If you’ve made the decision to join the gym this year, you have made one of the BEST damn decisions of your life! This is a HUGE step in the right direction to better health & overall quality of life!

We all know how daunting the gym environment can be. It can be scary, overwhelming, and intimidating AF. Believe me, I’ve been there too! But it doesn’t have to be if you go in with a solid PLAN. In this article, I’m going to give you some guidelines on how best to get started so that you’re set up for success from the very beginning! I wouldn’t recommend just going in and winging it. That shit never works. You’ll end up winging it for an entire year and be frustrated with your progress even though you’ve been going to the gym consistently and wondering why your body hasn’t changed.

I want to highlight three very important points before we get into the plan of action.

1. Understand the true purpose of your training
This is all mindset. The main purpose of training/working out is to improve your overall health, build strength in your body, improve balance/mobility, decrease the risk of falls/disease and injury and improve your overall quality of life. THIS IS WHY WE TRAIN. We want to be able to live comfortably and do things with ease, especially as we get older. We want to be able to travel, play with our kids/grand kids, and do whatever the hell we want to do right? All of this requires you to have a healthy & capable body. Don’t just train with the intent to burn calories or to lose weight. It’s so much deeper than that and when we train for the right reasons, everything will get better and make more sense.

2. Your training should align with your goals
Whatever you do in the gym has to align with your goal/s. For example, if your goal is to tone/shape/transform your body, you have to be lifting weights and work on building muscle. You will not tone your body by doing endless hours of cardio on the treadmill or random group exercise classes. Assess your goal/s and make sure that what you do in the gym aligns with that. If you’re unsure of how to train for your goal/s, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a fitness professional and allow him/her guide you. I’m here too! 🙂

3. Training is just one part of the equation
You can gym you in your moer forever and not see any physical change in your body. You might feel stronger, more energetic, more mobile/flexible/fit, but your body might still look the same. Why is this? Your nutrition is not onboard and you are probably not eating for your goal. Your nutrition and training go hand in hand. You will make the best progress if you focus on both training and diet.

Ok! Let’s get to my top 3 tips! I have so many tips, but here are the most important ones – in my opinion.

Tip #1 Focus on learning the correct technique/form
Whether you are going to be training by yourself or in a group exercise class, make sure that you are learning the basics and how to do the movements correctly and safely. This should be your number one priority especially if you are new to training. If it’s within your budget, I always recommend hiring a coach. If not, don’t be afraid to ask the trainers on the gym floor or the group exercise instructors if you are attending classes. Educate yourself.

Tip #2 Always go in with a plan
You must know exactly what you’re going to do when you set foot into the gym. You don’t want to be floating around like a sad-ass not knowing where to go and what to do. You wanna go in with confidence mos! I highly recommend following a strength training program that you can repeat each week and add in any other classes/cardio that you enjoy. You can find free strength training programs online or via youtube and repeat them every week for one or two months before changing it up. I’ve written a X2 days a week full body strength training program and it’s available as a free download if you’re interested. You can download it here!

Work out a training schedule for yourself and stick to it as best you can. It also has to be realistic so that you’re able to be consistent. Here’s an example for you:

Monday: Full body strength (a structured program)
Tuesday: Cardio class Eg. Zumba, step, spinning
Wednesday: Rest day/Walking
Thursday: Full body strength (a structured program)
Friday: Cardio class/yoga class, pilates, etc
Saturday: Outdoor walk/hike
Sunday: Rest day

Tip #3 Focus on YOU and your goals
Nobody cares about what you do in the gym. It might seem scary and other gym peeps might intimidate you, but you have to know that everyone is on their own mission and focusing on their goals. Nobody is looking/staring at you. Nobody is judging you. Nobody is making fun of you. And if they are, they can F*# off. This is usually not the case anyway. Most gym goers are the kindest/most supportive people you will ever come across, although it might not seem like it. Try your best not to compare your journey to someone else’s and just focus on what’s important – YOU and your progress.

I hope you found this helpful and I wish you all the best on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself! The gym is such a lekker place to be. So get in there, use these tips & just get comfortable and confident with the vibes. The more you practice and stick to your schedule, the better you will feel! You’re only going to level up and completely transform your life for the better. Doen it and no quitting allowed!

Lots of love,
Lee