We hope you haven’t given up on your resolutions for the new year just yet. It can be extremely intimidating to not know where to begin, whether you are completely new to working out or simply just want to incorporate strength training into your routine. But don’t let the fear you won’t know how to use a certain machine stop you from incorporating strength training and staying in shape. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone was a beginner once. It is normal to feel uncomfortable when trying anything new or when it may feel like everyone around you is an expert. We are here and want to help you in the process of being comfortable at the gym.
HERE ARE A FEW QUICK TIPS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU START STRENGTH TRAINING:
- Read the instructions and diagrams on the machines before use.
- Make sure you are adjusting the machine so that is comfortable and safe for you to use.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Listen to your body while working out.
- Start slowly until you get used to the movement of the gym equipment you are using then build up gradually. Focus on performing the exercise properly first, before adding more weight.
- Make sure you are performing your exercises in good form so that you will get optimal results and avoid getting injured.
- Give yourself enough time to warm up and cool down.
We’ve asked our physical therapy student to demonstrate how to properly use some common gym equipment you’ll see at the gym. These machines and exercises are ideal for beginners because they will help you build strength and practice foundational moves. They’re all considered functional, meaning they help you get stronger by performing movements you do in everyday life, not just at the gym.
Click here for more strength-training exercises for beginners.
When using weights, it is recommended to select an amount that you can lift with the proper form for 6-10 reps per set to successfully increase strength. Lifting something too heavy before you’re comfortable with the moves or machines can increase your risk of injury.
Give yourself and your muscles 2 to 5 minutes of rest between each set to allow sufficient recovery otherwise, you won’t be able to maximize your effort during the next set.
When it comes to making progress at the gym, it is recommended to blend consistency with a gradual progression. There is a difference between pushing yourself to get better and pushing yourself toward an injury. It is encouraged to start by doing the exercises you are confident in doing.
If you begin feeling any kind of pain while exercising, stop immediately and seek professional care, even if it is just in case. But don’t let the fear of not knowing how to use the gym equipment properly prevent you from achieving your fitness goals this year.