Remember the emotional rollercoaster that was the first day at a new school or job? You didn’t recognise a soul, had no idea where to find anything, and couldn’t wait to get settled in and find your place.
The first day at a new gym, in a new fitness class or with a new personal trainer is similar — and playing your cards right on that first day (and leading up to it) can turn a sometimes daunting experience into a positive and constructive one. Here are the smart steps to take.
In the leadup
Sydney-based personal trainer Nadine Veverka says a little research can go a long way when you’re about to sign up, or turn up, to a new gym. “If there are any hidden nasties, i.e. filthy change rooms or foul smells, you will be sure to find them online with a simple search of reviews,” she says.
Make sure it’s the right one for you
“You need your gym to be conducive to your goals. If you are a post-natal woman looking to ease back in to gentle exercise, you want to ensure you don’t unwittingly sign yourself up to a male-dominant weightlifting cross-fit gym,” Veverka says.
The easiest way to do this is to visit the gym and ask staff for a quick tour before you go there for a session.
Watch: A true core workout as demonstrated by Paper Tiger. (Post continues after video.)
Find out about your trainer
The same goes for the person instructing you. If you’re investing in one-on-one training, make sure your money is going to someone who’s experienced, qualified in your fitness goals, and will suit your personality. Veverka recommends reading client testimonials or asking the trainer to put you in touch with any of their current clients.
Be certain you’re choosing the right class
Finding out exactly what class you’ve signed up, by asking your gym for a class guide, for will prevent any unpleasant surprises on the day.
“If you are totally uncoordinated, you don’t want to innocently wander in to a super complicated dance class. And similarly, if you enjoy jumping around busting out complicated moves, you don’t want to find yourself bored to tears in a zen-style yoga,” Veverka says.