Summer Trends and Where to Buy Them

With summer here, it’s time to start developing your wardrobe to incorporate some new season trends.  The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good. Here’s some of the best summer trends and where to shop for them.

Pastel Colours

Sugary sweet shades are the hue of the season, with lilac, pink, blue and green becoming a firm favourite on the catwalks. Lilac, in particular, is set for a major comeback.

Where to Shop: Boohoo. This online giant has a section entirely dedicated to pastels. You’ll find flared trousers, bodycon dresses and crop tops galore.

Power Shorts

Channel your inner sass with a pair of power shorts. They’re perfectly tailored and look like they belong with a suit jacket. Team them with a slogan tee or dress them for the evening with a cami top.

Where to Shop: Zara. This Spanish retailer has the best selection of shorts, whether you’re looking for plain or a print.

Sequins

Summer is the festival season, and this year it’s all about the sequins. Sequin dresses, sequin shorts, sequin tops – be creative!

Where to Shop: Pretty Little Thing. The brand is known for their affordable clothing and they’re currently killing it with their sequin selection!

Fringing

Cowboy vibes are in. Fringing is being added to everything – skirts, trousers, jackets. You can make it as wearable or as bold as you’d like.

Where to Shop: Missguided. Whether you’re embracing the Western trend or just want something a bit different for a night out, they have the fringing for you.

Checks

Checks aren’t going anywhere. Checked trousers have been all over Instagram for the majority of Spring and now it’s all about check shorts. Or check anything!

Where to Shop: Topshop. Our fave high-street hero has a check print for every occasion.

Bold Colours

Go bold this season with the brightest colours you can find. Think pink trouser suits, green jackets and yellow dresses.

Where to Shop: ASOS. With a pick of all the best brands, this is our go-to spot for any major trend.

 

Selfridges Trafford Centre Set to Become the Ultimate Beauty Destination

The branch of Selfridges at the Trafford Centre is set to become the UK’s ultimate beauty destination following a makeover. The beauty department has doubled in size, taking over the ground floor of the store in Manchester. The expansion has also introduced some exclusive beauty brands to Selfridges’ customer base, some of which have never been available in the UK before. This includes the highly-anticipated launch of Anastasia Beverly Hills within a UK store and a permanent Huda Beauty concession. Some of the most popular existing brands such as MAC and Nars have gotten bigger counters.

The work is still being undertaken and will be fully unveiled in September this year. It is expected that there will be counters for Natasha Denona, By Terry, Lime Crime, Hourglass and Le Labo when the launch is complete – these brands are all exclusive to Selfridges and can currently be purchased on the Selfridges website. When the work is complete in September, the Trafford Beauty Hall will be over 20,000 sq foot with 170 brands – 80 new and 25 which are exclusive to Selfridges in the UK. This will make the store the biggest Beauty Hall outside of London with over 25,000 different products to choose from. A programme of events is taking place in June to celebrate the first part of the expansion.

The Beauty Hall isn’t the only part of the store getting an exciting makeover. The children’s department is being expanded to include a baby gifting section which will house the popular online brand My 1st Years, which is known for personalising gifts. The womenswear range has moved to the upper floor and has got its fair share of new brands including Ivy Park and Zadig & Voltaire. A new personal shopping suite is also set to launch soon, as is an improved accessories department.

So, what products should you buy from the new brands at Selfridges? Here are some of the hero products that everyone talks about…

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Dipbrow Pomade

Anastasia Beverly Hills is a cult brand known firstly for its eyebrow products before it took the world by storm with eyeshadow palettes and face products. The brand, affectionally known as ABH, launched their Dipbrow pomade several years ago – a then unique formula which has been emulated by other brands ever since. Dipbrow Pomade is a buildable waterproof matte product which fills in your eyebrows and leaves them looking perfect – all you have to do is brush in hair strokes with an angled brush. The formula comes in many different shades to suit all hair colours.

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette

Huda Beauty is the brand behind Instagram makeup goddess Huda Kattan. With millions of followers around the world, her products quickly become coveted and in particular, her gorgeous eyeshadow palettes. The first palette, the Rose Gold palette has just been re-launched, but it was the jewel tones of the second palette, Desert Dusk, which captured the attention of the beauty world as it was so clearly influenced by Huda’s native the Middle East and the stunning landscapes that surround it.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass is a brand which has been working quietly behind the scenes to produce great products, whilst letting other brands take the spotlight – but now it is their turn to shine in the UK.  One hero product is the Veil Mineral Primer which provides a flawless canvas for your foundation with SPF 15 protection. It works to reduce redness and the appearance of pores and it won’t sink into fine lines.

Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Matte Lipstick

Long before matte liquid lipsticks were the done thing, there was Lime Crime Velvetines. The product takes inspiration from roses and this is reflected in the packaging. The lipstick is available in several different colours from browny nudes to deep reds. The formula is designed to be like velvet, with a highly pigmented finish that lasts all day, even after eating and drinking.

By Terry Light Expert Click Brush Foundation

By Terry’s products are perfect for mature skin. The Light Expert foundation can help you turn back the clock, thanks to the seven anti-ageing ingredients it contains. The foundation is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid which helps to cover imperfections and plump up skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. The foundation has a built in brush which means even make-up newbies can enjoy a flawless base.

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

Le Labo is a unique brand as it can tailor fragrances to you. However, the most popular of its fragrances is Santal 33, a spicy, leathery, musky fragrance with notes of iris, violet and ambrox. It is a unisex scent which can smell totally different depending on the individual.

Asda £99 fuel authorisation charge causes customer outrage

Asda card only petrol station

Asda has come under blast on social media as it recently had started to charge a £99 ‘deposit’ on top of the normal charges for the fuel that have topped up at the Asda pay at the pump.

Asda stated that the £99 additional charge was to ensure the customers would have enough money to pay for a whole tank of fuel. They also stated that the £99 charge would not actually leave your bank account as long as the correct value is paid and that it is just supposed to cut down fraud. Asda said that the whole purpose of Visa and MasterCard in this trial was to make sure customers had adequate funds in their account to pay for the whole tank of fuel and that the £99 would be immediately released back into the customer’s bank account.

The trial was only active in 3 petrol stations in the north-west but it was quickly put on hold when customers took to social media to complain about the funds not being put back into their account immediately and that they were left out of pocket after filling up their tank at an Asda petrol station.

This change is due to an industry rule change that requires petrol stations that have automates fuel pumps to pre-authorise a value that is equivalent to a full tank of fuel. In the past fuel customers only had £1 extra taken from their accounts as a pre-authorisation fee to ensure their card is valid. The £99 charge has caused so much outrage due to the fact that no matter how much you will fill up your tank whether it be £5 or £5o you will still be momentarily (some say it did not come back into their account for 2-3 days) charged £99 leaving some customers with no available funds.

You can dodge this temporary charge by using the kiosk at Asda stations to pay for your petrol instead of the pay at the pump stations. The trial has currently been put on hold but you should check with Asda before you start using the pay at the pump stations if you do not have £99 to spare when filling up your tank.

How Will Sainsbury’s Acquiring Asda Affect Store Prices?

How Will Sainsbury's Acquiring Asda Affect Store Prices?

Recently the news broke that the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is taking over its UK competitor Asda. The US company Walmart acquired Asda in 1999. With a £7.3 billion value, Walmart will receive £3 billion for selling Asda to Sainsbury’s. Walmart will retain a 42% share in the joint business, with Sainsbury’s holding most of the decision-making power. This is massive news for British shoppers. Previously, Sainsbury’s was the second-largest UK retailer behind Tesco. The merger with Asda will create the largest supermarket group, controlling almost a third of the grocery market in the UK. What will this mean going forward?

Will Asda Be Rebranding?

The UK hasn’t seen a major acquisition like this since Morrisons acquired Safeway in 2003. Most of the Safeway stores became Morrisons. As part of their deal, Asda will not be rebranding as Sainsbury’s. Both will be maintaining their own brand separately. Sainsbury’s will manage the combined business, but Asda’s own chief executive will run their operations from Leeds. The total number of stores for both brands comes to 2,800, and their combined workforce includes around 330,000 people. Many people are likely to be wondering about store closures and job losses. Both companies say they don’t have any plans in this direction.

However, analysts believe that up to 15% of the combined stores will have to close to meet regulatory approval. In areas where there is a Sainsbury’s store with an Asda store nearby, they may decide to close one of them. Some employees could move to the other store, but most of them might simply lose their jobs. Since Sainsbury’s acquired Argos in 2016, they have integrated Argos into many of their stores. It is likely that we will begin to see Argos concessions opening in Asda stores soon as well. Their home delivery network will allow the supermarket supergroup to compete with heavy-hitters like Amazon in this area of retail.

Aldi and Lidl Compete With Sainsbury's and Asda

Will Sainsbury’s Slash Prices?

Besides competition from delivery giants like Amazon, the major UK retailers have been feeling the impact of discount stores. As rising living costs leave wages behind, many customers are turning to the German discount chains Aldi or Lidl to save money on groceries. In the first three months of this year, over 60% of UK households visited at least one of these stores. Mike Coupe, the CEO of Sainsbury’s, said that the Asda merger will lead to price cuts of around 10%. They will put pressure on suppliers so they can implement these price drops. This will be a direct challenge to Lidl and Aldi, who must continue to keep their prices lower.

