A Beginner’s Guide to the Gym

A Beginner’s Guide to the Gym

We all have to start somewhere, right? Starting the gym might seem daunting to some – but it really doesn’t have to be. I’m here to give you some useful nuggets of wisdom that I wish somebody had told my 17 year old self when I first joined the gym back in college (almost 3 years ago – Yikes!).

Nobody Is Staring At You – I Promise!

When I was a newbie at the gym and wasn’t familiar with any of the sweaty torture devices they kept, I would feel super self-conscious about how I looked. I would think that people were staring at me and judging me on my lack of knowledge on how to use the machinery. And like many others, I was self-conscious about my giggly bits being gauped at! However, I’m here to reassure you that you have nothing to worry about on that front.

From experience, gym dwellers are often too busy getting their own sweat on to even notice where your sweating from! So don’t sweat it! Remember – we are all at the gym for the same reason. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the equipment available, even the frequent gym dwellers had to start somewhere. If you find that you are still struggling, personal trainers are always on hand to help at your local gym.

Avoid Peak Hours

If you are still self-conscious about working out in front of a room full of sweaty people, visiting the gym outside of peak hours may be a good idea. Peak hours in UK gyms are usually before 10am and after 5pm. I like to visit the gym at around 10/11am in order to avoid running into anybody that I might know and would defiantly not like to see me working out! Avoiding peak times also gives you a bit more freedom to explore the gym at your own leisure without feeling the potential social pressures.

Create a Gym Routine Before You Go

From experience, there is nothing worse than awkwardly wandering around the gym wondering what to do next. Before going to the gym, Its ideal to come up with a solid fitness goal and sculpt an appropriate gym routine around this goal.  I know what your thinking. “But Holly – I’ve just told you that I know nothing about the gym! How can I come up with my own routine?” Its a lot simpler than you think.

For me, I wanted to tone my legs, bum and tum. I turned to the internet to seek out all of the ‘Gym Workout Routines’ or ‘Legs, Bum and Tum Workouts’ that I could get my hands on. You can do the same! Do your research on YouTube and in the fitness blogging community to concoct your own perfect workout routine targeting the areas you need. Snapchat and Instagram Stories can be other great places to soak up fitness tips and tricks. Estee Lalonde often posts great workout routines on her Instagram story, I’d defiantly recommend checking her out for some great fitness inspo’.

Save Your Money!

It is so easy to get sucked into the consumer trap of purchasing chic gym attire and accessories – I can hold my hands up to this crime. Most shops on the high street now have a gym wear section full of bright, colourful, and on-trend clothing pieces to compliment your new lifestyle. It can be so easy to want to buy it all, but I’m here to snap you out of your gym-wear-trance to tell you to SAVE YOUR MONEY!

The fact of the matter is if your a newbie, you may realise down the line that the gym-dweller lifestyle just isn’t working for you. Hold off on buying all of the cute (and expensive) gym wear and accessories until you know that your dedicated to it. There is nothing worse than buying all of the accessories to go with a hobby, and then realising later on that its not something that you want to pursue any further. Just round up your old leggings and baggy t-shirts that you have lying at the back of your wardrobe, stick a pair of your old trainers on, grab a water bottle and a towel, and your all set! No expenses lost.

Take it easy

Starting the gym is like starting any new hobby, you need to get to grips with the basics first. For example when learning the piano, you wouldn’t possibly be able to start learning a Mozart piece before you’d learnt the basic piano chords. Its just not practical. The gym is very much the same.

Take things slow. Your beautiful body won’t be expecting nor respond well to extreme or excessive working out in a short space of time. Start off doing 5 minutes on each machine or exercise that you choose to do. This way, it gives your body time to adjust to the new strain being put on it without giving you a killer workout hangover the next morning!

I hope you’ve found these tips useful, newbie. I hope these tips will help you out when establishing your own fitness journey.

Good Luck!


  • Great tips! 🙂

  • The first point of this post made me laugh because I swear folks are staring at me. It’s all in my head. I definitely make sure to go to the gym in my community super early or super late. I avoid people at all costs. I need to work on my strength and conditioning to burn some of this fat.

    I will also go easy on the outfits! I have to look cute and like something about myself, right? *it’s really another way to shop*. I do understand that I will not be in those clothes for long! lol

    Thank you for sharing!

    Natalie of Strategist Cafe

  • Thanks for sharing! Are there any websites that you would recommend for creating your fitness routine? And I hear you on the expensive clothes. You could use the money you save to get a couple sessions with a personal trainer to help you establish your routine.

    • Hi Kate,

      YouTube is the best place to start! Follow along with the programs they show in videos and pick out the components of it that you think would be best for you and your fitness routine.

      Best of luck
      Holly x

  • You are so right. Like anything else, you need to nail the basics first! Remembering to take it easy first time out is so important!

  • dearashblog1

    I have trouble thinking everyone is staring at me and judging me at the gym, when really nobody cares. Thanks for opening up my eyes to reality!

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

  • This is awesome, I just joined the gym last week. I feel like you wrote this for me…lol