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December 07, 2021

Getting started at the gym - How I got started and my best tips for you

I have to start by saying the gym IS NOT as scary as it sounds. Well I guess it is easy for me to say that now that I have been going for a while but when I first started going I was CRAZY intimidated because it seemed like a lot! Well, it was a lot. But once you just kinda keep showing up you become more and more comfortable with everything around you and you start to create routines that work for you.


When I first joined I had no idea how to use weights, what to do, where to go or how to start. I remember walking in and being like Okay I am just going to leave it seemed like a lot! It is important to remember that even the most experienced people at the gym started at the SAME place we do when we first walk in. I didn't really know where to start but I remember joining a class and in the class there was music and lifting weights and using weights as part of the music routine. For someone who was just starting out it was pretty intimidating but a friend of mine and I went a few times a week for a month. I do have to say that helped me learn quite a few movements with weights and bars, some lifting techniques and helped me gain a little bit of confidence. If you don't want to join a class there are quite a few things that you can do to start that isn't crazy intimidating.



1. Start slow - This is something that I recommend for EVERYONE. You aren't going to walk into the gym and just start doing everything. You have to remember you have to train your body to start moving a certain way and you are going to be tearing muscles and you have the potential to hurt yourself as well if you don't take it easy at first. You want to get used to moving when you first start going and while it is normal to just want to dive in, take it easy. Start slow. The first thing I did after I did a few classes was I would go and do cardio. I started slow. I would do the treadmill for 20-30 minutes or I would do the stair climber. The stairclimber is what's up by the way. It is the BEST. I am not kidding it is the BEST machine in the whole gym for cardio. It is hard but it works so many muscles and burns the most calories! I recommend starting with cardio for 20-30 minutes then you can try something else to stay moving if you would like. If not you can go a few times a week for the cardio because that IS enough at first.



2. LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS - Well when you first start don't go crazy lifting the heaviest things you can find but lifting weights and strength training is one of the best things you can do to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week but most of the time I am only going every other day and when I go I do weights the whole time. I am not talking deadlifting and going crazy [you can if you would like] but I am talking I will go monday and do 20 minutes of cardio followed by an upper body workout. I am still CONSTANTLY learning how to do workouts. Never feel like you should be further than you are, take it day by day. Bicep curls, standing rows, overhead press with a light 10lb bar. Nothing wild but start slow and create a pattern. Then the next time you go do cardio then do legs, squats, plated squats, RDLS. OR just do kettle bell workouts, also VERY effective in building muscle and burning fat! Nothing has to be intense.

These are all workouts that at first had me questioning "WHAT IS THAT". It sounds wildly silly but I learned a LOT of workouts on tiktok and youtube. Then the next day I go I will do back or a full body where I will do a little of everything. Make sure you do every rep slow and controlled, nothing has to be rushed, you will hurt yourself. LOOK up plans, hire a trainer, ask someone at the gym for help. You will get there I promise! You do not need a gym membership to lose weight. There are SO many amazing home workout routines you can do to successfully lose weight and reach goals!



3. Do NOT forget about your diet and water intake - Remember weight loss is primarily contributed to what you consume. So if you are eating junk you are eating more than you are burning and you won't lose much weight. But if you control your portions and drink more water WHILE staying on a gym routine [again, a wild routine is NOT necessary] you will burn fat and build muscle. It is a HUGE myth that you have to stop eating all of the things you enjoy in order to lose weight and be healthy.  As someone who struggles with a history of body dysmorphia and an eating disorder I cannot express enough how DANGEROUS it is to hear "YOU HAVE TO STOP EATING THIS THAT AND THIS IT IS BAD" it is crazy unhealthy on the mindset. PORTIONS. That is it. Eat the things you enjoy in moderation and cut back on portions. Remember in order to lose weight and burn fat you have to go into a calorie deficit. Burning more than you are consuming. You still need to eat a decent amount every day, your body NEEDS the fuel in order to burn fat and build muscle. You cannot starve yourself, lift weight and do cardio and expect your body to function well. High protein diet, lots of water, CARBS ARE GOOD, and do some lifting/cardio 3 times a week. Nothing wild! Remember you have to fuel your body while putting it to work! I eat junk food, I eat fast food I eat the things I enjoy - IN MODERATION. Do not starve yourself it is not healthy and unnecessary. 



4. KEEP SHOWING UP - Consistency is KEY with any lifestyle change. You cannot expect to see change if you don't stick with it. I am not going to lie I have thought about giving up SO MANY times over the past year, but I didn't. I cried a lot because I wasn't seeing results. I was tired. I was crying because I wasn't where I wanted to be yet. But I KEPT SHOWING UP, I still do. It is still VERY hard. Showing up is the HARDEST part. Once you get there, once you wake up and decide today I am going to do this that or this. I am going to do this tiny workout, this large workout, this half assed workout. It doesn't MATTER because you made the effort, big or small. You showed up and you tried. THAT says something. Do that every day. Keep showing up. Be kind to yourself and remember that change doesn't happen over night but once you make it part of your lifestyle, it is life changing.



Remember. One day at a time. Do not be afraid of change, be afraid of NOT changing in a positive way. Ask for help. Look up videos and tips, do not be afraid of anything, you have GOT this. Go in and lift that head up and get it!



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