parts. Aside from the equipment, the people can also be intimidating. It’s not easy to walk into a room full of people who appear to know exactly what they are doing while you feel completely lost. Fortunately, we have five tips to navigate the gym with ease and confidence.
Machines: For those who are new to working out, the machines at the gym are a great place to start. Machines can help build a foundation of strength and coordination before moving on to free weights, which require more balance and stability.
Adjustments: If you choose to use machines, make sure you are properly adjusting each one. Every machine has a different set of adjustments that target a workout to each individual body. Adjustments ensure you are moving through the proper range of motion and the movement isn’t placing any unwanted stress on your joints. Most gyms offer a free training session with registration so a personal trainer can show you how to adjust and set up each machine.
Repetitions: As a newbie, it can be confusing to know how many repetitions are suitable for each exercise. If you’re new to the gym and looking to build a baseline of strength, anywhere from 12 to 15 reps is acceptable for each exercise. There really is no need to do a lower or higher amount of reps unless your goals change.
Weight Selection: When selecting the amount of weight for each exercise, choose a weight that is challenging toward the last few reps. If you get to the end of your reps and feel as though you could have done more, increase the weight next time. This will ensure that you are properly challenging your body.
Warm-up: It’s always important to do warm-up reps before jumping into your main exercise set. Doing so ensures that you prime the muscles for the movement patterns. A good rule of thumb is to warm up for about five reps of half your workout weight. For example, if you normally squat for 15 reps at 50 pounds, an effective warm-up would be five reps at 25 pounds before moving into your main set.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems, a 2015 Home-Based Business of the Year from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. DeHenzel Training Systems develops customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.