Gym Guide for Beginners: How to Build Your Confidence

20 Jul, 2021 | MNB TEAM


girl working out wearing black high impact sports bra and black ankle biter leggings on black exercise mat building gym confidence

Everyone has had to start somewhere. Whether you’re a retired gym fanatic looking to get back into the swing of things or want to start going to the gym for the first time, heading into the gym can be intimidating at first.

But our ultimate beginner’s gym guide is here to help you hit the gym with confidence! Our guide will also help create a sustainable gym routine to start your fitness journey. It will answer all your questions, such as what to do at the gym? How to use a gym? How to work out in a gym for beginners and more!

We’re so excited to get you started, so let’s begin:

Step One: Find Your Purpose

lorna jane sitting cross legged on floor holding laptop wearing cream knitted top and snake print leggings

Before stepping foot inside a gym, it’s important to consider why you want to go to the gym in the first place. Is it to build up muscle strength? Improve your general health? Or to look and feel your best?

Once you have identified your reasons for heading to the gym, it’s important to write this down along with long-term and short-term goals. Writing goals and keeping them where you can see them – like on a whiteboard in your bedroom will help keep you accountable. This could also be kept on your phone background, in your notes or written down on paper.

First, think about what you want to achieve long-term. This goal gives you something to work towards in your gym journey and provides you with a distinct purpose for being at the gym. It also enables you to tailor your training towards achieving this goal.

Next, plan out the short-term goals that will help reach the overarching long-term goal. Breaking your big goal into pieces will make achieving long-term goals measurable and attainable.

Step Two: Get Excited & Dress the Part

girl doing sit up in white sports bra and blue high waist leggings on gym floor building gym confidence

As the saying goes, dress like you’ve already got the job. This can also apply when starting your fitness journey and when hitting the gym. Pick out some cute workout apparel and athleisure pieces you will be rocking at the gym. Dressing comfortably and in clothes that make you feel confident will help build up your own confidence and empower you to live the life you’ve dreamed of (plus… it’s super fun!!). Starting with the basics. Some, basic essential gym items include sports bra, workout top, leggings, shorts, drink bottle, and sneakers. These foundational pieces are an investment in your fitness journey. Becoming the basis of your new workout wardrobe. Also, consider the type of gym workouts you will be doing as this might alter the type of athleisure you choose to purchase. As well as your environment and climate!

Step Three: Create A Schedule & Start Small

It’s important to remember to not jump into things at full speed. Don’t try and start unrealistic gym routines like working out every day. It’s important to start small, with 2-3 workouts per. week. These don’t even have to be at the gym. You could work out from home one day and go to the gym the other day each week. While you are building your confidence and fitness start slow. Look at your schedule and find times and days that work best for you to incorporate a workout into your routine. This could be before work, after work of during your lunch break – whatever works! It’s also important to consider your circadian rhythm, aka. your body’s internal clock. This governs your sleep and wake cycle. Consider when you have the most energy, are you an early bird? Or a night owl? This can help to determine the optimal time to schedule in your workouts.

Step Four: Join A Gym & Take the Tour

girl doing russian twist with black medicine ball wearing blue sports bra and matching leggings set on green turf

At most gyms when you first join a personal trainer or gym staff member will give you an induction to the gym. They will show you where everything is and often teach you how to use the machines. These are free and help you get acquainted with the space before you go to workout there for the first time.

At this time, you can also ask your own questions. It might be beneficial to ask when the gym is busiest. Especially, if you want to avoid the crowds and have access to equipment without waiting.

Step Five: Have A Game Plan

Going into the gym without a solid workout plan is like going into a room blindfolded. How do you know what equipment to use? Or what workout you are completing? Does this align with your fitness goals?

Do your research before heading into the gym and find a workout regime that works best for you. Look for beginner-based workouts to start with and build up your fitness. There are heaps of resources available to you online on YouTube or by a quick Google.

A great idea is to hire a personal trainer, even for only a couple of sessions. They can provide you with a clear workout plan, including the workout itself and how to safely do exercises. Personal trainers can also take into consideration any prior health injuries. As well as body type and your fitness level to provide a plan personalised to you.

Or, if all else fails you can book a beginner gym class at your local gym! This is a great way to meet people also new to the gym and help boost your confidence in completing gym workouts.

Step Six: Ready, Stretch, GO!

girl on yoga mat doing stretches wearing black open back bra and matching leggings with white seam detailing on edges

Once you’re ready to head to the gym with your plan in place, be sure to warm up and stretch. This helps to decrease risk of injury and loosen your muscles before a workout. You can do this before heading to the gym at home, or even once you get there before starting your exercise. And there you have it! These simple steps can empower you to feel confident going to the gym. We can’t wait to see what you achieve!

How to use a gym?

At any gym, there are several common equipment pieces you can use. Here’s a brief breakdown of the most popular and what they’re used for:

1) Cardio Machines: Used for burning fat or losing weight

Elliptical Cross Trainer – Low-intensity machine that works your upper and lower body together. Targeting every major muscle group in your body.

Exercise Bike – A common gym machine. This machine is a sit-down equipment piece, that isolates the leg muscles. You can adjust the difficulty with resistance.

Rowing Machine – A machine that replicates the movements of rowing. Working the entire body with a focus on your core strength and fat-burning.

Stair Climber – A low-intensity workout machine. With a focus on your leg muscles, you climb stairs are varying speeds.

Treadmill – A running machine used to improve endurance and cardiovascular strength. Adjustable by incline and pace.

2) Strength & Resistance Machines: used for building strength, muscle mass and toning muscles.

Bicep Curl – An isolation machine for your biceps, for developing arm strength.

Cable Machine – Used in weight or functional training to build muscles in your upper body.

Chest Press – Replicates a barbell press, this targets your pecs, deltoids, and triceps. Isolating your upper body to build strength.

Chin-Up Machine – This can build arm strength and uses your body weight to pull your chin over a bar. Variations of this are available to beginners.

Leg Press – Isolated your leg muscles as you push your feed against a weight.

Tricep Press – A weighted machine that isolates your triceps and upper arm muscles.

3) Flexible Space: used for functional training, targeted training, and conditioning

Kettlebells – A cast iron steel ball with handle. It is a weight used for strength training. Are in a variety of ways to target certain muscles or in a full-body workout.

Medicine Balls – A round weighted ball used to strength conditioning and full-body exercises.

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