For most people, the first day in a gym, is mostly a combination of excitement, fear and confusion, attacking the senses all at once. In spite of the enthusiasm, that brought them in, in the first place, all this equipment and the people using, them, simply overwhelms a gym newbie. But that’s OK. It is just a phase, that one passes through. I always remember my own early days as a confused teenager, entering a gym full of huge muscled people sweating all over themselves.
If you’ve never worked out before, then remember what you do on “day 1” will pretty much decide your fate. Most people get simply carried away on day one and try their hand with everything that they pretty much can lay their hands on. And the result? Excessive soreness, or sometimes even injury.
Here’s a small little beginner plan for you, that should set you on the path to physical fitness. Depending on how your body responds, feel free to increase or decrease intensity as per your comfort level. Once you have spent 2-3weeks, doing this, you will definitely be in a better physical shape and spirits. Also you will be in a position to customize your workouts further.
Before jumping to the plan, the all important disclaimer 🙂 I am not a doctor. The below suggestions are a result of my own experiences as a physical fitness practitioner, since 1992. It is a great idea to consult your physician, before taking up any type of physical exercise program, if you have never worked out before.
Treadmill – 15 minutes (start with 2-3 mins walk at 4 – 4.5 kmph and gradually increase it to 5.5 kmph)
Exercycle – 10 minutes (start at the lowest resistance level (1) and keep paddling at a speed of 27-30 kmph – aim to keep a constant speed for the entire duration – adjust the seat height to a level that you are able to touch only your toes on the floor. If your feet are flat on the ground, the seat is not at proper height)
Abdominal (The tummy) – Don’t try to convert the family pack into a six pack, overnight – take it slow. At this stage crunches will be a little strenuous. So I would suggest the plank. do it for a count of 10 and 2-3 times. I found this video of the plank on You-Tube, you could use this as a reference point.
Once you are comfortable with this plan and have stuck to it for at least 3 weeks, look around this blog for more advanced workout tips.
Now that you know what to do, here are a few things that you need to be very careful about:
- Try to workout at the same time of the day every time. This way it is easier to kick in the routine. I am a morning person, and like to get the workout out of the way, first thing in the morning. But to each his own!
- Know in advance, what you will do on a given day, in a gym. It is a total waste of effort to saunter in, aimlessly – and simply crank out body movements without a goal.
- Be mentally prepared for a bit of tightness and soreness, in the initial days. Remember, your body is going through an entirely new set of activity, that it was not doing earlier. A good warm up routine will take care of it.
- If you feel uncomfortable or breathless, STOP IMMEDIATELY! There is no need to push yourself unnecessarily.
- Educate yourself about any safety measures that may be built in to the equipment. For example, the safety magnet clip found on most treadmills. Do clip them on to your track suit. They serve the purpose that if you simply drift off the walking board, the magnet will disengage and the treadmill will come to a dead halt. It is definitely safer than falling off a running treadmill!
Please share your experiences, queries or feedback, by leaving a comment here.
Have Fun & Get Fit!