Gym newbie guide
What to expect first time
If you don’t know what to do in the gym or you’ve never stepped foot in one before, it can seem like a pretty scary place. What are all the machines for? How do I do use them? Is everyone looking at me?
That’s why we’ve put together a Newbies Gym Guide for beginners, that covers everything from what to pack in your gym bag, right up to your very own beginner’s workout. Once you’ve read through this guide, you’ll know everything there is to know about working out in the gym and smashing your fitness goals.
We offer all new starters a free group induction, a member of the fitness team will give you a tour of the gym and the different equipment that we recommend you using based on your goals. The fitness team will take you through how to use different equipment if you are unsure.
Best time to go to the gym
This can depend on your routine, if you have time to go before work and already feel energised, this would be the best time to visit. Don't worry if not, hit the gym on your way home!
There is no best time to workout, listen to your body and make the best decision for you.
Peak times generally are between the hours of 6am-8am & 5-7pm, if you are looking for more space when working out, you should generally avoid these times.
What to wear and take with you
- Gym-appropriate training gear (avoid denim)
- Gym shoes (sturdy trainers work best; avoid weak canvas shoes)
- Sweat towel
- Towel and shampoo (for a post-workout shower)
- Water bottle
- Padlock for locker use
Gym classes are great for new starters as they are led by a professional trainer who will take you through set exercises. They give you motivation, the chance to meet new friends & to learn a new skill.
To book onto a class, simply download the Places Locker app where you will be able to access a weekly calendar of all the free classes you can attend.
1. 5-minute cardio
A 5-minute fast-paced incline walk on the treadmill to get your heart rate up and mobilise your joints. You can just use the ‘Quick Start’ option.
2. Resistance training
Choose a weight that you can comfortably lift for 10 reps. The last few reps should be really challenging! Do three sets of 10 reps for each of the following exercises, leaving around 60 seconds’ rest between each set.
- Dumbbell lunges
- Leg press
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Lat pull-down
- Cable chest fly
- TRX planks (3 sets of 30 seconds)
- HIIT cardio circuit
3. HIIT cardio circuit
A HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) circuit is all about intervals of contrasting training, consisting of brief but intense bursts of exercise (where you give maximum effort) are followed by low-intensity recovery or rest periods.
For this HIIT, repeat 5 rounds with minimal rest:
- 10 burpees
- 10 press-ups
- 10 sit-ups
4. Stretch and cool-down
Stretching and cooling down after a workout is essential to preventing injury and be as simple as a gentle 5-minute walk on the treadmill.