Going to the gym for the first time is like wearing your new shoes, you’ll get blisters. Having blisters is no fun at all but you’ve paid for the item so you have no choice at all but wear them. As for me, I’m glad I conquered my first day.
So far, here are some of the things I’ve learned from being a gym virgin:
- Thou shall not let the heavy equipment intimidate you. Think of them as little objects, only that they’re heavier. I used to be a freelance writer and had the chance to write articles about exercise and gym equipment so I’m a bit familiar with the leg curl machines, elliptical trainers, and chest press machines. But seeing such equipment moved before my eyes made me feel intimidated. My first day was actually fun since I was with a childhood friend so we could help motivate each other. Well, I was heartbroken and thought that the best way to fight the heartache was to suffer physical pain – leg cramps and backaches. I was familiar with the names of the other gym equipment alright but I didn’t know how to use them. So we watched and spent the next thirty minutes of our lives talking about my heartaches.
- Thou shall not let those abs and muscles terrify you. Those six-pack abs might intimidate but remember these guys didn’t wake up one morning and got them without working hard in the gym. Once upon a time, these hot guys and girls were made of fats. God is fair, never fail to remember that. In my case, I let those abs provoke me. It was a constant battle between continuing the program and never coming back.
- Thou shall not expect a hardcore training on your first day. I expected too much. I thought I was going to lift heavy weights, do boxing or maybe do some bench press workout right away. We were too excited we wanted to burn the fats fast. But the trainer recommended some cardio first. The cardio exercise is your constant reminder about your bad smoking habit, how your company profits from your unhealthy work habit – being pinned down to your chair for hours and not having enough chance to do some basic stretches and how you can’t stop nagging about your weight on the social media yet not making an effort to burn those fats.
Your First Day Survival Guide
What to bring on your first day at the gym:
- Towel – because obviously, you’ll be sweating all over and taking a shower after your workout can be refreshing; bring an extra towel in case you need to lie down on those sweaty pads
- Alcohol – admit it, some equipment might be covered with sweat so you better learn to disinfect
- Water bottle – keep yourself hydrated in every physical activity that you do
- iPod or your iPhone – because listening to some really good music is a good motivation; my advice is to listen to some hip-hop workout music because doing exercises for the first time is all about rhythm
- Gym bag / your regular backpack
What to do on your first day at the gym:
- Enroll and have a physical evaluation
- Go to the locker room and change (check the gym’s dress code beforehand)
- Go get some warm-up exercises; if you don’t know how to use the equipment don’t hesitate to ask for assistance
- Meet your trainer
- Take a shower
For gym virgins like me: Thou shall not wear loose tank tops without sports bras especially if you’ve got big melons (unless if you’re there for another reason). I’m a girl and honestly, those big melons and big butts can be quite distracting. I love big butts though. Whoever invented yoga pants know so much about what women really want. Yoga pants are comfortable enough, better than wearing shorts. Shorts might be cute but wearing them might prevent you from doing bending exercises. I wear shorts though. You can wear your gym leggings, sports bras, gym tops or dri-fit shirts and sports shoes.
Here are some of my photos during my first few days of working out at the gym. My abs are there, they’re just invisible – oh well, only those people with good hearts can see them.
Also, another realization: dri-fit shirts can be the best shirts to wear at the gym. I wasn’t a big fan of dri-fit shirts back then. A dri-fit shirt’s polyester fabric helps keep your body dry and comfortable so perhaps it’s the second best thing ever created next to oyster sauce and mayonnaise.
Men can simply wear basketball shorts (or other sports shoes) and dri-fit shirts. Comfort is the key. I wore my skate shoes on my first day and sadly it was one of the worst decisions of my life.
I had my first gym experience in Metro Lifestyle, somewhere in Torres St. Paying 250php for a session wasn’t that bad since the lockers were clean and it offered unlimited classes. Now I’m enrolled in Smashville and so far, everything’s running smoothly. Strangely enough, I still feel like a gym virgin.