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10 golden rules for fitness beginners

Before you start fitness:

Also read our blog post: " Fitness 101: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Training. "

1. Fitness takes sufficient time.

Plan enough time for your fitness training right from the start. Be realistic about the timing of the training, including arrival, departure, check-in, warming up and showering. Because: "First and foremost, it's about prioritizing the habit of regular exercise," says personal trainer, life coach and book author Mike Campbell. "In the beginning, it doesn't matter what you do in the gym, it's important to build and strengthen that habit. The rest can and will take care of itself."

2. You need a training plan.

Susy Natal, trainer at Fitness First AU, says success in your fitness journey comes faster when you have specific goals, which you then support with an exercise and nutrition plan. Susy Natal notes that people often go to a gym and just walk around while wasting their time. If you're already in the gym, make the most of it. "Start by investing a day in a solid, individual training plan so that you always know what you have to do to achieve your specific fitness goals," says Susy.

3. Be realistic - every beginning is difficult.

"There will be days when you won't feel like it at all!" says Mike Campbell. "It gets really, really hard at first. But making big changes in your life — losing body fat, building muscle, and dramatically improving your fitness — takes a lot of patience and consistent, hard work. It doesn't happen overnight . The sooner you embrace the fight in the beginning and internalize the fact that it takes time, the less risk there is of giving up too soon."

4. When you start - ask questions!

If you're going to the gym for the first time and are paying your membership fee (plus quarterly or semi-annual fee depending on the gym), then take advantage of the services available to you, says Natal. "When you sign up, you should make sure you get a full tour of the gym and understand every piece of equipment, room and (fitness) object. Never stop asking questions. The staff member is there to help you and that is your best opportunity to prepare for your first workout at the gym. There's nothing worse than going to the gym for the first time and thinking, not knowing exactly what you're doing or which muscle(s) you're training. Ask other members, make friends, talk to the front desk staff or a trainer. Even if it's your 100th visit there. There could be a new class starting soon or exciting outdoor collaborations happening, from that you don't even know."

5. Avoid the fitness intimidation

Every beginner at some point feels uncomfortable being surrounded by a fitness group that the studio calls their living room and who already have significant fitness results.

"Don't worry about what everyone else is doing or thinking," says Mike Campbell. "If you walk into the weight room nervous and think everyone is staring at you, remember that everyone is on their own journey trying to complete your workouts and improve yourself. Everyone has different training goals and needs too. It doesn't have to be "Everyone's goal is to get big biceps. A strong back or a little less love handles can also be a sufficient training goal."

6. It starts with: Back to fitness basics

At the beginning of your fitness journey, stick to the basics. Natal says one thing that makes a lot of new gym members drop out is that they think the gym routines need to be complex and look good.

"Before you gather different training equipment together to 'build' your setup, focus on doing your exercises without wasting a lot of time or cooling down. Warm up on a rowing machine or other cardio machine, very easily, at first. You should before warming up, know what you are doing in your training that day and which muscles are being used. Do not always warm up on the same machine out of habit, because starting the training on the Stairmaster, even though you are using the upper body trainer, makes little sense .", she says.

Campbell adds the essential movements to any workout program, whether it's in or out of the gym: squats, lunges, squats, presses, pulls, twists, and walks (be it walking, running, or sprinting, depending on ability). “Consistency and patience will make it work,” says Campbell.

7. Avoid injury while exercising.

You should start slowly to avoid injury, Gospel says. "If you've never worked with weights before, practice proper form and posture before moving on to heavier weights. No one will care how much or little weight you're lifting. But if your practice is unhealthy, then you fall it's obvious to the others in the studio and the show-off effect is gone anyway." Initially, the guided machine weights are best. The risk of injury is minimal due to the isolation of the muscles. Later you can train with free weights or cables, as this requires more control.

8. Avoid peak times in the beginning

Natal points out that until you get a good look at the layout of the gym, try to keep workout times as short as possible for the first week - it can be overwhelming trying to navigate a room full of people. It's just as frustrating when you have to wait at machines, share your training machine with others, or get asked multiple times how much longer you need. As a beginner, it's normal to take a little longer to adjust the seat and choose the weights. Later, when you're more proficient, it may not be a problem to alternate between sets on the same apparatus, or to "jump" between apparatuses when your apparatus isn't free. But at first it just throws you off course. The fun of training wears off and you go home frustrated. Then it's better to train in peace to get in first. It's best to ask the trainers when the peak times are when everyone shows up for training.

9. Don't train alone

"Find a friend, a class, a trainer, or anything that won't leave you alone in the gym," says personal trainer Mike Battaglia. "When you're not alone, it gives you security and it also increases the pressure. I liken it to going to a party, nightclub or other social situation. When you're with a friend or a group, it takes away the focus of yourself and you immediately feel comfortable in your situation. The additional advantage: The more people you know about your fitness goals, the more you are obliged to implement them. You don't want to look bad and admit that after 2 weeks gave up again."

10. Invest in the right fitness equipment

Invest in good, sturdy shoes and generally a proper outfit, says Gospel. "Old t-shirts are OK, but women's see-through gym tights aren't. And shirts that show sweat rather than absorb and hide it isn't what you want either. Consider one, too suitable drinking bottle and the right towel.

In the beginning, only buy what you need. Most gear comes into play when you're trying to get that last 5% off, so all you really need is a good pair of shirts and pants, a pair of shoes, a water bottle, and a proper gym towel. "

You can of course find our equipment for the gym or for jogging in the fresh air at