We spoke to 10 of our Bo+Tee student ambassadors about their top tips when it comes to starting your new university or college campus gym. Starting a new gym anywhere can feel overwhelming but once you’ve got your bearings and you’re in a new routine trust us; it’ll feel like second nature.
Make sure to check out our #boandteesociety to find out more about our loyal student community. By becoming part of our society, you’ll benefit from exclusive offers, discounts and insider information. We’ll be providing you with everything from styling hacks to workout tips and more.
But for now, keep scrolling below to find out more about how you can look and feel your best in the gym, and the ultimate confidence boosters when it comes to working out somewhere new…
Tip 1: Time of day - go at 11am/2pm if you don’t like a busy gym!! Lectures are on at these times so typically the gym is more empty and there will be less waiting times for equipment, and you’ll feel more comfortable finding your feet!
Tip 2: Go with a friend!! A great way to build friendships at uni, and the gym can be so much less intimidating when you’re sharing the experience with someone else!
Tip 3: Have a plan!! Decide what you’re gonna do BEFORE you go in, this way you know what equipment you need, and don’t end up standing there like a lemon.
Tip 4: Have alternatives for every exercises in case that piece of equipment/ machine is taken.
Tip 5: Music - this will change the game.
Tip 6: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t know how to manoeuvre a piece of equipment.
Tip 7: Remember everyone is focused on themselves.
Tip 8: Don’t be scared of the weights section!!
Tip 9: Always start with compound movements (exercises that use more then 1 muscle group e.g squats, hip thrusts, deadlifts).
Tip 10: Do your research before starting a new gym - book a gym tour so you can explore the equipment, check the gym etiquette (some gyms have DOs and DON’Ts) and get a feel for the place!
Tip 11: Stick to one area of the gym. You could do an entire workout in one corner of the gym using a bench and dumbbells for example.
Tip 12: Fake it til you make it! Nobody else knows you’re a newbie - so act the part and chances are you’ll start feeling the part too!
Tip 13: Pre gym snacking and hydration – this is just as important as actually doing a workout!! Going to the gym having no water or food can leave you feeling weak or dizzy which is often mistaken as being unfit, but I promise it’s just because you have no energy. Food is your FUEL!
Tip 14: Try something new – most gyms, especially university gyms, put on an array of classes from jazzercise to yoga, spin classes to street dance. They’re a great way to get yourself to the gym, build confidence and meet new people!
Tip 15: Don’t be afraid of failure – I guarantee your favourite fitfluencers have failed on a number of occasions. Sometimes the weight doesn’t go up, sometimes we drop it, sometimes our form isn’t perfect, sometimes we walk into the equipment. Everyone has been a beginner and made mistakes and failed at some point in their journeys, so don’t be afraid to do this and learn from it.
Tip 16: Focus on your form over weight! Don't be embarrassed to do light weight when you first start out, you can't expect to walk up to the squat rack and be able to squat 100kg straight away. Don't let your ego get the better of you!
Tip 17: Find what works best for you and what you feel comfortable with. Just because you see fitness influencers weight lifting or doing cross fit doesn't mean that you need to! Find something you enjoy doing and something that you are likely to stick with long term.
Tip 18: View exercise as a privilege to do, a privilege that you can move your body and actually exercise. Be grateful for where you are right now, love and accept your body for how it is now and have a clear view of what you want your goals to be in the future.
Tip 19: Start now! The gymtimidation won’t go away until you face it. If you go in with the right mindset and ready to make mistakes, it can be so much fun to be a beginner!
Tip 20: Get in the zone. Your workout will feel so much nicer if you hype yourself up with a cute set you feel good in and your favourite playlist!!
Tip 21: Don’t go crazy!! It can be tempting to feel self-conscious and lift super heavy but you’ll see the best progress if you choose a weight you can lift with good form and work to build on it every workout.
Tip 22: Wear a cute gym outfit - this will make you feel more confident & like you can take on the world.
Tip 23: Bring some earphones so that you can zone out & forget the people around you, to concentrate on your workout.
Tip 24: If you get stuck or lost throughout, ask a PT for advice or directions on how to find equipment or complete an exercise.
Tip 25: Goal setting. Set short term goals, which will help you reach your long term end goal.
Tip 26: Start by going in for short periods of time e.g. 15mins on the treadmill. Then slowly build it up.
Tip 27: Celebrate every small achievement, whether that’s entering the gym or doing a gym class or hitting a new PB!
Tip 28: You’re never the only new person at a gym (especially uni gym), there’s always other people in the same boat as you.
Tip 29: If it’s your first time at a new gym do a workout that you’re very comfortable doing.
Tip 30: Wear a gym outfit that you love and feel comfortable in.
Make sure you check out our all-new #boandteesociety page, you can even apply to become one of our ambassadors! As always, remember to tag us @boandtee and show us how you style your workout looks - you might even feature in our ‘Tagged in Bo+Tee’ story!