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How to survive your first day at the gym

Whether this is your first time stepping into a gym, or the first time since lockdown, you should already feel incredibly proud of yourself. You're on your way to a new healthy habit that will increase your energy levels and improve your overall health. 

If you're feeling a little nervous about your first day at the gym, then you'll be one of many, especially if you are going on your own. Feeling anxious, intimidated or out of your element are normal feelings, but we want to help you replace these with feelings of excitement. 

We want you to feel confident, in control and empowered as you walk through our doors, so here is our quick cheat sheet on how to survive your first day at the gym:

  1.  Find out the best time to go to the gym

When a gym is packed with people, which is often the case during lunch hour in the working week, after work, and on weekends, it can feel intimidating your first time. 

Eventually, you may find that you thrive in these busier periods, but we advise you to schedule your first visit during a quieter period. That way, you can take your time to figure out the equipment and find the ones that suit you best.

If you aren't sure what times the gym will be quietest, call your local 24/7 gym ahead of your visit and ask us. We'll be able to give you a few options of quieter periods to choose from.

  1.  Create a gym session plan

Knowing precisely what you want to do at the gym will help keep you focused. You'll know what equipment you want to use first and where to head next. Remember that a simple gym routine will be the best option for your first time; you want to leave feeling like you've had a workout but haven't worked so hard that you've caused an injury or didn't enjoy your session.

You can either plan your own exercise routine or use one of our plans. The Game of Zones and Little Black Dress workouts can be a good start, and they're free to download for our members.

If you aren't 100% clear on how to use all of the machines or are worried that you'll look like an amateur (even though you logically know that no one is looking at you), take some time to watch youtube tutorial videos ahead of your visit. This will refresh your memory and give you more confidence.

Another option is to book a studio class when they are available again. This way, You'll be in a room with a group of like-minded gym-goers with fitness on their mind, and you'll have a teacher there who will lead you through the whole process. Not to mention, you'll get to learn a whole new way to keep fit.

  1.  Bring a playlist, podcast or audiobook to your first day at the gym

Heading to a new gym can feel like walking into a gauntlet of loud music, sweaty grunts and clanking weights. Sometimes, just those noises on their own can make the experience feel more intimidating than it actually is. 

When you create a playlist, you'll enter into your own world and block all of the other people out around you. 

We've put together a variety of Spotify playlists that you're more than welcome to use to get your first day at the gym off to a good start. Other options to distract yourself from the gym's hustle and bustle, particularly during busier periods, include audiobooks and podcasts. Your workout could be the perfect time to catch up on episodes and stories you've wanted to listen to for ages. 

Once you’ve finished your first gym session, you’ll most likely leave feeling more confident than when you walked in. We hope these tips will make taking those first steps inside easier.