Going to the gym for the first time is intimidating and overwhelming.
Everyone around you knows what they're doing. They're lifting heavy weights without breaking a sweat.
You feel self-conscious. You don't want to look like a beginner who doesn't have a clue.
Your adrenaline and the need to fit in a push you to do more than you can handle when you first start working out. Ignore that urge. You won't be able to get stronger, leaner, and faster if you get injured during your first workout.
Here are some tips about how to start going to the gym without hurting yourself:
Start with Small Steps
Doing too much too early is a recipe for disaster. This way, you start off with exercises that you can't perform correctly at your current skill level.
You may also use poor form and technique, which increases the odds of getting injured.
Pace yourself instead of trying to compete with the superstars of your new gym. If you haven't worked out in a long time, proceed with caution.
Take more days off to recover than you did when you were at the top of your game. Start with exercises you know how to do correctly. Focus on performing them the right way instead of throwing around heavy weights.
You can ramp up your workouts as you get more comfortable and confident. For now, safety first.
Make a Plan
Remember that everyone in the gym was a beginner at some point. You're not alone. You're just at a different part of the journey than others.
It's a marathon, not a two-week sprint. You’re in this for the long run. You’re not going to get into peak shape with one workout.
Make a plan that’s sustainable before you get started. Create a routine that will make the new habit stick. Make it enjoyable so you keep going back to the gym.
Here are a few tips to start working out:
- Use lower weights to reduce the risk of injury
- Start with easier exercises — no Olympic lifts yet.
- Train different body parts
Check out these posts to learn more about weight training.
Don’t Push through the Pain
You’re going to be sore after working out, especially if you haven't exercised in years. That's a normal part of the process.
Pain is another story. It's your body telling you that something is wrong. If you feel discomfort after working out, figure out whether your muscles are sore or you're feeling pain.
If you're dealing with pain, hit the pause button. Trying to push through the pain will only make it worse. This isn't the time to show your toughness.
Pushing through injuries leads to over-compensation. You put more strain on another body part because your injured body part is weaker. This increases the risk of injury to the body part you're overloading.
If you get injured at the gym, get help from professionals. Follow their advice. Take time to heal and recover.
If negligence in the gym caused your injury, you can get compensated for it. Don’t take too long to learn about your options though.
There is a personal injury statute of limitations. Here’s what you need to know about it.
How to Start Going to the Gym and Stay Safe
It’s tempting to jump into the deep end when you start working out. That can lead to injuries that keep you on the sidelines for a long time.
Start off on the right foot. Prioritize your health. Follow these tips on how to start going to the gym without hurting yourself.
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