FITNESS 101: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO STARTING THE GYM

Bust fitness myths and beat gym room anxiety with these simple tips 


Does the thought of a gym full of strangers make you want to give up exercise altogether? Personal trainer Karleigh Wright shares tips on joining the gym, getting over fears and growing in confidence in what at times may be an intimidating atmosphere.

  1. START WITH CARDIO 

Machines at the gym can be a tad intimidating for a new gym goer. Our expert recommends starting with cardio equipment especially the treadmill.

“The cardio should be the first step for beginner because most machines give you different programs that you can do so if you are a beginner at the gym you can hit the treadmill whether you want to do a fat burning workout, whether you want to do basic cardio or whether you want to do a fitness test.

“Once you are on a specific piece of equipment the machine will change speed to adapt to your fitness level because it can measure your heart rate against your age and your weight. And it can work out by your age, weight and heart rate how frequently it should increase or decrease the speed,” she said

The resistance machines which are like weights but machines are really great because the have picture that tells you what muscle group you are working

2.  JOIN A FITNESS CLASS

“I highly recommend beginners go to a fitness class rather than just to the gym. Because if they go to a class they will actually learn different moves that they can do and they can take a lot from the class into the actual gym itself. Not only that, you’ll make some friends and it is more motivating.

“If you tell someone in the class you are going to be there for the following session well you are more likely to go because you have said and have to be accountable.

3. FOCUS ON YOU 

“At the end of the day, no one is looking at you. Everyone at the gym is there to improve themselves. Nobody goes to the gym to stand and watch people walking. They are all there for the same reason.

“The same thought process goes through everybody’s head. No one wakes up in the morning and absolutely loves the idea of a workout. They’ll love the workout after it.

“I mean no matter how fit or unfit you are you walk into the gym, you do your workout and you walk back out.

“Everybody walking out is going to have the same feeling and should be proud of themselves.

“Also when you start going to the gym that makes you more confident full stop.

“I understand that some people are shy but the only way you can overcome it is by going.

4. GET A TRAINER

Getting personal trainer can be the best option if you need help making that first step.

Karleigh says: ” I always recommend getting a personal trainer for people who have just started. People say sometimes I cannot afford it but it’s a life investment. When you look at a personal trainers rate, a personal trainer might charge you £100 for ten sessions but well you could walk into Topshop and buy a pair of shoes and a dress but that pair of shoes isn’t going to change your life is it? It’ll change you where you’ll think you look great for one night you’ll look great but 10 sessions might get you to the next size down which you’ll feel even better about.

“If you really want to make health changes to your life then you can afford it because you’ll make the sacrifices.

While you save you can always use YouTube to learn technique and exercises.

5. DON’T BE AFRAID OF WEIGHTS

Women tend to not want to use weights because they fear to be bulky.

“I always say to women the only way you are going to get bulky is if you take male hormones or if you continue eating cake.

“But if you lift weights in the gym and keep to a clean diet you won’t get bulky.

“I mean I lift weights every day and I am a size 6 to 8. I’m definitely not bulky but I lift heavy weights.

6. PATIENCE IS KEY 

“You cannot click your fingers and suddenly change your appearance. you have to let your body take its time to change and it will. You’ll have to work for it,” says Karleigh

WATCH KARLEIGH’S EASY ABS WORKOUT 

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