Right, you’ve just bought your flexible gym pass and you walk into a shiny white gym with equipment that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood sci-fi film. So what do you do? Use the treadmill, lift some of the weights, maybe try the machine that looks like some kind of industrial juice squeezer.
But you’re determined, you’ve set yourself a target. You’ve dedicated an hour every morning to getting in shape. You have your flexible gym membership at the ready. Now it’s time to put that hour to good use. We’ve put together a few pieces of advice on how to get the most out of your gym membership.
When you walk into a new gym, you might get a bit of a shock from all the huge bodybuilders throwing big weights around like they’re blocks of Lego. This can be a little intimidating at first. No one wants to single themselves out as the new guy. But that doesn’t mean you should stick to the little weights.
Use a wide range of the weights available and try to push yourself as much as possible. Heavier weights work on an entirely different type of muscle fibre to light weights. And don’t worry about turning into the incredible hulk if you’re only looking to shed a few pounds.
If you stick to the treadmill or bicycle during cardio sessions, you’re not burning as many calories as you could be if you use say, the rowing machine or if you take a swim. Working on all of your muscles burns calories much faster. It’s a simple, but very effective tip!
If your gym has a team of in-house dieticians, physical therapists and personal trainers, don’t hesitate to use them. Having someone show you how to use every piece of equipment to the best effect is invaluable. Remember, it’s their job to help you get healthy! They’ll be able to work with you and establish an effective plan that will get you to your goal.
If you’re aiming for weight-loss, this is especially important. What you eat has a drastic effect on your body. A dietician or nutritionist can help you tackle one half of the battle, whilst your routine does the rest.
Stretching is one of the best things you can do for free, and the benefits are incredible. This all important practice is often overlooked by beginners which can cause problems later on. The best time to stretch out your muscles is actually after your workout when your muscles are flooded with oxygen rich blood. It’s recommended that adults stretch at least three times a week.