Published: 12 March 2022

The Beginner's Guide to Joining a Gym

If you’re anxious about going to a gym for the first time, don't worry! We've got some top tips that will make you look like a regular in no time...

Choose the right gym 

To stay motivated and look forward to going to the gym, you need to find the right gym. Search for local gyms and compare what facilities they offer, their car parking situation (or walking distance from a bus stop) and check their opening hours. All these things are important and will help you narrow down your options!

Once you’ve found a gym or two you’re interested in, call and arrange a gym induction with them. This is tour around the facilities, and a great chance to see the gym in action, test its accessibility and find out membership options. It’s also great for introducing you to the layout of the gym and helping you learn your way around, which will help calm the nerves before your first visit as a member. You’ll feel much more comfortable if you know where the basic facilities are!

Another helpful tip is to check the gym’s class timetable. It’ll give you a great idea of when the gym will be busiest, what classes or workshops may interest you and some of the areas their fitness teams are trained in. Be sure to check which classes are included in membership and which cost extra, as different gyms will have different membership deals.

Feel free to ask the fitness or reception team when their quieter or busiest hours are. This will help you find the best visiting times for your personal needs.  

Other factors to consider:

When looking around the gym on your introductory tour, be sure to look at:

  1. The lighting – is it too bright or dim?
  2. Whether the workout areas are spacious
  3. Are there enough machines to cater for everyone?
  4. Is the music volume too loud?
  5. Is the fitness team easily accessible if you have a problem?

How much should a gym membership cost? 

Every individual gym has a different, but no doubt competitive, membership fee. To get the most bang for your buck, be sure to look at the facilites they offer. Gyms that have cheaper memebrship prices tend to offer less facilites, whereas those with the higher price may have a swimming pool, thermal facilites and other bonuses. That said, most gyms offer a variety of membership options, meaning you may be able to find a gym that offers off-peak, student or family discounts, as a few examples. 

Call up any potential gyms to ask for their full membership options. Do not be afraid to ask whether it’s a fixed contract either. It’s important to know how long you need to commit for when becoming a member!

Do I need a specific fitness goal in mind when joining the gym?

No, you don’t need to have a specific fitness goal in mind when joining but having a general aim will help keep you motivated enough to keep returning. Even if it’s as simple as “exercising twice a week for 30 minutes” or “swimming once a week before a cup of coffee and rest”, such targets will help you begin a healthy fitness journey. Most health clubs or gyms will offer you a personal fitness plan when you first join, but it's okay to have a broad idea rather than a set goal. Your gym instructor should help you create a new goal if you're interested. 

What should I wear to the gym?

It’s important to wear comfortable, supportive clothing and trainers when going to the gym. Try to find stretchy material that allows you to move as you need to. If you’re worried about sweating, wear dark clothing, and avoid vests or singlets. It may be worth investing in material that dries quickly too.

While sports-gear is the big trend at the moment, a t-shirt and leggings or long shorts are often all you need. Though for ladies, we do recommend finding a great sports bra that provides enough support.

What else should I pack in my gym bag?

Make sure you bring a bottle of water (though most gyms offer water stations), a towel for drying, any shower essentials and maybe a hairbrush or comb! It may also be necessary to bring a pound coin for the lockers, but before to ask reception about lockers before arriving as you may not need this.

Is there any important gym etiquette I should know?

Every country has different gym etiquette, but generally speaking for the UK, it’s important you:

  • Wipe down machines when you're done using them. Most gyms – especially post-lockdown – offer sanitising sprays and paper towels. Be cautious to other users and wipe down the machine once you are finished.
  • Share the machines. Don’t spend too long on one machine. Unless there are plenty of free machines around you (that are the same type of machine), try to limit how long you use it as someone else may be waiting.
  • Avoid bringing in your cell phone – it’s best to leave your mobile in your locker, or in silent mode. You do not want to worry about your mobile falling out of your pocket while you’re on a machine, nor do you want to interrupt others in the zone!

Is there anything else I should know?

Never be afraid to approach the fitness team for help. If you’re lost, unsure of how to use a machine or need advice on how best to achieve your fitness goal, speak to the team. They’re trained to be there and help you!

If you’re thinking of joining a gym, we can recommend a Mosaic Spas & Health Clubs site – we train all our team to be helpful, friendly, and informative. Plus, most memberships offer FREE group exercise classes. You can find a list of your nearest Mosaic health club by clicking here.

Published: 12 March 2022