A Beginner's Guide to the Gym

April 28, 2022

Whether you're starting on your own gym journey because you're looking to lose some weight or you want to build muscle, with some planning and the right advice, your transformation doesn't need to take ages.

Here at the personal training studio in Richmond, BC, we help all sorts of fitness seekers achieve their goals, and they all have one thing in common: a target or goal. What that looks like depends very much on the individual, and maybe the first thing to realize about the gym is working out can help anyone get better. How you approach your workouts will be the key to how fast you achieve success. That's why this beginner's guide to the gym should be your first step to developing a workout plan.

What Does Your Workout Look Like?

One of the first things to remember when you first hit the gym is you've got to build up to lifting the heavier weights. It's not all about how much you can lift; it's got more to do with lifting an appropriate weight for your stage of the fitness journey. 

If you hit the weights and equipment too hard right at the start, you're just going to injure yourself. And being injured means you're going to be sitting around. Working out successfully and efficiently is all about understanding how your body builds muscle. It's a case of gradually increasing the weight, duration, and intensity of training to reach a goal.

Building muscle and losing fat are not a sprint; they're a long run. Professional trainers call it 'progressive overload.' You get there by going heavier, longer, and more often over a defined period.


Your Personalized Workout Program by Personal Trainers in Richmond, BC

When you visit the gym here in Richmond, we can help you develop a workout program that's matched to your specific abilities. It's the safest way to get fit and build muscle as fast as possible, and using a workout program means you'll have more fun too:

It's easier: You don't have to approach every single workout like a scientific experiment. We do all the science at the start, and each gym visit follows the plan. You don't need to worry, just put on some of your favourite music and go for it, lift after lift, rep after rep.

Optimize your gains: A well-designed, tailored workout program will maximize the rate you build muscle without risking an injury. You'll spend less time on the treatment table and more days having fun and reaching your goals.

Track your progress: Having a plan in place is the best way to stay motivated. A well-designed workout plan sets clear targets along the way. You can celebrate each milestone as you power past it and start working toward the next one the second you do that.

Remember, what you do before you ever enter a gym and start your workout journey is the most important thing you'll ever do regarding the gym. Choosing a random program on the web is unlikely to be the best way to proceed. Likewise, just copying a friend won't maximize your workouts. We're all unique and have specific abilities and needs. Get expert advice now, work out harder, faster, and safer – and achieve your goals quicker.


Personal Training in Richmond, BC: Essentials Before You Start Your Workouts

Warming up: Even before you start lifting, you can leave yourself prone to injury by not warming up correctly. Every successful athlete has a carefully prepared system for warming up before they start an activity. If you're going to achieve your fitness goals, you need a system too. Not only will warming up protect you from injuries, but it'll also get your joints moving, stretch your muscles and tendons and make you more able to lift. It's the first step to maximizing muscle gains. Here at the gym in Richmond, we can help you develop a warmup routine that'll last you a lifetime of lifting weights.

Technique: It's vital to push yourself when you work out, but the fact is, using the wrong lifting technique will make you prone to injury. You need to measure your ability based on lifting the correct way. Sloppy or incorrect technique might well enable you to up the weight, but it's not how to measure progress, and that road isn't a shortcut to strength; it leads straight to the treatment table. Here at the personal training studio in Richmond, we can teach you good form before you develop bad habits – and unlearning those takes a lot more time than a few quick lessons takes. Bad habits also cause a lot more downtime from injuries.

Your workout diet: This is another area where guesswork or copying a friend just isn't ever going to cut it. While there is countless calculators and advice on the internet, the very best way to develop a diet that works best for you is to get some expert nutritional coaching. Once you've done that, so long as you remember to drink plenty of water – up to five litres a day, you'll begin to see results. Here at the personal training studio in Richmond, we can help you put a diet together based on calorie intake, your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), protein intake, and then it's just a case of working out whether to bulk up clean or dirty.

Work out your brain: When your mind and muscles are connected, you get fitter and stronger faster. Concentration is more than just avoiding accidents when you're at the gym. It can also help you focus on your goals and picture a successful outcome to maximize gains. When your mind is in a good place, and you feel positive, you'll get positive results. Create an environment you enjoy – you can use music to motivate yourself and drive you. Visualize those muscles getting bigger, and very soon, they will.

Rest: Sleep and rest are both absolutely essential components of any workout plan. Every successful athlete knows that downtime is important. Your body can't function correctly or build muscle tissue if you don't put down the weights occasionally – and though it seems counter-intuitive, without downtime, you'll get bigger and stronger slower. Everyone needs a slightly different amount of sleep, typically ranging between five and nine hours. Planning your broader routine to accommodate workouts during your normal day will see you get results quicker. Sticking to set times somewhere like the personal training studio here in Richmond can have a few helpful benefits: firstly, there's always expert advice. Second, you'll make some workout buddies, which can be great for motivation. Thirdly, structure in your schedule makes it more likely you'll stick to a healthy routine and keep pushing toward those fitness targets.


Professional Advice from Personal Trainers in Richmond Gyms

As we've learned in this article, starting off on the right foot can bring massive benefits when you're new to the gym. While it's possible to pick up things as you go along, learning the right lifting techniques gradually can be dangerous (and painful), choosing the wrong diet can slow down your progress significantly, and failing to warm up properly can at best see you underperforming and at worst, end up with a hospital bed. 

Come on down to BLK BOX GYM in Richmond, and our friendly team can quickly talk you through techniques, best practices, diet, preparation, and recommend schedules that maximize muscle gains. We'll get you lifting quicker and keep you working out longer because even we were once gym rookies, and we believe everyone can gain the knowledge they need to achieve their goals!

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Written by

Ken Lu

Ken has a Bachelor's Degree of Psychology from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Sport Psychology. As well as being a Certified Personal Trainer, Ken is also a Movement & Mobility Specialist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has trained for and won the 2018 NPAA BC Men's Physique Championship.