Whether or not you have just signed up to the gym for the first time or a seasoned gym goer, signing up to a gym induction can be highly useful, contrary to what some people believe. 

Don’t panic if you think a gym induction is you getting yourself paraded in front of people who are in really good shape and starring at themselves in the mirror, this is far from the actual truth! We call this “gym induction nerves”.

Gym goers are just like you and guess what?…. They probably had a gym induction at some point too!

Now before you carry on reading, if you’re interested in taking your interest in fitness to a new level, go and check out OriGym’s L3 PT Diploma or download our course prospectus for more info. 

Also, feel free to download our FREE 16 Week Home Strength Training Programme before jumping in.

So, What is a Gym induction then?

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A gym induction is where you’ll be greeted by someone qualified to at least Level 2 fitness instructor if not someone who’s completed a personal trainer diploma to work with individual clients. They’ll show you around and show you how to use certain equipment and run through everything you need to know.

In this quick guide we will show you how to prepare for a gym induction, what happens in a gym induction and most importantly how to get the most out of it.

Let’s jump right in….

How to Prepare for a Gym Induction (Gym Induction Checklist)

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Whether you have just signed up for a gym induction at Pure Gym, The Gym Group or Virgin Active, they all work on the same premises and with OriGym’s gym induction checklist you can’t go wrong:

  • Water Bottle – Water bottle should be the first thing you pack in your gym bag, keeping hydrated when doing any form of exercise is essential.
  • Small Towel – Most gyms do not provide towels for free, make sure to pack one that is small enough to carry around with you for wiping down machines and yourself if needed.
  • Clothes – When thinking what to wear to a gym induction, try loose fitting clothes, preferably cotton, that allows your skin to breathe and is comfortable.
  • Eat – To prepare for a gym induction, try to eat 1-2 hours prior to exercising, preferably something that has a high concentration of carbohydrates e.g. pasta
  • Questions – This is your time to ask questions to qualified fitness professionals, so feel free to pre-empt some prior to attending your gym induction.
  • Trainers – You may have bought a new set of trainers for the gym, but ensure they are comfortable, fit for purpose and support your joints. What to wear for a gym induction
  • Notepad – Gym inductions can overwhelm you with information, taking a notepad and pen into the gym and jotting down the odd note on how to work a cross trainer for example is perfectly acceptable.
  • Positive Attitude – Gym inductions are here for you to get gym familiar and to support your integration. You will get more out of it if you’re positive and upbeat! 

What will happen on a Gym Induction? (STEP-BY-STEP) 

Below is a step-by-step timeline of what will happen on a gym induction and what to expect. Do note, that gym inductions may vary from gym to gym, but take it from someone who has conducted hundreds of them at different brands, they tend to follow the same pattern.

STEP 1 – Meet, Greet & Tour – 10 minutes

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What to expect from a gym induction can vary slightly from gym to gym, but normally you will arrive at the gym and be greeted by either a receptionist or trainer and asked to wait until the individual leading your induction is ready for you.

When they’re free, they will normally give you a tour of the gym facilities to show you what the gym has to offer, where to go for what type of training and what help and support you will get from different departments.

STEP 2 – Health & Safety – 5 minutes

During your tour round the facilities, a number of health and safety points are covered which includes, where the fire exits are, whom to contact in the need for first aid and where fire escapees are located. 

STEP 3 – Pre- Exercise Questionnaire – 5 Minutes

It is a legal requirement of gyms for all members to have completed a pre-exercise questionnaire before commencing exercise. This is like a mini disclaimer form where you declare your medical history, similar to this one:

Gym Induction

They may also ask you to fill in a “fitness goals form”, which is where you will fill in a quick survey in order to help the trainer customise the fitness induction more around your aspirations. Normally a fitness goals form will ask the following questions?

  • What is your fitness goal?
  • When do you want to achieve it by?
  • Why is this goal important to you?
  • What equipment do you enjoy using?
  • Have you been a member of the gym or a gym before? 

This gives the trainer leading the gym induction a quick and brief overview of why you have signed up to the gym and they can spend a little more focus on equipment that may be more benefical to you.

