First day at the gym: see tips for starting workouts

The decision to start the gym is an important step in the life of those who want to lose weight, gain lean mass or just exercise their body to stay healthy.

Regardless of the objective, physical exercise brings several health benefits, such as increasing the disposition for daily tasks and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Before starting the first workout there may be doubts, in addition to some points of attention so that everything happens in the best possible way

Tips: how to prepare for the first day of gym?

The first day of the gym can be challenging, but with a good preparation there is nothing to worry about.

Some tips like what clothes to wear, how to behave and at what time to train are important and can help those who made the decision to start physical activity.

Among the main tips are:

Wear suitable clothing

The performance of physical exercises requires clothes that facilitate the movement of the body. For this, it is worth betting on clothes that are not too loose and that allow the skin to breathe.

In general, good alternatives for the bottom piece are: leggings, sweatpants or tactel shorts.

They allow good circulation of the body, in addition to being relatively tight, which prevents clothing from getting tangled in the appliances, for example.

As for the upper garment, the ideal is light shirts, which absorb sweat quickly, so that the clothes do not remain wet. One fabric option is Dri-fit.

In addition, socks and sneakers should also be chosen carefully.

A good option is to use cotton socks, as they absorb sweat and attenuate the friction of the fabric with the skin.

As for shoes, the ideal is to use gym shoes, made for the practice of activities that require cushioning and protection of the feet.

Take it easy

The first days at the gym will be those in which the body will adapt to the new exercise routine.

Even for those who have already gone to the gym one day, it is important not to force the intensity of activities at the beginning.

This is because, when performing intense exercises without the body being accustomed, there is a greater possibility of bruising in the muscles or joints.

Thus, the most indicated is to do light activities and increase the intensity, gradually, only under the guidance of the responsible teacher.

Discover the devices

Knowing how the devices work is essential for a good workout.

Therefore, before carrying out an exercise on a device, ask teachers how it works and the correct way to use it.

Thus, in general, there is less chance of injury due to incorrect exercise.

In addition, knowing the function of each device can help you understand what are the best options for your goal in the gym.

Avoid peak times

If the person has never attended a gym, there may be some embarrassment when performing activities in public for the first time.

For this to not happen, it is worth avoiding peak hours, that is, those in which the place has a greater volume of people.

With less flow of people it is generally more comfortable to concentrate on activities and, in general, teachers can dedicate more attention to each student.

In addition, at the beginning, it is normal for there to be difficulties in performing some exercises, and for the person to do them more slowly.

In periods when the gym is full, there is sometimes a need to take turns between the devices.

If there is a queue to use, it can make the person uncomfortable and make them unable to complete the training effectively.

Thus, it is worth checking with the gym what is the best time to perform the training.

Drink water

Hydrating the body is important to keep the body healthy. Drinking water during training is essential to maintain a good performance during activities.

When performing physical exercises, water and minerals are lost through sweating. Thus, it is necessary to replace these nutrients so that the body continues to function properly.

If intake is not made, performance during training generally decreases, as dehydration reduces muscle strength and can even cause dizziness .

In general, it is recommended to drink about 200mL of water every 20 minutes of training. This amount is sufficient to control heart rate, reduce tiredness and regulate body temperature.

Is it normal to feel pain after the first day at the gym?

-Yeah . It is normal for parts of the body to be slightly sore after the first day of training. This is because if the person has not previously performed physical activities or has been away for a while, the muscles of the body are not used to the exercises.

However, it is worth noting that it is not the pain that determines the effectiveness of an activity. That is, it is possible to lose weight or gain mass without necessarily feeling that discomfort after the activity.

The pain that occurs after exercise is called Late Onset Muscle Pain (DMIT) , also known as next-day pain. In general, it usually appears about 24 hours after physical activity.

It occurs because, when performing activities in the gym, the muscle tissues worked undergo microlesions, causing pain.

In response, the body initiates an inflammatory process in the region, which aims to regenerate the tissue.

It is at this point that repair cells act on the spot and the muscle gets stronger. This, because the repair promotes the increase of the tissue so that it supports the intensity of the exercises in case the person comes to repeat them, the so-called hypertrophy.

However, it is worth mentioning that the pain is only normal if it is tolerable. If the person feels very severe pain, it is important to see a doctor, as an injury may have occurred.

How to relieve the pain of the first days of the gym?

Gym pains usually disappear after the first week of training. Despite this, there are some precautions that can be taken to relieve discomfort during this period, such as stretching and placing hot water compresses on the spot.

The main actions are:

Stretch

Stretching before and after training is essential so that muscle pain is not as severe.

However, if the pain is already present, stretching during the day can be a good option in relieving discomfort.

This practice stimulates blood flow in the region and helps to reduce the feeling of stiffness caused by exercise.

ice bag

Right after the exercise, an alternative is the application of an ice pack in the places of pain, for a period of time between 15 and 20 minutes.

