Survival tips for your first time at the gym; A guide on what to expect and how to prepare


Advice to help you feel confident and prepared for your first time at the gym

Survival-tips-gym-confidenceEvery gym is different and preparing to walk in to a new one for the first time can sometimes be intimidating even for the most confident of gym goers, but there’s no need to fear!

If you are worried about feeling out of your depth because everyone knows what they are doing , don’t worry they’ve all been in your shoes at some point!

This article provides you with some tips to help reduce your nerves and arm you with the knowledge and tools to help you feel more confident about your first steps into the gym.

Find out what will happen on your first visit.


Gym Inductions

Survival-tips-gym-instructorAlmost all gyms have time allocated for inductions so that new members can be shown the equipment and how to use it correctly  this is usually accompanied with a tour of the facilities by a member of staff.

You may feel you don’t need this, but even if you are confident in using gym machines being shown around

and told the gym rules will always be useful.  It is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more about classes, busy times or any offers the gym may have on. The process is designed to help you get the most from your gym membership as well as safety, so think twice about skipping this step.

Gym classes

If you’ve picked to go to a class, then you’ll be instructed on what exercises you’re going to do and how to do them. This can be great if you’re nervous to start the gym as you have hands-on support and are surrounded by a group of people who you can share your worries with.

Most classes are suitable for all different fitness levels and if you can’t work at a certain level or perform a certain exercise there will be alternatives, so you can still join in. It’s always an idea to familiarise yourself on what the class is beforehand, most gyms have websites which outline the classes and what they are good for. If you are nervous about going along then why not grab your friends and make it a fun activity you can do together. This can make you feel more comfortable as you always know there’s at least one person in the room feeling the same as you!

Check out our class timetable to see what we offer:

Plan what to take with you to the gym

When preparing to go the gym, there’s some essential items you might want to take with you.


Survival-tips-waterIt is really important that you stay hydrated whilst you work out. It not only allows you to perform better but keeps your skin and body healthy as you lose water while you sweat. Most gyms have a fountain or somewhere you can buy water if you forget your own, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Sports Drink

Although water is the best choice of drink for your work out, you may also want to consider bringing a sports drink if you are taking part in high impact, high energy activity as it will give you a boost to help you perform better.


Not everyone likes to shower at the gym, but if you are planning to then you will want to remember a towel. A small towel is also useful for during your workout to get rid of unwanted sweat.



headphones, gym, music

Most people like to listen to music at the gym to keep them interested and motivated.  A lot of gyms will hav

e background speakers playing, but it isn’t always to everyone’s taste so headphones will let you drown it out and listen to your own beats.


Fitness Tracker/Notebook

A fitness tracker isn’t an essential but if you have one it’s great to take it with you as it can show you your progress over a period of time. If you don’t have an electronic fitness tracker or aren’t interested in using an online app, consider taking a notebook and pen to jot down how you’re doing. This allows you to see when you’re performing well and helps keep you on track with reaching your goals!

As well as taking these items with you, you’ll want to take gym clothes if you are coming from work or being out and about . To see what kind of clothing you should take/wear to the gym why not check out our blog (clothes to wear link)


Prepare your mentality

Keeping a positive mind-set will keep you motivated whilst at the gym. Make sure you set yourself realistic goals and don’t expect too much of yourself too quickly.

Try and be open minded about trying new classes or equipment.

Finding  activities that you enjoy are the key to creating a work out regime you can commit to in the long term. Believe it or not – it is not all about punishment!

Be prepared to pick yourself up again

We all have bad days, when we don’t feel right, or we don’t achieve what we want. Don’t let these moments consume you, brush them off and know the next day will be better.


Think about what you should eat

Survival-tips-smoothieIf you want to work-out to the best of your ability that means eating well and eating plenty. Don’t skip meals before you work out and it’s suggested that if it’s been four hours or more since your last meal you should have a small snack, such as a banana before you work out.

If you work out first thing in the morning or find yourself feeling nauseous if you eat before the gym, consider having something such as a fruit smoothie.

Explore what is  best for you,  but try to focus on eating carbs before the gym for energy and protein after the gym to build muscle.

For more advice on what to eat and when check out

Remember your after-care

It is important that you not only prepare before the gym but look after yourself afterwards, so you recover faster and can continue to work out throughout the week.



Survival-tips-stretchIt’s important to stretch after the gym, many people forget this step, but a gentle stretch can help you cool down properly and help stop your muscles seizing up.

Warm/cold bath

A warm bath or shower can also ease muscle pain especially the next day, but a cold ice bath after a work-out can help better if you’ve really hit the gym hard.

Eat properly

Eating properly is key. Try including lots of protein in a meal which you eat between 10-40 minutes after the gym, this will help you build and repair muscle. It will help you recover faster and see better results.


We lose a lot of water during a workout through sweat, don’t forget to hydrate your body not only during but after the workout too.


Get plenty of rest. Your body needs time to repair torn muscle tissues and hormone levels. Sleep shuts your body down and gives it respite to perform protein synthesis at aquicker rate. Luckily working out usually helps you to sleep better.


Survival tips for your first time at the gym; an overview.

You should expect the gym to be hard work but rewarding. It should never be an intimidating place to be, it should be somewhere you feel comfortable and happy in!

Use either a gym induction or class sign up as an introduction to your new fitness routine. It will give you guidance and set you up for long term success.

Be open minded about trying new skills, as it’s important to find different challenges that will keep you motivated. You wont love everything, but it’s trial and error to find theperfect workout for you. Get to know fellow members and staff and lean on them for support or advice.

Be prepared before your workout, think about what you need to take with you and  make sure your body is well fuelled for a workout.

Don’t forget about recovery! It is just as important if not more than the actual workout!

Should you have any worries or concerns at all about starting the gym, always reach out to the staff.  It’s important not to expect too much of yourself, you’re never going to be a fitness guru on your first day!

Still concerned about joining in?

Join our Facebook Group, Overcoming Your Fears . It is a closed group that supports members who are struggling  to feel confident about their fitness journey. We have specific classes as well set up in the Class Timetable.



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