If you’re intrigued by fitness careers, learn about the highest-paying jobs in the fitness industry.

STEP 4 –  Cardio Equipment – 20 Minutes

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Cardio equipment may seem the easiest to use, but they actually can be the trickiest for new gym members. During your gym induction your trainer will show you how to get on and off equipment correctly, show you how to change the settings, input data and operate the apparatus safely. 

Cardio equipment differs from gym to gym, but your typical commercial gym will include: 

  • Treadmill
  • Cross Trainer
  • Rower
  • Arm Cycle
  • Bike
  • Stair Climber

Trainers normally give advice at this stage to how long and what intensity to use the equipment on based on your goals that you highlighted on your “goal form” and against your current fitness levels.

STEP 5 – Resistance Equipment – 20 Minutes

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During the gym induction process trainers largely focus on fixed resistance equipment (machines) as opposed to free weights. This is because there are literally thousands of m movements and exercising that you can perform with free weights, whereas machines generally have one purpose per machine.

PRO TIP: Even as a qualified trainer of 14 years, I would still get a quick demonstration from a trainer when entering a new gym with a brand of equipment I am unfamiliar, so you’re not alone. 

The gym trainer will show you what machines is developed to target which muscle group, how to change the resistance and how perform repetitions safely and with good form.

Normally at this stage they will then give you some tips and advice on the number of reps and sets you should do based on your goals and the purpose as to why you want to utilise resistance equipment.

Step 6 – Cover Gym Etiquette: What is Gym Etiquette though?

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Another aspect to what happens at a gym induction is covering of gym etiquette. Gym etiquette is just how you should behaviour towards other gym members, staff and equipment during your time in the gym.

It’s basically a huge list of what to do and not to do and is generally printed somewhere on the gym floor. Trainers as part of their gym induction process will cover the basics of gym etiquette with you.

The most common gym etiquette’s that go across most gyms are: 

  1. Wipe down machines after use
  2. Put equipment back for other gym members to use
  3. Do not hold multiple pieces of equipment at busy times
  4. Do not use foul and abusive language
  5. Lower equipment down safely
  6. Ask to borrow equipment from other members 

In truth, as long as you’re mindful of other gym members you won’t have any issues with gym, etiquette!

Important Gym Induction FAQs

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1. Do I have to have a gym Induction?

In one word….No!

If you feel gym friendly, are a seasoned trainer or even if you just feel terrified of having a gym induction, no you don’t have one. Gym inductions are not a legal requirement anymore, they are just there to give members guidance and support. 

PRO TIP: Even if you have been a member for years before at one gym and then move to another, don’t be afraid to ask for help as all equipment works differently.

2. If I had a gym induction at Pure Gym for example, will that differ from a gym induction at another gym?

Yes! The structure of a gym induction is bespoke to each individual brand. That being said, they are normally designed to follow a very similar structure.

3. How long does a gym induction last?

Gym inductions normally last on average for an hour, but they can be shorter or slightly longer.

PRO TIP: After completing your fitness induction, put what you have learned into practice and give the equipment a go with very light weights at a pace that suits you. 

4. How to book a Gym Induction? 

Most National gym chains have an online booking form where you can book your gym induction in coherence to your diary or you can do it by booking it through a receptionist or kiosk on site. 

5. How much is a gym induction?

Gym inductions at virtually all facilities are free, but not exclusively. This depends on the gym you have signed up to. Some gyms, normally Leisure centres will charge for gym indcutions and they can cost up to £30 for the hour of the personal trainers’ time.


Before You Go! 

Gym inductions are a great way to meet the trainers, learn the basics in the presence of a personal trainer and give you the confidence to step foot in the gym without feeling nervous. The gym is a fun environment, but only when you are getting results and know what you’re doing, this all starts with the gym induction process.

Interested in becoming a Personal Trainer yourself? Go check out our Personal Training Diploma or download our latest prospectus to find out more! 

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About the Author: Luke Hughes

luke hughes origym authour
Luke is the Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.

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