4 Gym Survival Tips for Beginners

Photo from http://www.recoversportsmed.com.au/
It started with a question that I asked myself in January. What if I’ll go to the gym? A few friends had been inviting me to try it. Some friends would flex and kiss their bulging arms as if telling me “sorry, you don’t have like this!” It took me a long time to try it. It was a personal dare to challenge myself. I decided to give it a try when I heard other friends talking about their New Year’s resolution. They were planning to go to the gym.
I thought after my first try, I would never go back to the gym. Two months later, I lost almost 3 kilos. I wrote a blog about it because I was excited to share it to others. To read about the detail, read my blog “I Lost 3 kilos in 2 Months.
Now, it’s been 6 months and I still continue to work out 3 times a week. And I plan to continue to allot time to sweat out at the gym. One obvious benefit I gained from sweating out is that I don’t easily get stressed. I became more energetic.
Someone asked me, how did you pass the first few days? I laughed at the question! I remember Googling about it. I always have poor muscular coordination. I wanted to prepare my mind how to make my first gym experience less awkward. And Boy, it was awkward. I felt awkward that I couldn’t look myself in the mirror while lifting the dumbbell. I wondered perhaps the tool was called a dumbbell because it made you feel dumb when you use it.
Looking back, I survived my first few dumb days in 4 ways.
1. Goal. Having a goal is very important. In whatever you do, you have to have a specific goal. If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, you would be clueless as to what you’re trying to achieve. My goal was to be healthier. I wanted to lose weight. People told me that I was never fat, so to them that was a crazy goal. I may not look fat but I was heavier than I look. I remember the instructor told me that perhaps I had plenty of excess water in my body. Three months after working out, he said that I was no longer “watery!”
2. Gauge. Before I became a gym enthusiast, I thought that it was only for the vain people. Why would there be huge mirrors there? Why would people love to stare at themselves? I realized that I was wrong! Until now, I still don’t stare at my reflection the whole time. Maybe, I just glance a little! To have a personal gauge is to assess yourself based on your own progress. Avoid comparing your performance with others. At first, I could barely lift a 5-pound dumbbell. I was never embarrassed about it because as Milo’s battle cry, great things start from small beginnings. After sometime, I began lifting 10 pounds, 15 pounds, and until recently 35 pounds. It does not make me a bodybuilder still. Anyway, that was never part of my goal. I still didn’t have the muscles as big as The Rock’s. But that is not the point of gauging my progress. It’s about comparing myself now from before. In a way, I made a little progress. And oh, just recently, I started lifting the barbell. A few months ago, I couldn’t even lift it an inch.
3. Yearning to learn. Even after 6 months, I still seek for assistance from the instructor. I still ask questions because I want to do what I do right. What should I do next? Am I doing it correctly? Can you be my spotter? Never assume that you know everything. Even if you have read the whole library about working out, but based on experience, actual application is still different. Before deciding to try working out, I already did my research on the proper shoes, proper posture, etc. It turned out that it was a lot “easier read than done.” You’ll learn only when you open yourself to ask questions. And oh! If you are not the instructor, don’t give others instruction on how to lift a dumbbell. If you can’t resist yourself and you feel that you would be a future gym instructor, then don’t just say how to do it. Show it!
4. Motivation. There are days when we prefer to just lay in bed than to go to the gym. Motivation ignites the fire in us. It helps me jump out of bed to wear my gym shoes. After work when I get exhausted and tempted to just sit and watch Youtube videos, I would push myself out and head straight to the gym. I make it a point to write every single day after work. I can’t write if I’m physically tired. Going to the gym has helped me restore my energy after work to hone my writing skill from 9 to 11 PM. Love is also another effective source of motivation. Though my wife-to-be told me that she was fine with my “watery” body, I still wanted to feel and look more attractive to her. And I think she already enjoys playing with my baby muscles!
These are based on my experience. You are free to experiment what works for you!
By the way, that man in the photo is not me, okay? I just want to be clear! Hehe

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