How to get started at the gym

How to get started at the gym - main image

Using free weights, gym equipment, strength training and all that comes with the world of fitness to get started at the gym

You may have seen gym ‘fails’ on YouTube. You might have cringed both at the word fail and the fails themselves. But in between the harrowing embarrassment and toe-curling injuries, there’s something hidden – a potentially life-changing decision.

A gym workout isn’t just for the mirror. You can garner so much from the gym; any culture that enables both mental and physical growth should sound appealing. But as you walk through the door, GymShark gear on and pre-workout ready, you may be a little lost…

At first, a gym can seem like a maze.

So it’s a good job I’m here to help you navigate through it.

From weight training to cardio machines options are plenty. But while pressing start on a treadmill may seem easy, or picking up a dumbell straightforward, there’s a little word that probably sits at the forefront of our confusion – gym etiquette.

How exactly do you… gym?


Let’s forget about the specifics of machinery use for a second (to cover every kit and machine in a 500 word blog would be… heavy), and focus on the dos and don’ts – the more you know the more confident you’ll be.

Always wipe properly…

It’s so important for those sweatier among us to wipe down equipment. This can be from cardio machines to benches, but no matter the equipment nobody wants to swim in your sweat. And this is a rule you should follow for the duration of your fitness journey.

Weighty responsibility

It’s not hard, so why don’t people do it? Why is that nobody seems to respect the person next to them? I just can’t fathom it… are people lazy or just rude, or both?

I’m not referring to your egotistical personal trainer looking down on you, I’m talking about putting weights back. Gymgoers need to adhere to this rule – if you pick it up then put it back.


Just drop it

To contrast with the above title, do NOT drop heavy weights. It’s annoying, loud and offputting for others. A gym session should be comfortable (relatively speaking) and if someone’s paying for a gym membership you shouldn’t be making that experience worse for them. Cardio workouts are usually pretty inoffensive but it’s far easier to make mistakes with weights.

So watch out for it.


Other than that, just be consistent, confident and considerate – you should know the right thing to do when it comes to shared spaces. It all involves one word, respect. And if you’re disrespectful then you should take yourself off to a quiet corner somewhere else where you can’t mess with anyone’s sense of space.


Are personal trainers expensive?

They certainly can be; however, they’re great for guidance, so always consider them.

Are gym goers friendly?

People are people, watch out for the nasty members around you, they exist.

What extras can I expect if I go to the gym rather than training at home?

This all depends on your home set up, of course, but gyms offer everything from resistance training, cardiovascular fitness, fitness classes, bodyweight exercises to personal guidance on proper technique and the development of a bespoke exercise routine with the likes of the barbell squat and bench press.

**Check out our post on how to train lats at home

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