We all know how intimidating it can be to walk into a gym, see all the equipment, and feel completely overwhelmed. It’s very frustrating trying to wrap your head around everything if you’re completely unfamiliar with the gym or a certain piece of equipment. However, don’t let your fear of not knowing how to use the equipment stop you from working out and getting in shape. The important thing to remember is that everyone started out as a beginner. It is normal to feel uncomfortable when trying something new, or even intimidated when it looks like everyone else around you is an expert. Whether you are brand new to working out or simply just wanting to add strength training into your routine, we are here to help you get started on your path to feeling comfortable at the gym.
Here are a few quick tips to remember before incorporating strength training:
- Read the instructions and diagrams on the machines before use.
- Adjust the machine so that it is comfortable and safe for you to use.
- Start light, focus on performing the exercise properly before adding more weight.
- Make sure you are performing your exercises in good form so that you will get optimal results and avoid getting injured.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Listen to your body while working out.
We’ve asked our physical therapist to demonstrate how to use popular gym equipment properly. These machines and exercises are ideal for beginners because they will help you build strength and practice foundational moves. They’re all considered functional, meaning they help you get stronger by performing movements you do in everyday life, not just at the gym.
Click here for more exercises for beginners.
When using weights, it is recommended to use one that you can lift with the proper form for 6-10 reps per set to increase strength. Lifting something too heavy before you’re comfortable with the moves or machines can increase your risk of injury.
Give yourself and your muscles 2 to 5 minutes of rest between each set to allow sufficient recovery otherwise, you won’t be able to maximize your effort during the next set.
When it comes to making progress at the gym, it is recommended to blend consistency with a gradual progression. There is a difference between pushing yourself to get better and pushing yourself toward an injury. It is encouraged to start by doing the exercises you are confident in doing.
If you begin feeling any kind of pain while exercising, stop immediately and seek professional care, even if it is just in case. But don’t let the fear of not knowing how to use the gym equipment properly prevent you from achieving your fitness goals this year.