The gym can be a pretty intimidating place, especially when you are just starting out.  There’s lots of fancy looking equipment around, and> often a large number of people who all seem to know what they are doing.  But before you head for the safety of the treadmills or stationary bikes remember everyone had to start somewhere. Yes, we were all beginners once.

Whilst it can be daunting stepping foot into the gym for the first time there are a few things you can do to enjoy the experience a little more. And get the most out of your gym membership.  So here are my top tips for getting into the gym:

Partner TrainingGet a Gym Buddy. If you can join with a partner, family member or friend. The gym will seem less intimidating with two of you and> it definitely makes it more fun.  When I first joined the gym I joined with my husband>. We would always go together and> we also trained together.  It helped me gain confidence in the gym, and> although we don’t train together much anymore it is always more fun when we do.

Book an Induction.  Most gyms will offer an induction when you join, and> this is likely to be free. Book it for your first visit and> learn more about your gym and> what they offer.  An induction is likely to include a bit of a tour so you can find out where everything is and> familiarise yourself with the gym.  It is also a great opportunity to ask questions about what training is good for your goals, and> possibly learn a bit more.

Book a Personal Training Session. Now I know what you are thinking, I’m a PT so obviously I would recommend this but it is so worth it. With an inductions you are usually part of a group, with a Personal Trainer it should be all about you. You will get personalised advice, training tips and> you can ensure your technique is correct. Don’t wait until you think you are fit enough, Personal Trainers are great for beginners or any level.

Have a Plan. It is even harder to motivate yourself if you don’t have a plan in place.  You can end up aimlessly wand>ering around with no focus. Make sure you know what you are gong to do when you walk in. Maybe speak to a trainer, or find a qualified personal trainer online to put together a programme for you. Knowing what you are doing and> what you are looking for will help massively, email me Rachel@ode2fitness.co.uk if you would like my help.  I offer Online Training Programmes for all level, with ongoing support and> progression.

Try a Class. It is likely the gym will offer free classes so if you are really unsure where to start and> would prefer to work out in a group give a couple of classes a go.  They will help you feel more comfortable and> confident in the gym and> you may also learn some new exercises.

Start Slowly.  Don’t go into the gym all guns blazing, lifting the heaviest weight you can pick up. Get your body used to lifting weights, there will be less chance of injury and> you’ll feel more comfortable.  Body weight exercises are a great place to start, look out for my YouTube video for a body weight beginner workout.

Hopefully armed with these few tips you feel more confident to take that first step into the gym.  It is really important to remember that everyone was a beginner once. And although it may not seem like it a lot of people will feel the same as you.

The gym is a great place to be, and> most people are happy to help you out.  Always ask if you need help and> most importantly enjoy it!