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How to hit the gym and stay motivated

January has already begun, and there’s still time to start the year off on the right foot. Have you thought of getting a gym membership? Or would you like to but feel a bit intimidated by all the dumbbells and machines? Take a step back and consider your objectives for your physical transformation so that you can beat your demons and keep your resolutions under the best conditions at the gym.

Regularly practicing a physical activity has tons of excellent benefits: for example, it fights against the premature aging of cells, keeps you in physical and mental shape and gives you the energy necessary to tackle everyday stress.

Why work out at the gym?

Having a gym membership offers plenty of extras, including the great number of activities offered. Monday, it’s stretching. Tuesday, yoga. Wednesday, a bit of cardio. Thursday, abs-glutes. Friday, Pilates. And Saturday, body combat to go all out. It’s super easy to throw yourself into an activity then change it up for another. This lets you vary your exercise according to your moods or your objectives. Plus, you’re surrounded by professionals, which is a great plus when starting out. You’ll want their expert advice to learn how to use the machines and carry out the right movements and positions for optimal benefits and to avoid hurting yourself. In fact, it’s worth having a personal trainer set up a custom program based on your objectives.

Plus, working out at the gym gives you a friendly, lively ambience that is motivating in itself. The music and the other motivated people can even help you push yourself to new heights!

Five things to know before you start out

1. Plan your time

So now you’re a member. Congratulations! To make sure you stay pumped (and also because you don’t want to spend your money for nothing), plan workout time in your schedule. Working out only when you have the free time to do so is quite simply bound to fail.

Make sure that once you book these times, you stick to them! A hint to add a touch of additional motivation is to schedule “me time” in your agenda. Think of it as treating yourself to both regular free time and a workout!  

2. Define your objectives

Well thought out objectives are a real source of motivation. Take the time to write them down. What would you like to improve? Your health? Your appearance? Your objectives will be the foundation of your workout, as they will determine your choice of equipment and courses from the many options at the gym.

3. Be realistic

Are you starting or restarting an activity? Don’t set the bar too high. Unfortunately, working out is not magic. You can’t expect mindblowing results too quickly. Work out regularly according to your level and your rhythm.

Be patient. Keep in mind that your investment will pay off as your motivation grows. So don’t let yourself get discouraged.

4. Ask for the help of a professional

Instead of signing up without knowing what to do (and risk injury) or thinking you can wing it all by yourself (and again risk injury), a personal trainer can set you up right at the beginning. Many gyms offer a session or more with a trainer for free.

The advantages? Motivation, faster visible results, advice adapted to your needs and workouts tailored to meet your fitness goals.

5. Invest in good equipment

This may seem obvious, but it’s essential to have the right gear for your workout. Check out your gear options here:

Once started: six simple tips to keep motivated

1. Ask questions

The gym personnel are there to help you. They can answer questions about the machines and equipment, the courses offered, exercises to do, and so on. A lot of rookies soon feel helpless among all the choices at the gym. So go ahead and ask.

2. Don’t worry about others’ opinions

As they say: everybody has to start some time! So, don’t compare yourself to others. Keep your concentration on your workout program and your progress from an objective perspective.

3. Begin with simple exercises

We often think that complicated movements are more effective. But in fact, basic movements are often more effective, so start with simple exercises and shorter sessions. You can increase the duration and difficulty as you get more confident.

4. Warm up and stretch

Before starting a workout, warming up is essential to avoid hurting your tendons, joints and muscles: five to ten minutes is enough to prepare your body for the effort that is to come.

Plus, don’t forget to stretch at the end of your workout. You’ll avoid plenty of aches.

5. Find a partner

The best way to keep motivated and respect your workouts is to have a good partner (as it’s tougher to lose motivation when there’s two of you). Doing sports as a pair or group is an excellent way to stay pumped and keep your commitments. So go out and get yourself a gym partner!

Are you pumped yet? Just follow these tips to make sure the gym is a pleasant place to be for you, and then you’ll look forward to you workouts - an excellent way to start off the year in tip-top shape!