Getting ready to hit the gym in January? Here's your starter pack of all the information you need to walk into the gym with confidence and build a habit that will last all year long.
Photo via TrendHype.
Find the Perfect Gym
You're going to spend a lot of time at your gym, so it's worth taking the time to find one you like, and that doesn't screw you over with a contract that has hidden fees. Try these tips:
- Your Gym Should Either Be Super Cheap or Super Nice
- The Selling Points to Look For in a Good Gym
- Five Strategies That Gyms Use to Hook You in, and How to Avoid Them
- The Legal Ways to Cancel Your Gym Membership
Have a Great First Workout
The first day you walk into the gym can be intimidating. A tour or trial visit during the signup process can help, but one of these days you'll head into the gym totally on your own, starting your new workout routine. So, uh, what do you do?
- What to Do Your First Day at the Gym
- How to Become More Comfortable at the Gym When You're First Starting Out
- What to Expect When You Start Working Out Again After a Long Break
- How to Work Out When the Gym Is Crowded
- Five Ways to Work Out in the Gym When It's Crazy Packed
Get to Know the Equipment
A gym is like a playground: so much fun stuff, so little time. Here are some introductions to the stuff you're likely to find:
- Gym Showdown: Free Weights vs. Machines
- What Are Those Giant Tires in Gyms?
- The Seven Gym Machines Workout Newbies Should Try
- Get a Great, Low Impact Cardio Workout on the Rowing Machine
- Treadmill Physics: Why an Indoor Run Isn't Cheating
- The Perks of Lifting With Free Weights Instead of Machines
Learn How to Get Stronger
This is why you're here, right? Check out these pointers for picking up heavy things and putting them down again:
- Starting Strength Is An Awesome Weight Training Program for Beginners
- Why Squats Are the Best Strength Building Exercise For Your Legs
- Why Deadlifts Are Worth the Hype, and How to Do Them Safely
- Everything You Need to Know to Master the Bench Press
- Does It Matter How Many Reps You Do When You Work Out?
- What 'Good Weight Lifting Form' Really Means (and When It Matters)
- The Right Way to Breathe for More Powerful Weightlifting
- How to Minimise Your Risk of Injury When Lifting Heavier Weights
Build a Habit
You're not in this for one good workout, or even for an active and achy January. You want to build a habit that will last all year, so that includes carving out time for your workouts and making them a part of your life.
- How to Find Time to Exercise When Your Schedule Is Already Packed
- The Best Ways to Improve Your Workouts at the Gym
- How I Tricked Myself Into Loving My Workout
- Changing Your Habits Is More Important Than Meeting Specific Goals
- Take an Occasional Break From the Gym to Keep up Your Progress
- What the Heck 'Newbie Gains' Are, and What to Do Afterward
- Four Strategies That Build Lasting Motivation (and How to Use Them to Achieve Your Goals)
With a good attitude and the right information, you can make your January gym habit last all year. And if you want to give yourself an extra confidence boost, start working out now. You'll feel like an old pro in a few weeks when the rest of the newbies arrive.