The German chains also have ambitious plans, with each aiming to have over 1,000 stores in the UK in the next five years. They are not afraid to undercut Sainsbury’s, as they have already been rapidly taking hold of a growing market share. Even with their new combined buying power, Sainsbury’s and Asda won’t be able to beat Lidl and Aldi for low prices. The edge that they do have, which they will probably continue to build on, is their e-commerce platforms and own-brand ranges of clothing and homeware. Lidl and Aldi don’t offer home delivery or click & collect services, and they don’t have much to compete with George, Tu, or Argos.

Film Releases To Get Excited About: Spring-Summer 2018

Spending time in the cinema is great. You have to turn your phone off, you can indulge in some delicious nachos and a Tango Ice Blast, and you can immerse yourself fully in the big screen experience. However, you can sometimes experience ‘slow periods’ at the cinema, where there isn’t much that you feel like watching. Here’s just some of the film releases to get excited about this Spring/Summer.

April/May

Avengers: Infinity War

This film is pretty much all anyone can talk about at the moment, with the premiere taking place, and press coverage ramping up. It’s been billed as the best Avengers film of all time, and even the cast don’t know how many different Marvel characters are in it – you can expect to see Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Spider Man, Black Panther  and Doctor Strange amongst many more. The first reviews are just coming out, and they’re good, so this is a movie you won’t want to miss.

UK Release Date: 26th April

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 is a sequel to the 2016 film starring Ryan Reynolds as the hilariously sarcastic mercenary. It is part of the X-Men Franchise, and also stars Josh Brolin and Morena Baccarin. Reynolds had a heavy involvement in the script, and the sequel was confirmed before the first film was even released – luckily, it was one of the most successful films of 2016. This film focuses on Deadpool protecting a young mutant from a time-travelling soldier and forming a team called the X-Force to do so.

UK Release Date: 15th May

Solo: A Star Wars Story

This spin-off focuses on a young Han Solo as he meets Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian. The film has been described as a space western and has an all-star cast including Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton and Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. Any film that is based on Star Wars is majorly hyped, so expect big things from this flick.

UK Release Date: 24th May

June

Ocean’s 8

Keeping up with the trend for all-female reboots, Ocean’s 8 is the next film to get a sassy girl-squad makeover. With an amazing cast including Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter, the expectations are high for this film. The plot centres around a heist at the Met Gala (a real-life event which takes place on the first Monday in May, organised by Anna Wintour). If the cast wasn’t a reason enough to see it, celebs such as Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, Serena Williams and Zayn Malik will make cameo appearances.

UK Release Date: 22nd June 

July

The First Purge

The First Purge is a prequel to The Purge series of films, which is all about one night of the year where crime is legal. The First Purge takes viewers back to where it all began, looking at why America chose to allow the Purge in the first place. The New Founding Fathers of America test a theory that in order to push the crime rate below 1% for the rest of the year, they must allow an oppressed community to vent their aggression, and it all goes wrong. The film is set on Staten Island.

UK Release Date: 6th July

The Incredibles 2

The long-awaited sequel to 2004’s The Incredibles is finally almost here, and our secret 10-year-old self is excited. It’s written and directed by Brad Bird, who worked on the first film, so we have hopes that it will be just as brilliant. For those who don’t know, The Incredibles is an animated film all about a family with superhero powers. The second film picks up where the first film left off, with the introduction of the villain The Underminer.

UK Release Date: 13th July

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is the sequel to the musical comedy Mamma Mia which came out 10 years ago. It uses the songs of Abba to tell the story. This time, the story focuses on Sophie and how she discovers more about her mother’s past when she seeks advice on how to handle her pregnancy. You can expect to see all the old cast – Amanda Seyfreid, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Dominic Cooper and Pierce Brosnan, as well as Lily James as young Donna, and actual Cher as Sophie’s grandmother. Expect to laugh and cry!

UK Release Date: 20th July

August

Disney’s Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin is a live-action continuation of the Winnie the Pooh franchise. It stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin, who has lost his imagination, and is assisted in finding it again by his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood including Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, Roo and Owl. The voice cast of the CGI animals is stellar – Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, and Chris O’Dowd as Tigger. This film is set to be a total tear-jerker for all adults who wants to relive their childhood.

UK Release Date: 17th August 

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians is a highly-anticipated movie based on the novel by Kevin Kwan. The main character is an American-Chinese professor, Rachel Chu, who travels with her boyfriend to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore, only to become tangled in the lives of the rich and famous. She discovers her boyfriend’s family is incredibly wealthy, he’s an eligible bachelor in his homeland and there is a dark secret. The casting of the film has been met with controversy, after British-Malaysian actor Henry Golding was cast as the lead, Nick, but the Korean-American actress Jamie Chung was turned down for the role of Rachel for not being ‘ethnically Chinese’. Nevertheless, we are super excited for this one!

