3 Pieces of Advice When Starting a Gym Programme

During the last year or so, I have become more and more interested in health and fitness. From time to time, I like to post recipes of the relatively healthy meals I cook here on Joyful Antidotes. However, I have steered away from anything exercise related. My main reason for this was the fact that I am definitely not fitness guru. I didn’t feel qualified enough to be sharing such posts when I am only just beginning to see the slightest hint of a fitter body myself.

While reminiscing over the last couple of weeks, I began to think about how I felt about exercise before I joined a gym. I admired these dedicated fitness people on Instagram, but thought to myself there is no way I can do what they do. I used to think: ‘I don’t have the dedication nor the willpower, and the exercises they are doing are much too complicated and advanced for me’. Even when writing my post about why I joined a gym, I still wasn’t convinced I could actually make physical improvements and find a routine suitable for me. But I did and I want to share my fitness journey.

Photo via FlickrCC.

Surely, I am not the only person out there to have thought like I did. Most likely, there are some eager but cautious people out there who feel like the gym may be a waste of time for them. I thought that maybe the story of an average gym-going so-and-so such as I may encourage others to bite the bullet and embark on their own fitness routine. So, I have decided to start posting more insights into what I do to ensure my physical well-being. From time to time, I will post what I am currently doing exercise wise, anything I have learned which may worthwhile to others, and the different exercise options I have come across during my journey.

Phew, that was a very long-winded opening. Let’s consider it exercise for the fingers. Now, let’s get on with things. Here are my top 3 pieces of advice when starting a gym programme.

Only join a gym when you are good and ready. Gyms can be pretty expensive, depending on where you are located. Therefore, you really don’t want to pump a good chunk of your money into somewhere you might be lucky to step foot into just 5 times during the year. There are other ways to exercise, with plenty being free of charge, if you are not ready to commit yourself to the gym. Also, if you do make yourself to go simply because you feel you are wasting money, you may develop a negative relationship with exercise by forcefully visiting a place you really don’t want to be.

Build yourself up slowly. This ties in with setting up specific, manageable goals. You don’t have to attend the gym 6 days a week starting from the very first month of your membership. Neither do you have to spend 60 minutes on the treadmill at super speed or lift the heaviest weights each time you go. Start at a level you are most comfortable with and work yourself up from there. A good idea is to speak with one of the trainers and explain exactly what you are looking for from your gym sessions. They are the best qualified people to provide a programme most likely to work for you.

Try a few different things to find out what is most suitable for you. My current gym routine is a lot different to the one I had when I first joined Superfit back in September 2014. There were a lot of bumps on the way to find the machines/classes I needed that would help me reach my goal. For instance, most of my earlier workouts were confined to the gym floor, but now I get the workouts I need from the classes offered as I find they are most effective in working out the muscle groups I want.

Are you thinking about joining a gym or have you already a steadfast routine set in place? I would like to read your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. I wish I could afford the gym but I really can’t yet, I do an hour a day at home and have started building up muscle but the classes look really fun and motivational and some machines give you effects you really can’t do at home xx

    1. Yes, gyms can be very expensive. Luckily mine is just €18.50 a month. It is good that you have a home routine though. Most people would use not having membership as a poor excuse not to exercise.

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