If you've been working out at home recently (or if you just joined a new gym), here's what you need to know about starting a new gym workout routine.
Most of the workouts in the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge are designed to be done at home with minimal equipment. But you can also do them at the gym if you're short on space or equipment at home (or if you're just more motivated in a gym setting).
If you've been doing all your workouts in the comfort of your own home, it can be a little intimidating to transfer your exercise regimen to the gym. So if you're ready to hit the gym but need a little push, here's how to do it!
Read more: How to Not Be Intimidated in the Gym
Tips to Make the Most of Your Gym Workouts
Get the Lay of the Land: This first step is especially if you're a newbie gym goer or new to that particular gym. Most gyms will offer to give you a tour of the facility — take it! It gives you a chance to figure out where all the equipment is that you might need during your workouts or to ask where something is.
Familiarize Yourself With the Equipment: During the tour (or if your gym happens to offer a free personal training session with your membership), if you see a piece of equipment that you're unfamiliar with, ask how to use it! Don't just assume or copy other people. In the absence of weight room staff, you can also check to see if there's a written guide on the side of the machine. Or when all else fails — Google it! Just make sure you're 100-sure you know how to use something before you begin.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions: This one goes for newbies and veteran gym goes alike. You should always feel comfortable asking the gym staff a question about equipment, classes, etc. (If not, you might be at the wrong gym.) It's far better to risk asking a "silly question" than to assume you know the answer and put yourself (and potentially others) at risk for injury.
Have a Plan: Don't waste your precious time at the gym by wandering aimlessly from elliptical machine to the weight rack to the stretching room, doing whatever exercise pops into your head. Have a specific plan for each session and stick with it.
But Be Flexible: If you're gym is often crowded or you can only go during peak hours, take a look at your workout and see what can be moved around or swapped out in case what you want to do is already being used by someone else. Can you do the exercises in a different order? Maybe do the rower instead of the treadmill?
And Have a Back-Up Plan: Some days might just be too crazy at your gym to do the workout you had planned. This is especially true at the beginning of the year when everyone's trying to stick to their newly formed resolutions. So if all else fails, have a back-up workout you can do instead of having to skip. Maybe you can go for a run outside or maybe there's a group class you can try.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode: Don't let yourself be distracted by emails and texts — they can wait. Instead, switch your phone to airplane mode (or leave it in your car or locker) and focus on your workout.
Check Out Some of the Classes: Group fitness classes are a great way to switch up your workout routine, challenge yourself, try something new and meet new, like-minded people. Since most gyms include these classes with your membership, you really have nothing to lose! So if you've always wanted to know if Zumba is as fun as people say (it is!) or if spinning might be your new workout obsession, why not give it a try?
Never Stop Learning
- Need a Beginner Workout? How to Start Working Out at the Gym
- The Newbie's Guide to Bizarre Gym Lingo
- Things to Always Have in Your Gym Bag
- Machine-to-Free-Weight Swaps to Improve Your Strength Gains
How to Join the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge
1. Sign Up for Daily Emails
There are two main places this challenge is taking place online — your inbox and our Facebook group (more on that in a second). So first, make sure you've entered your email to sign up for the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge. (Yep, even if you're already signed up for our regular daily newsletter.)
Every day, we'll be sending you your daily workout and a healthy recipe to try, along with fun extras like workout playlists, motivational quotes, self-care tips and other fitness and nutrition information to make 2019 your best (and healthiest) year ever!
2. Print Out Your Calendars
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge, you're accountable for two main things: working out and eating healthy.
To help keep you on track for the entire month, we created two calendars — one with each day's workouts listed and another with each week's nutrition goal and healthy recipes. Print them out and check off each workout and day of healthy eating as you complete it.
3. Join Our Challenge Facebook Group
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the Get Strong in 2019 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Share Your Journey on Social Media
Are you on Instagram or Twitter? So are we! And we'd love to see photos and updates of your progress. When you post to social media, be sure to use the hashtag #GetStrongChallenge. That way, you can also connect with other Get Strong challengers!