Level One Gym Workout: First Day At the Gym
The toughest part about going to a gym for the first time is just walking through the door.
If you do that, you’ve already gone farther than 74% of the population (a totally made up statistic that I’m using to prove my point), so give yourself a pat on the back.*
*Don’t have enough mobility to pat yourself on the back? We’ll help you with that too.
So on your first day in the gym, just GOING to the gym is a big step in the right direction. And I’m proud of you.
Note: You might need to also change into gym clothes if you’re coming from work. I know walking out onto the floor in gym clothes might be intimidating too (another chance to use 20 Seconds of Courage).
But now you’re wondering, “Steve you half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder, what do I DO on my first day at the gym?”
If you haven’t already done so, ask somebody at the front desk the following:
- “Hey I’m new here, could I get a tour of the gym?”
- “Excuse me, today’s my first day, can you point me in the direction of a place I can stretch?”
- “Can you help me work the treadmill?”
- Go full YOLO and try to figure these things out on your own.
If you’re able to get a personal tour, great! Ask the treadmill question when you get to them. If they can’t walk you through, just do a lap yourself and see where things are and who is doing what.
Pro tip (also works outside of the gym): pretend like you’re confident – even if you’re dying inside – walk with purpose, and nobody will question why you’re doing what you’re doing.
So, when you’re ready, walk over towards the stretching area, and do a few basic mobility/warm-up stretches while continuing to get the lay of the land and see what people are doing (don’t stare excessively, cool? cool).
Not sure what to do for warm-up movements? That’s okay!
Day 1 Beginner Warm-up Routine:
- Roll your head in half-circles slowly, from shoulder to shoulder. 5 circles in each direction
- Slowly roll your shoulders forwards and backwards. 10 each way.
- Keep your legs stationary, and twist your torso, left and right. 10 twists each side.
- Quad stretch: Hold each stretch for 5 seconds. Do 3 on each side:
- Cross one arm in front your chest, then the other, as demonstrated here by lead coach Jim: Hold each stretch for 5 seconds. Do 3 on each side:
These movements have the awesome side-effect of you being able to look around the gym and get the “flow” of things, while still looking busy. Jim STILL uses this “trick” when checking out new gyms.
A dynamic warm-up is the appetizer to ANY main course of strength training.
Really just get your body moving. We don’t have to make you a gym warrior on Day 1. Some stretches and sightseeing will be good enough.
LEVEL 1 MISSION: Take a lap around the gym and do your stretches.
If you walked out right now after doing these things, it’s still a win for Day 1 in a gym. Seriously – I don’t care what you do on Day 1 – as long as it leaves you feeling good enough to come back for a Day 2!
LEVEL 1 RECAP:
- Walking through the door makes you a winner.
- Ask for a tour if you need to know where things are!
- Change into workout clothes.
- Stand in one spot, do a few stretches, get the lay of the land.
If you’re up for MORE or ready to level up consider going to the next level, become a cardio cadet!