Visiting the gym for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Not only do you have to get comfortable swimming in sweat, you also have to manage any embarrassment that comes with working out in front of strangers. Read on for my tips on navigating your first gym session.

Remember that you’re not out of place

In the gym, you’ll find a surprising array of people. Of course, you’ll see bodybuilders and protein shakers but you’ll also find casual visitors and newbies more suited to your level. There’s no need to feel out of place and inadequate in the gym.

Pick a quiet time

When you’re first getting used to the gym it might be best to visit at a quiet time. First of all, you’ll feel less embarrassed if there are fewer prying eyes. Finding a machine will also be more straightforward and you can take more time to practice with the machine.

Don’t work too hard

Hard work pays. It’s what the gym’s for. But don’t work yourself too hard in your first session. The road to fitness is long and winding and leaving the gym completely depleted of resources won’t encourage you to return.

Balance your workout

They say variety is the spice of life. Try mixing up your cardio work with some strength training. You’ll get a greater overall benefit from doing so.

Take an experienced friend

Sometimes the equipment can be complicated, you won’t have any idea what a good workout looks like and you don’t really know how much you can handle. An experienced friend can provide answers to all those questions. After all, they were once in the same position. You really don’t want to look like these guys:

*WARNING: video contains varying degrees of pain and humiliation*