I would like to share a story with you, 10 years ago, I was not as active as I am today. I would not be able to share any gym workout tips with you, because I didn’t know where to start.
After my first daughter was born in 2012, I had a goal to truly embark on a journey of health and wellness. I wanted her to grow up in a home where healthy habits were a part of daily life, and the only way to truly do that was for my husband and me to make some major changes.
I began along my path when she was 10 months old by making changes with my nutrition, and by her first birthday, I had lost the baby weight.
That made me feel less of myself and began creating a culture of health in our home. I ran my first 5K and was so freaking proud of myself that I cried when I crossed the finish line. I began running more, feeling more energized, and pretty proud of myself as my clothes got looser and looser.
It was at that point that I decided I was finally ready to attend a spin class at my gym, taught by a truly wonderful trainer. Ten minutes into class, I was dry heaving and had to get off my bike and sit down. Embarrassed completely, I gathered my belongings and my baby, and I left.
Now, I teach spin and boot camp classes. Life sure is funny sometimes.
Gym Workout Tips for Beginners
Your fitness journey is what you make of it. I am unashamed of my near-barfing story because it is my reminder of not only how far I’ve come, but that EVERYONE starts somewhere.
Here are 8 gym workout tips for newbies that I learned along the way:
1. Just start.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Truly, it is that simple.
I have tried gyms that are a whopping 10 minutes from me, and my mind convinces me that’s too far and I don’t have time for that. Again, this is what has worked for me, since I know a lot of people who drive much farther and longer than that to work out at a gym they love.
I know for others, doing workouts at home is most convenient, and I salute you. I have tried several times to workout at home, but it is to no avail (and no, I do not want to wake up ANY earlier than I possibly have to…*stomps feet throws fit*).
The gym is the best option for me, and it’s a bonus for me that I get a short break from my babes for some mama time.
3. Find what’s best for you.
The more accessible you make it, the more likely you are to get your workout in.
Classes are awesome. I knew that classes offered at my gym were going to be beneficial for me because I knew that if left to my own devices, I wasn’t going to workout on my own. And I wasn’t going to push myself as far as I could.
If you already belong to a gym, then look at the class times that work for you and try them out. If you are not already a member, then research times that work for you and see what’s available.
Again, make it easy. The class type may be out of your comfort zone when you start but try it out for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. You may end up loving it. (And if you barf, it’s totally ok, just definitely make it to a garbage can first.)
I have also had the good fortune of making “fit friends” with people who regularly attend classes. They have held me accountable when I’m gone (even now…as the instructor), and I am excited to go to class to see friends.
4. Remember that every person was a beginner at some point.
Reread that sentence just one more time.
Everyone has walked around a gym around not knowing how to operate the machines. Everyone has had an experience or two where they felt like someone was watching or judging them. I promise you that is not the case.
Everyone is so consumed in their own workout that they often do not have the focus to judge your workout as well. Don’t sweat it.
As a parent, you experience your child as a beginner in everything. Walking, talking, using a spoon, making friends, etc. You love on them and encourage them through each step of the process, knowing that they will learn and eventually accomplish a goal.
This is NO different than using these gym workout tips to start your journey at the gym, or any workout regimen for that matter. Challenge yourself, but don’t expect anything of yourself that you haven’t worked up to. You’re making gains as soon as you begin a program, and you need to remember that.
5. Don’t stop. Be consistent.
Consistency is key in anything. The more consistent you are with your workouts, the stronger you will become. You will continue to increase your endurance, your stamina, and your strength.
This doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing the same thing over and over again. That is actually counterproductive for you and your muscles.
6. Don’t get bored with your workout.
Switch it up sometimes. Get some cardio in. Try yoga (I promise it’s more challenging than you think), or a new class. Just keep going. Long-lasting results mean that the effort to get there takes time and consistency.
When you begin working out, don’t think of it as training for an end date, but how you can actually make it a part of your lifestyle.
7. Stay motivated!
Now please keep in mind that I’m not saying at all not to take rest days. I actually only workout at the gym about three days a week, and sometimes only two. Not all of my workouts are the same level of intensity or duration, and they don’t always need to be.
Being motivated to continue to get your workouts in takes a lot of discipline, a skill that I am still working on myself. There are some weeks when the only reason I step foot inside the gym is that I am teaching my classes…otherwise, I would probably find a reason not to go.
It’s ok to do that, too.
Sometimes, for your mental and physical health, you may need to take a break from working out. If ever you feel that way keep in mind that IT IS OK.
I am of the mindset that I would rather rest my body and come back in a better place mentally than push through and make myself miserable and resentful. The important part is that you start back up again and work on that consistency.
Gym Workout Tips Don’t Need to Be Complicated
Starting any workout routine, whether at the gym or at home can be intimidating, often fueled with doubt and self-deprecation.
After all, who do you think you are entering a gym and attempting to sweat alongside others who are regulars? How could you possibly have the strength or endurance to make it through an entire class?
You are absolutely strong enough. You absolutely belong. Any good instructor or decent human being will applaud your efforts and support you as opposed to making you feel poorly about your goals.
Just start with something, TODAY.
Use these tips to fuel the fire that is waiting to come out right now.
Walk for 15 minutes.
Get some workout inspiration on Pinterest.
Hire a Personal Trainer that can help you navigate the journey to your goals.
Go to a class (my class, specifically…I would love to see you there).
You do not have to be a certain level of “fit” to enter a gym.
And for Pete’s sake, please don’t focus on the scale. If your weight goes down and that is important to you, then good. Applaud your efforts.
If your weight doesn’t, please remember that you are getting stronger, and that should really be the goal. (Just still trying to preach that body-positive message to make sure you’re really sponging in what I’m spilling.)
I could throw in a bunch of citations to a bunch of research that proves how good exercise is for your body, mind, skin, brain, sleep, etc.…but you don’t need that. You already know it.
Now it’s just up to you as to how you’re going to move your body and have the energy to chase those babies around. You know those tiny humans want you to.
*All images are from moms around Northern Nevada and beyond! Thank you for sharing your fitness journey with us!
Jenelle Stathes married her high-school sweetheart and they share their love with their three darling and fierce daughters. She works as the CEO of their small family business and as a group fitness instructor for a local gym. Jenelle was born and raised right here in Reno, Nevada, and is doing her best at living a non-judgy and tribe-loving mom life. She has experience with infertility, weight loss, body positivity, fitness, and most recently, a tummy tuck. You can follow Jenelle to laugh either with her or at her as she traverses through the daily adventures of motherhood.