Gym survival guide: first visit to the gym

Gym survival guide: first visit to the gym

You’ve signed up for a gym membership, you’re bursting with enthusiasm and ready to go…but this is new territory! Everyone seems to know what they’re doing but you.

So here’s our gym survival guide top 10 to getting you started with ease.  You’ll soon be a pro and no longer the new kid on the block.

What to wear, what to do, what’s the etiquette in the gym, class or spa? Read on….

1.  What to wear?

Well, something suitable for the gym, that you can move in but isn’t too restrictive. It also needs to be kit that keeps you in place…..people I think you know what we mean here. There’s also no place for jeans or combats in the gym, work wear or boots…yes we’ve seen it all! So whether it’s streamline Lycra or looser jogger bottoms that’s a personal choice. And to the man who goes to circuits in the very short shorts (there’s always one I promise you) when you’re lying down doing an exercise on a mat it’s difficult to know where to look!

If your centre also has a spa like we do at Bramcote Leisure Centre, please remember that swimwear is essential.   Nothing too revealing again…. something that you wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable having a chat with your parent’s, work colleague or next door neighbour in.

2.  When you arrive?

You’ll need to check in.  This may be a swipe or a check-in at reception with your brand new membership card. We want to know you’re here, whether that’s for a visit to the gym or maybe you’re going to your first class.

3. The locker room

We hope you had a tour so have been shown where the changing room is, but it’s easy to forget when you’ve been bombarded with information about gym programmes, classes and sessions in the pool.  So please ask at reception before you start wandering aimlessly around.

In the changing room, it’s time to get changed or maybe just stash your stuff.  Most lockers will need a coin to lock, usually a 20 pence or £1 coin, which is returned when you unlock the locker. At Bramcote Leisure Centre, Chilwell Olympia or Kimberley Leisure Centre you’ll need a £1 coin.

4. What else should you bring?

Top of the list is a water bottle and a small hand towel. Keeping hydrated is really important, and most gyms will have a water station where you can refill but you’ll need a bottle.   A small towel to wipe down kit after you’ve used it really is the polite thing to do. Sweat on sweat really isn’t very pleasant.

5. In the changing room

Is it a single sex or village changing facility? If it’s shared…then please be aware of other people around you and keep it private. In single sex changing rooms you can get naked, but parading around may make some people feel uncomfortable.  Find a spot and get yourself dry and dressed there.

6. In the gym; share and share alike

It can get busy, and yes, come January everyone seems to want to use the treadmill? Please be mindful of other users.  The standard time is 20 minutes max on the cardio kit (that’s the treadmills, stepper, x-trainer and rower) unless there’s no one much around.

What to do if people are blatantly flouting this? If there’s staff in the gym, then have a quiet word, or I’ve heard the odd glance at the culprit and your watch can also do the trick!

7. Waiting your turn

Yes, sometimes you have to do this, and queuing is something British people are normally very good at!  So what to do to the person who’s super setting between the lat pull-down and the chest press?  And they’re doing a lot of sets. Well you could ask politely if you could work in with them aka take it in turns.

8. Wiping it down

That’s what your small towel is for. Be courteous to other people, and treat the kit like you’d like to find it yourself.

9. Re-rack your weights / put that kit away

When you’ve finished with a piece of kit please do put it back; whether that’s free weights or an exercise ball, kettlebells or boxing gloves ….they all have a home, so please put your toys away without having to be asked.

10. Asking for help

Apart from some budget gyms…where staff are thin on the ground, most gyms have helpful fitness staff who can answer your questions. At Lleisure our gyms all have highly qualified staff who can help with technique, suggest a new exercise or design a bespoke programme for you.  Our programmes are loaded onto Mywellness so you can access them both in the gym (via our Technogym kit) or on your smart phone, smart watch or tablet wherever and whenever you like!

We hope this has answered a few of your questions and concerns about your first gym visit.  Most gyms are really friendly places, with lots of members just like you and smiley staff ready to help.

Interested in joining a gym with great facilities and helpful staff; just contact the team at the Lleisure gyms at Bramcote Leisure Centre, Chilwell Olympia and Kimberley Leisure Centre.