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A Must Read Guide For First Time Gym Goer

December 11th, 2008 · 6 Comments ·


I assumed that you have finally selected the gym after reading my Top 10 Tips To Choose A Good Gym.  For people who have not been to the gym before, they may feel intimidated at the thought of joining one. So, if you have been planning to join a local gym and so happened to come across this blog, this post is dedicated for you. As for regular gym goers, have a read too so that you know what to do to assist when you have a new member.

Tips When You Visit You Gym First Time

  1. Most of the gyms offer new member orientation, either in the form of the so called “free personal training” session or more formal type of walk through. The staffs will show you where the locker is, what gym etiquette is and even where to park your car. A personal trainer may do the following for you, so, do not panic:
    • Take your weight and measure your body fat percentage
    • Show you how to use the basic strength training machines
    • Give you some ideas in choosing exercises, reps and sets
    • Teach you how to use different cardiovascular machines
    • However, do not expect to learn all the weight training techniques or cardiovascular exercise skills within a single day. This session is not the formal personal training session which you get a tailored workout program. The goal of the orientation is help you to familiarize with the place. No matter what, do not be shy to ask questions.


  2. If your gym does not offer member orientation, when you are using unfamiliar equipment, do not force things around when it does not budge. Many machines have the instructions stuck. If those printed words do not help, go look for the staff or ask others. Many are willing to help. However, do not interrupt others when they are in the middle of lifting heavy weights. You just need to scratch your head and make some eye contacts, some friendly gym rats will immediately jump in, especially if you are good looking (I mean, for ladies). The chance of hurting yourself will decrease once you know how to work out properly with the equipment.
  3. If you sign up the gym membership with your friend, go with him. Get someone who share the similar fitness goal with you. You will find it easier to walk into the gym with a supporting buddy.
  4. girl-holding-dumbbells-doing-shoulders-workout.jpg

  5. You can choose less busy hours, say in the mid afternoon or late at night. Most gyms are packed with crowd early morning and after work.
  6. Do not forget to pack your soap or body shampoo if you plan to take shower there after the exercise. Some gyms provide basic toiletries free of charge. Commonly forgotten items are clean clothes or towel. You can borrow shampoo from others, but I doubt they will want to lend you their underwear.
  7. Talking about locker room, for guys, some of you may have heard horror stories being molested by “not straight” guys, but it is really not that bad. A more “real life” issue is that many first timer worries about the nakedness in locker room. They do not care how you look like when you are shirtless or in birthday suit. Many are busy with their own business. If you are still shy, bring a towel to feel more comfortable. Many gyms have private shower rooms in addition to the public ones. Worse, go back home and take your shower. I just do not want this little issue to scare you away from the gym.
  8. At the end of the first visit, do not expect you have got a good workout. While that day may seem like a waste of time, knowing the gym more will make your next workout better. When you walk out of there, at least you have learned something new and you will be more comfortable next time.


For your subsequent visit, if you can afford, hire a personal trainer who can set you up with a full workout based on your goals. He will teach you how to perform a workout in correct form, give advice on your diet and motivate you.  If you want to go on your own, no issue too.

All the above tips are practical and I certainly hope that you will not be scared. Gym is often less awful than you thought. It is just like the first time you go to school, disco or church. You will have fun and you will make friends there. Of course, you can build your own home gym or choose to exercise outdoor, but do consider the advantages of working out in a climate controlled place during winter or rainy days. It is never a bad thing to know someone new in the gym too. So, get ready to have fun during your first visit to your gym!



Category: Gym Going

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6 responses so far ↓
  • Tom Parker // Dec 12, 2008 at 6:11 AM

    Good article Mun. I think it will benefit a lot of newcomers to the gym.

  • Ganee // Dec 12, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    Yes, I strongly recommend new comers to learn about gym etiquettes before even picking up their first dumbbell.

  • horizon // Dec 12, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Thanks alot for the guide. It sure is helpful:)

  • NewBie // Dec 15, 2008 at 1:54 PM

    I am a newbie of gym. This is a very good article to tell us what we can do in the gym. Will be great if you can suggest few programme for different type of newcomer, like ladies maybe they will prefer more in cardio or group exercise and man who is into growing bigger muscle would like to know more about weight training.

  • raymond_newbie // Dec 24, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    im just about to start going to the gym. im 20 and i think im at the right age to get started with working out. i found this article so full of humor and educational at the same time. i realized that i need to prepare more than what i thought i would do,thanks for this article.

  • Joel-philippines // Jun 7, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    I’ve been thinking to go at the gym for me to get a nice body and to be healthy as well. I’m 20 now and I’m starting to be more concern on my body figure,but still i got no idea how to start and not to be shy to go to the gym that’s why I’m very much impressed with this article coz it gives a newbie just like me an idea not to be afraid and be confident

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