Your first time at the gym, what to expect

by Stephanie Underhill on Tuesday 14 September 2021

5 min read

The first time you go to the gym can be a little daunting. Yeah, we know what you’re imagining: huge muscly men flexing in front of mirrors, and really toned women in perfectly fitting gym attire doing elegant stretches on fancy equipment.

You may expect the gym to be a place of judgement, bewilderment, embarrassment, and a whole lot of gross sweat – but please calm down. We’re here to put your mind at ease by outlining exactly what to expect from your first time at the gym. 

(Hint: it’s actually not scary at all!)

You won’t worry about anyone else, and they won’t worry about you!

One of the biggest fears people can have walking into a gym for the first time is that everyone will be looking at them and judging. This isn’t the case at all.

When you walk through those ominous-looking doors you’ll be pleasantly surprised that other gym goers are, well, just like you. You’ll find that gym members are really just regular people. And on top of that, they’re busy focusing on their own workout, so they’re not even looking at you!  

This is great news of course, because it leaves you to just do your thing and not worry about what anything else is thinking. You do you!  

You’ll pick things up really quickly

People can also be afraid to go to the gym because it may be hard to know where to start or how to use the machines. Thankfully, that’s what your first gym visit is exactly for: learning the ropes.

Most gyms offer a free tour so you can have a look through the facilities and see what’s on offer before you sign up. Virgin Active offers Guru Time with a Personal Trainer for your first session (or whenever you need a helping hand) who will show you how to use the equipment properly. 

You’ll find what you enjoy

If you’ve never been a fan of exercise, the gym is the perfect place to work out what type of physical activity you enjoy. From high-tech machines and equipment for resistance or weights training, to a plethora of group classes like Yoga, Pilates, or cycling, to rock climbing (that’s right – ROCK CLIMBING). You’re sure to find something that you enjoy. 

Finding a workout that you genuinely enjoy will mean you do it more often and stick to it. So don’t feel discouraged if you feel unsure on your first visit, you might just need to try something else. 

You’ll sweat it out… and you’ll love it

We’re not going to lie to you – yes, the gym is a sweaty place. But before you turn your nose up at it, hear us out. Gyms have monster air conditioners to keep exercisers at a comfortable level. Plus, members are advised to bring along a towel and wipe down any equipment used, so everything is kept clean. After a while, you won’t even notice the sweat. You’ll relish it, because it means your workout is working!

If you’re still not 100% sure if the gym is for you, do a bit of research. You can reach out and ask any questions in advance, organise a tour so you’ll know what to expect. 

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