Cold causes vasoconstriction, that is, the contraction of blood vessels. This helps to relieve inflammation, relax your muscles and decrease swelling, if any.

It should be used within 48 hours after exercising. After this period, the ideal is to apply hot water compresses.

Hot water compress

Hot water compresses can help relieve muscle pain.

They work by dilating the vessels and stimulating blood flow. This causes attenuation of the inflammatory process and relaxation of the muscles.

In general, it is recommended that the temperature of the compress is high, but bearable. In addition, the time of use is until the water cools down.

However, it is noteworthy that they should not be used right after exercising, but only after 48 hours of training.

To rest

Allowing the body to rest is one of the best ways to make the pain disappear quickly.

When performing an exercise, the muscles suffer minor injuries that need to be repaired. This repair takes time and that is why it is important not to perform the same workout in a row, alternating the group of muscles exercised.

For example, if the training done on Monday moved certain muscle groups in the arm, the ideal is that the next day exercises are performed that act on other tissues in that region or on muscles in other parts of the body, such as the legs.

This gives the body time to work on recovering muscle tissue before injuring it again.

Eat protein-rich foods

Food, although it does not directly decrease pain, is an important point in the practice of exercises, as it helps in muscle repair.

Therefore, after performing a workout, it is always worth eating foods that help the body recover from the effort made.

An example are proteins , which help to accelerate the regeneration of muscle tissues, in addition to being a source of energy replacement.

What to eat in the first days of the gym?

Maintaining a balanced diet is important for the proper functioning of the body. In the first days of the gym, it is even more relevant to eat nutritious foods that help you recover from the exercises done during training, since the body is usually not used to the effort.

In general, for those who just want to improve performance during activities, it is worth investing in carbohydrate-rich foods, which will help provide energy for training.

If the objective is hypertrophy, that is, the increase of muscle mass, the ideal is to intensify the proteins in the food, which will help in the strengthening of the muscles.

Despite this, regardless of the purpose, a balanced diet for a good workout, in general, consists of:

Before the training

Before performing a physical exercise, it is important to eat, so that the body absorbs nutrients that can assist in the performance of the training. A good option is carbohydrates .

One of the functions of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body. Thus, it is worth including some of these foods in the daily routine, especially before the gym.

This is because they will serve as fuel for the body to perform activities more efficiently.

Among the foods that can be eaten are:

  • Sweet potato;
  • Whole grain bread;
  • Chestnuts;
  • Peanut;
  • Fruit;
  • Lentil;
  • Whole grains.

It is worth mentioning that there are 2 types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

The simple ones are those quickly digested by the body, as they have a high glycemic index – the speed with which the carbohydrate reaches the bloodstream.

Complexes are those that are slowly digested by the body and have a low glycemic index.

When consuming before training, always prefer the complexes. This is because, when they are digested slowly, they release energy gradually to the body, providing enough energy during the performance of all exercises.

After the training

After training, the body needs to recover from the exercises done and food can assist in this process. In that case, a good alternative is to consume proteins.

Proteins are responsible for muscle regeneration and integrity. Therefore, it is important to add them to the diet in the first days of the gym.

It is worth mentioning that there is a difference between protein intake for people who want to gain muscle mass and for those who do not have this goal.

For those who perform a normal workout, according to the Brazilian Society of Exercise and Sport Medicine (SBME), the ideal daily amount to be ingested is approximately 1.2 grams per kilogram of weight, per day.

For those looking for hypertrophy, it is recommended to eat between 1.6 to 1.7g / kg of protein daily, or as advised by nutritionists.

The indicated is to make the consumption after the training, so that its properties assist in the recovery of the body.

Among the best sources of protein, some foods that can be eaten are:

  • Eggs;
  • Chicken;
  • Fish;
  • Cheeses;
  • Skimmed milk;
  • Natural yogurt.

How are the exercises on the first day of the gym?

The first day at the gym usually serves for the student to know the devices and how to do the correct movements.

Thus, especially for those who have never trained, the exercises are done with a small load and small repetitions, so that the body gets used to it.

Generally, some aerobic exercise is recommended for warm-up, such as walking on the treadmill or exercise bike, for about 10 to 15 minutes.

After that, the first devices are usually focused on muscle strengthening and improving fitness.

It is worth remembering that although they are sometimes similar, the activities in the gym vary according to the purpose of each person, so they can vary on the first day.

In general, the responsible teacher will develop a personalized training for each person, respecting the physical characteristics and also the objectives.

Thus, if the goal is weight loss, aerobic exercises and weight training , for example , can be combined .

If the objective is muscle gain, the focus will be on exercises that contribute to the strengthening and definition of the musculature.


Exercising your body is essential to keeping your body healthy, and working out at the gym is a good option for that.

However, just as starting a new activity usually causes some doubts, and the first day of training is no different.

Despite this, with good preparation and information, there is nothing to worry about.

Want to know more about life fitness and health ? The Healthy Minute has other complete content on the subject for you! Read more and stay informed.

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