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4 Tips for Your First Day at the Gym

Conquer your first day at the gym with these four must-know tips.
first day at new gym

Hitting the gym for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. All the new equipment, the people—everything. Regardless of your fitness aspirations, these four tips are sure to get you on the fast track to gains.

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The fact that you’re in the gym in the first place, probably means you had to shift a few things around in your life in order to make time for the commitment.  You’re now on the road to stronger bones, bigger muscles and increased strength. With that said, lifting weights can cause injury if done improperly or too often. To avoid injury, proper form and the correct volume are essential.

As a lifting beginner, your muscles have no idea what’s coming for them. If you want your gym experience to be sustainable, do only three or four exercises your first day. This way you won’t be overly sore and can recover more effectively for another workout. Slowly work your way up to lift heavier weights with perfect form, there's no rush.

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Four of the biggest muscle building lifts are the barbell squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench press. Do one of these lifts first, then follow up with assistance exercies to build maxium strength, size and power.

For example, bench press first for a few sets, then, do another chest exercise, this time one that is a singe joint movement. Doing one "push" exercise like a bench press or squat followed by one "pull" exercise like a leg curl or lat pulldown is surefire way to build up your back and chest evenly. Since it's your first day, use the push/pull exercise order to leave no muscle behind. 

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Progression can only be noted if you know where you came from. On your first day, begin to create a training log with all your current stats. Write down the exercises, sets, reps, weight lifted and rest you take throughout every workout. Your starting numbers will give you the satisfaction of quantifying what you carve out in iron.                                                                                                                                         

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Replenishing your muscles with proper nutrients is the most important thing you can do after you’ve finished weightlifting. Having a high protein meal and possibly even supplementing with a quality protein powder is your best course of action. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a general recommendation for athletes is 1.2 to 2.0 grams/kilogram per day. 

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