Your first time in fitness center?

Written by Ales Maticic

fitness_center01Even today I remember SMS, which I received one Saturday from a friend: “On Monday I start going to fitness. Will you join me? ”

In my early student years I was primarily jogging fan, but I eventually get bored with it. In particular, it was bothering me that I  depended on wheather. I know seriouse runners don’t mind some rain but I could never really make myself to go out when it was raining. If I was tired or I had a hard day behind me I didn’t have any alternative actualy. The decision, therefore, fell in the moment and on morning the next day, we went to the local fitness center.

Everyone is perfect except me

I do not know where this come from, but I often hear “argument”, why not to go in the fitness center – because there are all in great shape and they will be staring at me as if I have two heads. If I am totaly hones  I also had similar concerns about myself. But I realized soon that the situation was totally different. Far from that everyone is in great shape, let alone perfect. No one was staring at me, nor give any remarks. You have to know, that no one came to the fitness with carved abdominal muscles and huge biceps. All were once just like you, at the beginning of our path.

You will soon made new acquaintances and visits will be even more pleasant. You will feel more homely and in addition, it is nice to hang out with people that have similar interests. You can exchange some advices and experiences too. However, you should not allow yourself that your visits turn into social events, mainly because you got there with different intentions. When you have finished your exercise, you can turn in to the bar for some protein drink. Furthermore, if you began visiting fitness center with your friend and she/he can’t make it, it should not discourage you from your training. Discipline depends only on you and your motivation.

Fitness ClothingClothing and footwear

In the first place there is comfort, and quality materials. Choose natural materials, which absorb the sweat, while allowing the skin to breathe. When you first encounter a visitor that stands 1 m from you all sweaty from exercise carried out in synthetic clothing, you will understand why this is important and advisable. Personally, I give priority to tight clothing (cotton with added elastane), because less of a hindrance in the execution of the exercises, but the decision is yours. Whatever you are wearing, if you feel good it will be all right.

Footwear should also be comfortable and easy. If you decide to buy new shoes, you can opt for sports shoes, designed specifically for training in the fitness center. However, any of the sports shoes, if they are not very heavy and robust, are a satisfactory choice. Remember that sports shoes must be clean, so use them only indoor. In most centers that is one of the basic rules. Never practice in footwear in which you came.

What else do you need

Definitely, a bottle with water. It may be a simple bottle from the store, it can be a bidon (which you can get in any Fitness Shop). If your exercises are not very long (average is approx. 1 hour), you do not need energy drinks, and even more, if your goal is fat loss, then try to avoid energy drinks. If you eaten a nutritious meal apprx. 2 hours before the visit to the center you should not run out of energy. Furthermore, do not enjoy heavy food immediately before exercise, as it can happen that it will end up in a nearby trash bin. Drink up at least 1 liter of water, more if necessary.

There is also required a towel, that you place on training station before you start the practice, this is also one of the  fundamental rules of fitness centers. It assures basic hygiene. Many fitness centers also requires cleaning of cardio equipment, when you finished with exercise – for this purpose find paper towels and disinfectant.

If you want to shower after the end of exercise on the spot, of course, do not forget shower gel and other cosmetic accessories, towels and clothing in which you can change. In the shower you can put on some loafers, if you do not like to touch the floor with your bare feet.

Basic manners

Remember that you are in a fitness center with a specific reason. And the reason is the exercise. Therefore, do not seat around on the fitnes equipment, because you occupy space when someone could be exercising. Make your exercises and move to the next station. Regarding these, there applys some kind of an unwritten rule – while you rest (although you have not completed the training in a given training station), allow someone else to exercise in the meantime on “your” training station. Otherwise, you are not obliged to allow this, if for any reason you do not want to, however, such a gesture is welcome, specialy if it is a major congestion in the center.

fitnessFitness coach?

Almost every center offers an introduction to new members (usually free) training with a fitness trainer. As a beginner I suggest that you can certainly take advantage, as the initial (correct) implementation is essential both for injury prevention as well as to your progress. It is easier to start with the proper form already the first day. Agree to the composition of the introductory program and in the first weeks you should pay always pay high attention to the particular implementation of the technique with light weights.

Short summary

Visits to the fitness center are nothing what you should be afraid of or make you discomfortable. You are there to make a change for Yourself – as do other members. Check for proper sports equipment, water and towel and enjoy the exercise!

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Ales Maticic

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