You can bet a million dollars that the first day at any gym, especially as a beginner, can be intimidating. There’s also a fair chance no one briefing you about what to wear, how to act, or when to perform on which machine, but now, you’ve no reason to feel anxious.
As we always do, we’re here to avoid a week’s worth of confusion in just a couple of minutes. Now, you can focus on your health and fitness goals without feeling nervous about your first time at the gym! Keep reading to find out Gym Essentials for Beginners: From Gym Bags to Handling Equipment.
Correct Attire is a Must
Imagine going to the swimming pool in a dress? Not only you will feel out of place, but you probably won’t be able to swim as well. Similarly, knowing what to wear at the gym can save you from a ton of uneasiness. Trust us on this one. You need to consider movement, body temperature, sweating, and so much more!
These are like the holy grail of your workouts because faulty shoes will lead to some bad news. Choose a comfortable pair of sneakers with a well-aerated and balanced fit. Also, consider the shoe grip to the floor and whether your toes or back of the feet feel discomfort. You can go for a fancier version with heightened soles or padding, but that’s not necessary.
Appropriate fit and breathable fabric should be your topmost priority when selecting clothes. When narrowing on bottoms, you have a wide selection ranging from basic yoga pants or athletic shorts to jogger-style sweats and much more. Just to take your pick! When selecting what to wear on top, choose a slightly loose-fitting shirt of your choice so that you don’t have to deal with any tugs or tears while performing particular exercises. Do carry a hoodie, zipped warm-up, or tracksuit if it can get cold.
You can choose anything that is designed specifically for athletic use. Regular cotton underwear can be a trouble maker due to sweating and movements. So stick to underwear with a firm fit but not suffocating. Of course, you want everything contained in one place, but you don’t want to cut off blood and oxygen supply.
Although not too important, wearing a pair of athletic socks can always keep your shoes from stinking to high heavens, avoid extra friction, and also make your feet feel cushioned and comfy.
The Gym Bags and its Buddies
Yes, the gym bag is a fundamental requirement, not only because it reminds to carry all your essentials but also keeps you from being a messy toddler who scatters your stuff in the gym. Preferably, keep a checklist and ensure you’ve packed it all.
You need to know what works best to carry gym-related equipment. Firstly, you ought to choose a bag with two separate compartments to keep clean and sweaty clothes. You need to understand the importance of being clean, and even more so, at the gym, so gone are the days of being a stinky 12-year-old. Ensure the bag has zipped pockets and space to cart a bottle with ergonomic handles and straps for ultimate comfort.
Obviously, you carried a bottle of water to school, giving you even more reason to take one to the gym because rehydration is crucial! Also, you don’t want to be irritating other people for a sip of water.
Although some gyms offer towels, you want to carry your own because you simply never know. Carry a small towel to use between workouts and a separate one for a shower. Also, make sure you regularly clean your towels. Otherwise, you’re about to stink up the place in a week or so.
If you’re worried about getting bored performing the same exercise over a long time, carry a pair of headphones or earphones and groove to your favourite tunes. Not only will it keep your body in rhythm, but it’ll also get you in the mood to perform better. In addition, if you’re self-conscious or nervous, putting on some music will prevent you from focussing on others.
Workout Specific Gear:
You will probably be made aware of all the workouts or exercises you will be performing the next time you hit the gym. Take note of what is required and if you have to carry your gear such as yoga mats, booty bands, resistance tubes, and so on.
Shower Requirements and Deodorant:
When it’s time to hit the showers, you must have your soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, or anything you might need to get squeaky clean. Carry a deodorant as well. The brand, scent, or type is up to you. Mildly spritz spritz before, during, and after your workouts, and you’re good.
It can be anything from protein bars, nuts, or fruits, but having a mini snack after you’re done and dusted with the gym aids the post-workout healing process of your body. Making it a habit will also keep your body vitals, such as blood pressure, sugar, or cholesterol, in check. Understand more about healthy snacking when working out on Food as Fuel: Before, During, and After Workouts.
Cardinal Rules of Gym Etiquette
There are surrounding-specific rules in every institution which has many people working under one roof, and the same applies to gyms, if not even more. There are certain ethics you completely can’t ignore, and if you fail to adhere to some of these rules, it could lead to you getting kicked out of the gym. Don’t blame the fitness trainer if you do any of the following:
- Contain your personal gear: As mentioned earlier, don’t litter the gym with your things lying around everywhere. The gym is meant for public use and others need to have access to the space too. Leave socializing for a party, not the gym: We’re not saying mustn’t speak at all, a regular hi or how are you? is absolutely alright, but don’t go on a never-ending gossip train. You don’t want to irritate people who are focusing on their workouts.
- Respect everyone’s personal space: If someone is doing their thing, preferably, don’t disturb them, and when someone has headphones in, even more so, because you could startle them, and they can lose control of what they are doing.
- Sharing is caring, so don’t hoard the equipment: Don’t be selfish. Others have also come to the gym to perform specific workouts and exercises, and keeping machines or equipment unnecessarily occupied is not only unethical but downright disrespectful.
- Keep your eyes on yourself and don’t STARE: We can’t emphasize this enough, but don’t stare at people, especially when they’re exercising or changing. This is not only disturbing behaviour but could also get you kicked out.
- Go easy on the perfume: You need to mask the sweaty odour, not people’s sinuses. So, a one-tap spray should do the job instead of turning the entire place into a scent factory.
- Lastly, the most important, wipe your machine after you’re done with it, and always keep the equipment you use back in its place.
From the Coach: When you start, ask for a gym induction, and later, pre-plan or discuss with your fitness coach about your next visit to the gym. Doing so will only ensure you have everything and prepare you for what to expect instead of searching around like a lost puppy!
That’s about it for all you beginners out there. We can confirm that if you follow these rules, you don’t have to worry about being categorized as the “newbie” at the gym. If you’re still confused, do not hesitate to ask for help. It’s better than letting your ego get in the way and doing something disastrous. If it’s your first time working out, we recommend you go through the Most Rookie Mistakes When Working Out as a Beginner.