In early 2014 I stepped into the gym for the first time and, as much I would like to say I never looked back, I have definitely had my struggles. It hasn’t been until the last 2 years that I have been absolutely loving my training. My friends always seem to be asking me how they can find motivation to start going and how they should start off. So here are 10 tips to help you get started:
1. Start off by going with a friend – There are two important aspects to this. First, it is great if this friend knows their way around the gym as it will ease your mind about not knowing what you are doing. Secondly, make sure this person has similar goals to you. There is no point in training with someone who has a 7 day a week routine that consists solely of weights if your aim is to go twice a week for some light cardio.
2. Get a PT – There are a hundred reasons why having a PT is so great, they can help you set realistic goals, build confidence so you know your way around the gym or even just keep you motivated. The best part is, it doesn’t have to blow your budget – My local tafe offers a PT course in which the trainers have to find clients and train them (for free) for a semester.
3. Join a class – There are so many different ways to work out at the gym and classes are great to help you figure out which ways best suit you. They are also a great way to stay motivated and keep you interested as well as introducing your to some potential gym buddies!
4. Don’t go cold turkey – So many of my friends think that because they are going to the gym for the first time, they have to start doing meal prep and cut every unhealthy snack out of their diet. You don’t. Whilst eating clean is very important and will give your body the nutrients you need, it is a goal to work towards. Cutting out all unhealthy food overnight is not sustainable, take it step by step and you will get there. As well as this, you do not have to start training every single day at a hard level, ease yourself into it and you will find it a lot more enjoyable.
5. Don’t be scared of weights! – Adding weights into your routine is not going to make you big and bulky. Using weights can help you lose body fat and tone up. Depending on your goals, there are many different ways to use weights to add to your routine that will help to achieve your goals faster.
6. Treat yo self – When I find myself needing that extra bit of motivation, I like to set a goal and if I reach that I treat myself with new gym clothes or with a new outfit I have been wanting.
7. It’s okay to have a break – Some days our bodies just need a rest. I am not talking about when you just can’t be bothered or you are feeling unmotivated, but I have sometimes found, even when I am wanting to go to the gym, I am so exhausted and my body just needs a day off. You don’t have to feel bad about this, you can always add in an extra session on another day or even simply go for a walk so you still fit some exercise in. If you find this is becoming a weekly thing you might want to think about trying a less demanding routine.
8. The gym isn’t the only place to train – Recently I have been loving hiking! I find this is a great way to add some extra exercise into my routine. Another way to add an extra work out in is doing an at home HIIT workout – there are so many tutorials on Youtube (TheLeanMachines are my absolute fav) which you can follow along to or even apps to download which will give you a great workout with no equipment required.
9. Set your goals – This is a major part of keeping you motivated. Setting yourself realistic goals will make you want to keep working out and reaching those goals will help even more! Try to set a time limit on your goals (eg. lose 2% body fat by the end of the year).
10. Track your progress – Once again this is another key part of keeping motivated. There are many ways to track your progress – tracking your progress through photos, tracking your weight, tracking your body fat or tracking the amount of weight you can lift/squat/bench. Depending on your goals different ways of tracking your progress can be so beneficial to keeping you motivated. I did not do this when I started working out and never thought I had much progress until other people started commenting and looking back I think it would have helped me push myself harder and made me appreciate all the work I had put in.
Good luck and let me know if you want more of an insight into my fitness routine!