The Gym for beginners – top tips from a personal trainer

The gym can be an intimidating place. For many of us, improving our fitness is a New Year’s resolution, but how many actually stick with it past February? Greg Bowden is a personal trainer and owner of GB Fitness and has agreed to give some advice for those pursuing a new healthy lifestyle this January.

So what is Greg’s advice to anyone looking for a healthy change?

“I would advise anyone starting to train in the gym to realize that seeing results takes time and effort.”

“The gym can be a dangerous place if the equipment isn’t respected and used correctly. All gym users should do the research or speak to someone that has the knowledge and expertise at using the gym equipment,” said Greg.

The gym can be a daunting place for beginners. People will often compare themselves to other gym users, who may have been using the gym for years. Greg has some advice for anyone who might be nervous starting out.

“Speaking to one of the gym instructors or personal trainers is always a great move in my opinion as they can direct a beginner on where to begin.

Also, remember not to compare yourself to others, close to all gym users are there to better themselves.  Everybody starts somewhere and this is the beginning of your fitness journey,” he said.

So what do you need to start your life as a newly fledged gym junky?

“Loose-fitting clothing such as tracksuit pants or shorts, a t-shirt, and runners are the bare essentials.

I would always advise carrying a stopwatch too as timing oneself can be very helpful,” said Greg.

For many people, including myself, finding the time can be a problem. So how many times a week should someone ideally be hitting the gym?

“When starting off 2-3 times per week is sufficient as you don’t want to overwork yourself but realistically if you could get other forms of exercise into your routine as well as training in the gym, this would be very beneficial,” recommends Greg.

Of course, not all the work is done in the gym, many people forget that an important part of fitness is making sure you eat right. It’s time to put down the McDonalds and pick up a salad.

“I like to think 60% in the kitchen and 40% in the gym. One without the other means you’re not hitting that 100% mark,” says Greg. He makes his life easier by laying out all of his meals for the week in one go. This preparation lets him keep track of what he is eating.

Greg has one final piece of advice for those starting a healthier lifestyle this year. Don’t give up.

“Keep at it, results take time and effort. Consistency plays a major role, so don’t give up.”

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