Getting Started at Anytime Fitness: Our Guide to Making Healthy Happen

Congratulations on taking the first step to becoming a fitter, healthier version of yourself! Whether you’ve been a gym member before or it’s your first time joining one, you’re in the right place. Here, you’ll find like-minded folks who are striving to simply be better than they were last week. Welcome to the Anytime Fitness family!

You might be wondering, “What are the next steps?” Maybe you’re feeling a little intimidated if you’re new to the scene. Fret not, you’re in good company! Read on for all the information you need on making the most of your new membership. We’re so excited to make healthy happen with you!

Our Complimentary Fitness Consultation

Just like every workout has a warm-up, every journey has a starting point! How can you raise the bar without knowing where the bar started at? That’s why Anytime Fitness offers a free fitness consultation and Get Started plan to all of our new members. Set up a consultation with your club manager, coach or personal trainer to work on or set your fitness goals. What’s the most important thing you aim to achieve? Do you want to build muscle? Lose body fat? Get in the habit of working out four days of the week? Find the best workout for your ability and body type? Whatever the case, the more detailed your goals are, the better chance you have of crossing that finish line.

You can think of your Get Started plan as a workout program for your first few weeks at the gym. Once you’re feeling more confident with your gym habit and workout routine, you can chat with a personal trainer about branching out. 

Feeling shy? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Your AF managers and trainers are eager to help you, so put your mind at ease. They’re excited to answer any questions you have, raise the bar on your health goals, help you make a plan, and see you the next time you come in to use it!

Get to Know Your Gym

Feeling at home in a new gym area can be a challenge. Cardio machines and weight machines stare you in the face, with an array of knobs, levers, pins, incline options and buttons. Don’t let that deter you from tackling them head-on! Your club manager and trainer are more than happy to help you learn how to use your new equipment to the best of its potential. You can also research weight and cardio machine demo videos from the convenience of your computer! With a little research, and a little help from your club staff, you’ll be incorporating machines into your workout routine in no time.

Does your club offer fitness classes? Find out! Group fitness can be an amazing form of accountability community, and they’re just plain fun! Some locations offer classes like yoga sculpt, Zumba, bootcamps, and boxing. Many also offer small group training or Team workout sessions. Group training sessions, or Team workouts, are a great way to meet people at the gym, and have an instructor who keeps their clients accountable. It’s also a great way to learn proper form, build muscle, and learn to use more gym equipment like free weights.

Login to the Anytime App

It’s easy to be motivated while you’re in the gym, but what about the other 23 hours of the day? You know the case…you do really well all day long, and then you get home from a long day of work, and it all goes downhill from there. Willpower can only take you so far; you need to set yourself up for success 24/7!

Our Anytime Fitness app is the perfect companion to your healthy lifestyle. Here, you’re able to track gym visits, log your exercise and daily activity and plan your workouts! You’ll also be able to connect with your coach, and build a full-body workout with our library of movements and exercises.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with all the tools, it’s go-time. You’re armed with the best people and tools to succeed. And remember – you’re with people just like you!

Check out Coach Care Connect

Coach. Care. Connect. is our online information hub full of all your questions and all our answers about physical activity, recovery, strength training, progress, plateaus, and just about everything else you need to know to make healthy happen. We offer nutrition support backed by scientific studies, workout routines based on specific areas you’re targeting or different pieces of equipment, and articles on all the new health trends you might have questions about. 

For example, here’s a few articles to get you started.

  • The 25-Minute Bodyweight Workout You Can Do On Your Lunch Break: We said we’d support you inside and outside of the gym! This workout is entirely composed of bodyweight exercises, so you can do it anywhere. It’ll work all your major muscle groups and help you build muscle, even in the office!
  • Elliptical or Treadmill: Which Cardio Machine Is Best? We’re here to end the argument! This article digs into the age-old cardio debate between treadmills and ellipticals, taking incline into consideration, and helps you figure out which is better for your knees and joints.
  • How To Effectively Foam Roll Your Upper Body & Lower Body: Want to try foam rolling but not sure where to start? We’ll teach you how to foam roll all the muscle groups in your lower and upper body.
  • The Ultimate 15-Minute Beginner Arm Workout: If you have questions about strength training and free weights but want to learn more, this workout is for you! You’ll strengthen your shoulders, chest, and arm muscle group, using barbells and dumbbells – no bench press required!
  • 10 Single-Serve Desserts That Will Curb Your Calorie Cravings and Keep You On Track: Aiming to eat a little better, or a lot better? These recipes will help you enjoy your favorite flavors, with less volume and fewer calories.
  • The Anatomy of a Perfect Lunge: You’ve probably done lunges before. But are you doing them correctly? We’re here to help you find out!

