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Project Fit: Magdalene John Goes to the Gym

Author: Jessica Mccormick / GoodLife Fitness Personal Trainer

Joining a gym for the first time can be intimidating, but there are a few things you can do to make it a little easier. 

Sign up at the time of day that you'll be using the gym.  Make sure when you're choosing a gym that you tour the facility around the same time of day that you will be using the gym.  Nothing is more intimidating than signing up for a gym membership mid-day when the gym is nice and quiet and then walking in at 5pm to a full gym!  If you get an idea of what the gym is like at your preferred time of day then you won't be surprised when you go to work out.

Set goals for yourself. Goals keep us all motivated to succeed, and it's an important first step to identify what you want to achieve, and how you plan to do it. Make sure your goals are realistic, specific, measureable and have a timeframe attached to them - and keep track of your progress from week to week. Don't forget to reward yourself when you reach milestones on your journey to health.

Work out during "off-peak" times.  Most gyms will have peak hours: before work, lunch hours, after work and weekend mornings.  If you want quieter times, try working out mid-morning or early afternoon, or browse through your gym's class schedule to see which classes are available at off-peak times.  

Take advantage of what the gym has to offer.  At GoodLife, we have orientations that are included in your membership.  Everyone that is doing these orientations is there for the same reason: because they don't know how to use the equipment yet!  Don't be afraid to sign up to learn how to use new equipment.

Try everything. Several times. You need to give yourself a bit of time to get used to different things.  When you're trying a new class, a personal trainer or a piece of equipment, try it at least three times before you decide if you like it or not.  By the time you're doing it for the third time you'll be used to the actual movements and be able to decide if it is something that you are ready to do longer term.

Remember that everyone started at Day One.  Even though everyone at the gym looks like they have been working out forever, I assure you, they haven't.  Everyone had their first day in the gym and chances are, they felt exactly how you are feeling now.

Hopefully these tips will help ease some of the initial intimidation when joining a gym.  If you're still looking for extra help, speak with a personal trainer to help you learn more about the services they offer, and to give you tips on techniques and using machines. Good Luck!

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