As a first timer at the gym, it can be scary. As a woman, it can be really intimidating. Because of the gym stigma, the lack of knowledge and for most women, lack of confidence, it can be difficult to get yourself out there to workout.
You shouldn’t have to feel this way at all! So we’ve gathered our best tips below to help you get started. It’s really all about having the right mindset, knowing where to start, what will make you feel comfortable and seeking help when required.
What should a beginner do at the gym?
The gym is an intimidating place to be if you’ve never been before. With that being said, it’s important to be mentally prepared before heading in for the first time. At Crunch, we like to make the gym a really comfortable and safe place to do your workouts. But sometimes it can be a little tough to motivate yourself to head in!
Here are a few pointers that will help you feel comfortable if it’s your first time or early days at the gym:
- Before heading in, remind yourself that going to the gym is for you and only you!
- You’ll realise everyone is just as self-conscious as you are. It’s called the “spotlight effect” where you feel that everyone is looking at you but really they’re wondering the exact same thing! So just focus on yourself and you’ll soon realise…everyone else is as well not on you!
- Everyone at the gym has started somewhere. You’re not the first person who has been a beginner. Like most people, they definitely would’ve been in the same position you are now.
- Keep your headphones in and create a playlist that makes you feel good and motivated. It’s easy to zone everyone out once you plug some music in and start concentrating on yourself.
The hardest part of heading into the gym is actually going. So schedule it and put some of your best workout gear that you feel good in. Once you’re there, that is 80% of the hard work done!
What equipment and exercises are best for women beginners?
If you’ve never picked up weights or done any form of physical exercise, start slow. A great suggestion is to jump onto the treadmill. You can start by doing a slow walk for 10-15 mins which will introduce yourself to cardio. This will help you ease yourself at the gym, especially if you see people who are confident working out already, it can be a little scary!
If the treadmill is something you’re not familiar with, ask someone or a trained professional like a personal trainer. Properly learning how to use any equipment at the gym, like weight machines or any of the cardio equipment, is important so that you don’t hurt or injure yourself.
If cardio is something that is too much at first because it’s tiring or you don’t have the confidence, you can start by setting yourself up in a quiet area of the gym and do some stretches. At this point, it’s about getting familiar with the setting, the environment and being relaxed with yourself.
How long should you workout for if you’re a beginner?
As a beginner you don’t want to push yourself too much, so start with however long you feel comfortable with. Go at a pace that suits your fitness level. A great time to start with is 30 mins. Once you’ve started going regularly you’ll probably start incorporating weight training into your routine which will change how long you workout for. It also will be influenced by your fitness goals whether be to lose weight, gain muscle or improving your endurance.
How many days should I workout?
Many people start going to the gym for a number of different reasons. The most important thing to remember is that consistency is key. For any beginner forming a regular gym routine or habit is really vital to keeping up with your fitness goals. Pick a time that is realistic for you to go whether it is in the morning before work, lunchtime or after work. If you’re a busy person, making time for the gym is critical to sticking to your fitness goals.
Here are some easy beginner gym workout routines for females
To make things easier for you, we’ve listed some easy beginner gym workout routines that you can try. As always, if you’re not feeling confident, seek help from one of our friendly Crunch staff members or our personal trainers who can guide you in the right direction.
Depending on what your goals and fitness levels are will determine what will suit you best. These suggestions should be used as a guide.
Cardio workout routines for beginners
- You can try treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, the stair climbers and rowers. Each of these machines can start on a low-intensity setting so that you can get familiar with them first.
- Begin with 15 minutes of cardio and then when you’re comfortable, start gradually increasing the time as well as the intensity.
- For women who are older than 40, it’s natural for your bone density to decrease due to hormonal changes. Cardio exercise is fantastic to promote bone growth because you’re on your feet.
Beginner strength training routines
- A full body workout routine can comprise of shoulder presses, back rows, leg curls, crunches, chest presses and leg presses. These are basic starter exercises, consult with a personal trainer if you’re unsure how to do them.
- To start with, female beginners should try to perform 2-3 sets with 8-10 repetitions. Definitely start with light weights so that you can build into heavier weights.
- Women naturally possess lower levels of muscle-building hormones so weight training is fantastic because it helps increase muscle, speeds your metabolic rate and helps with bone density.
At the end of your workout, don’t forget to do some stretching. Especially if you sit at a desk all day, your muscles can become tight. Performing stretches after a workout is ideal because by then, your muscles would have warmed up already.
Ready to conquer the gym?
If you need some words of wisdom, we happened to ask a few of our Crunch personal trainers and expert fitness professionals on how women can conquer the gym. Do yourself a favour and read some insight motivational tips from these experts to get you started.
The next step? Get in touch with one of our friendly Crunch staff members who can set you up with a session to get you started or enquire about one of our heart-pumping classes that can help you feel more comfortable in a group training setting if you’re not ready for solo training.