Make Your Plan

Whether you like the repetition of doing the same workout in order every single day, or prefer to change it up, there’s a lot of benefits to having a fitness plan to focus your energy on. That way you know the first thing to start with when you arrive at the gym. Of course, make sure you talk to your doctor about any serious health conditions you may have before getting started.

If you’re a runner, walker, or someone who generally prefers cardio sessions at the gym, you’re probably pretty familiar with the equipment you need. While you may want a weekly plan to change up your cardio habit with resistance, incline and intensity, you can also just get on and go! (After you warm up, of course.) However, if you’re looking to build muscle, you’ll want a process for working certain muscle groups, so you can track your growth!

If you enjoy strength training, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the equipment at the gym, like the bench press, squat rack, dumbbells and barbells. That way you can build your workout program around the equipment available to you. If strength training and building muscle mass is your main source of physical activity, you’ll probably take the approach of working different muscle groups each day: for instance, working your chest, then legs, then back and shoulders, with core movements sprinkled throughout. Some pro lifters will even work specific muscles each day, like quads or abs, but that kind of exercise routine is pretty advanced. 

If it’s your first time strength training or if it’s been a long time, welcome and welcome back! There are a ton of benefits to this great workout, like reducing your body fat, decreasing the risk of injury and increasing muscle gains. As you begin this new exercise routine, you don’t need to work different muscle groups on different days just yet. For the first few weeks, you can focus on working your entire body, learning the movements and using proper form, to make sure you’re protecting your knees and joints. And there’s no need to be intimidated by the heavy weights – strength training can be composed of familiar exercises like lunges, and still help you reach your goal of building muscle mass!

Whatever your muscle movements are, whether you’re doing barbell rows or chest presses, you also want to think about reps, sets and circuits. Reps is short for repetitions, or how many times the exercise is performed. Sets is an easy one – it refers to how many times you perform a certain number of reps. For example, many traditional workout plans are based around performing 8-12 reps of an exercise three times, or for three sets. Then, a circuit is the order in which you perform different sets of different exercises. There are lots of different ways to build circuits – for example, you could perform several different leg exercises, then finish with a round of abs, or you could intersperse core exercises into your leg day. We recommend rearranging the order of your movements a few times, to see what kind of circuit works best for you. If you end up with an order you don’t like, there’s always next time!

While 8-12 reps is a traditional starting number, that might be a lot for some people, and there’s no rule for how many reps you have to perform. Some people like to perform until failure – this sounds scary, but failure just means your muscles have reached their limit, and can’t perform the rep properly anymore. If muscle failure is intimidating, try performing a rep for 30 seconds. If that feels OK, maybe try 45 seconds, or 60. This can help you test out the right intensity and number of reps for you. Once you master that number, you can progressively start to increase reps, or even increase the weight, bit by bit. That’s how you’ll know your muscles are growing!

There’s some important information to remember outside of the gym when you start a new workout plan, whether that’s for strength training, cardio or both. Primarily, that rest days and recovery are really important! No matter how excited you are about seeing growth from your hard work, nonstop action isn’t actually the best way to get there. It’s just a fact! Getting enough sleep at night is one part of recovery, but recovery is an active process that doesn’t just happen at night. If you don’t break up your workout plan with rest days, you risk injuries, lose energy, and plateau. Our advice may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s just a fact: taking a moment to rest can have as many benefits as hitting the gym.

Let’s Make Healthy Happen!

Whatever your workout plan is: whether you work out once a week or every day, whether you run, lift or do a combination of both, whether you consider yourself pretty active or just getting started, we’re here for you. We’re so excited to have you joining our gyms, and we can’t wait to make healthy happen with you, at your pace and on your schedule.

When you join Anytime Fitness, you’re not just joining a gym – you’re joining a community. A community of like-minded individuals who are there to reach their goals, and help you reach yours, too. Between our certified personal trainers, awesome club staff and welcoming environment, we want you to feel like we’re on your side and ready to cheer you on, every step of the way. We keep our gyms open 24/7 for your convenience, and have over 4,700 locations worldwide that your purple key fob lets you access, so that you’ll never be too far from us. No matter what your schedule is, you can always make healthy happen at Anytime Fitness!

And last but not least, welcome to the family!

We’re excited to have you with us.

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