Excited about the new gym membership because you are about to embark on a new life of fitness and being awesome, you step through the doors and see a vast array of workout machines and equipment.
You take a moment to pause and think "What should I try first?"
"Maybe I'll go do the things I am familiar with... the elliptical or treadmill."
You're there for a while; like 7 minutes. It gets a little boring. Then you go to the lateral pull down device, because that looks simple enough.
Next you try what he's trying. Maybe throw in a few dumbbell curls, because guns are nice.
You mill around for a while and try not to spend too much time figuring out any one machine. After all, you don't want to get in anyone's way or look too "noob" for not knowing how to change the settings or weights. Then you leave.
This was how I approached going to the gym starting out.
This will make it much more difficult to be successful.
Not having a focused plan when you head in, can leave you wandering around aimless. Here are some tips to get started.
1) Create a plan. I have a worksheet HERE to help you get started. (Or you could find a fitness trainer who can help you design a plan.)
2) Ask someone to show you at least one machine each time you go in until you know all the machines.
3) Decide why you are there: build muscle? build endurance? meet people? cross train? Your activities need to reflect what your goals are to help you meet your goals.
4) People at the gym are nice. I have a bad habit of being afraid of bothering people. (Like my presence or question is going to annoy them. ) Just smile and be friendly and you'll find most people are pretty nice.