UK Release Date: 17th August

Slender Man

If you’ve not seen the bone-chilling documentary, Beware the Slenderman, then you may not know about this creepy character, with freakishly long arms that became an urban legend. He’s featured in plenty of real-life crime cases, including two 12 year old schoolgirls who stabbed their friend in order to allegedly appease him, and now, he’s got his own film. This film was originally meant to come out in May, but the release was pushed back to August. It looks set to be a standard horror film, but for some reason, we’re drawn to it due to the real-life connection.

UK Release Date: 24th August

You can catch all of the above films in your local Cineworld.

What the Sugar Tax means for energy and soft drink lovers

sugar tax

The government are making an attempt to ‘tackle childhood obesity’ by taxing soft drinks for their sugar levels. They’re calling this the Soft Drinks Industry Levy which came into effect on the 6th of April 2018. The sugar tax has apparently already resulted in over 50% of soft drinks manufacturers reducing the sugar content of their products. The sugar tax was announced in March 2018 and since then the soft drinks industry has been trying to lower it’s sugar levels whilst keeping the same well-known tastes.

coke zero bottles
A popular soft drink is Coke, they offer low sugar alternatives such as Coke Zero

Soft drinks manufacturers who choose not to lower their products sugar levels will be forced to pay the levy. The government has stated that this should accumulate £240 million each year that will supposedly go towards primary school sports, healthy eating schemes, sports facilities for children and schools for PE as well as healthy school breakfast clubs.

When the levy was announced two years ago it was expected to bring in £520m but this changed to £240m in 2018 due to companies and manufacturers adhering to the new rules to avoid the charges. Companies would be made to pay 24p per litre of drink that contains 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres or 18p per litre of drink if it contains between 5-8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.

Lucozade, another popular soft drink, lead the way in reformulating its drinks

Many soft drink lovers were worried when they first heard about the new sugar tax and the worry may have been necessary as some soft drink companies are choosing to raise prices and shrink bottles instead of reformulating their most popular drinks. This means that if your favourite drink happens to be original Coke or Pepsi you’re out of luck. You’re going to either have to pay more for less or swap to a less sugary alternative that companies have to offer.

If you are unhappy about the new changes to soft drinks or the Sugar Tax you can speak to somebody from the food standards agency and they can refer you to somebody from GOV who will be able to discuss this issue with you. You can call the food standards agency on 0844 248 1659.

The Alarming Antics of Costco Customers

 

The Alarming Antics of Costco Customers

Recently, Costco employees confessed to Business Insider about the questionable things they see customers do at their stores. The American retail chain is famous for its warehouse stores, which sell all kinds of things in large quantities. With such a variety of products and people hunting for bulk-buying bargains, employees are likely to witness some interesting events. Most of the amusing stories revolve around returns. However, some of them star unruly animals and children as well as misbehaving adults.

Love and War

One Costco employee saw a part-time employee make out with the food court manager while the store was open. Not only should they have been working in their own area, but customers might have seen them too. Professionalism aside, Costco is hardly the place for romance. In Ontario, Canada, a worker saw customers start a “fist fight” over a sample of cheese. In Florida, an employee saw a Costco member threaten another member with a gun. The dispute was over a handicap car parking space.

Ridiculous Returns

In Ohio, a worker saw a member try to return a 10-year-old vacuum cleaner. Once a 60-year-old lady threw a tantrum when an employee refused to accept a return of an 8-year-old stained mattress. Even worse, somebody returned two toilets they bought online five years previously. The customer had to clean the dirty toilets before Costco took them back. Members managed to successfully return dead trees and other dead plants. Customers often try to return food items they have eaten but “didn’t like.”

Irresponsible Parents and Pet-Owners

Shockingly, a Costco employee in Arizona saw someone leave a baby in their car on a hot day. Meanwhile, a worker in Nebraska has seen children playing the store and car park in winter with no shoes on. In Washington, people often try to sneak their pets into the warehouse store with them. Sometimes, the animals end up using the floor as a toilet. Perhaps in their defence, humans do that too. An employee in Chicago found that someone left a trail of faeces from the clothing department to the actual toilets.

Arrests and Accidents

A Costco employee in San Francisco often sees members who are caught for shoplifting. In Nebraska, shoplifters escape arrest by stealing underwear but leaving their own underwear behind in its place. Someone working on the roof of a Costco in Oregon fell backwards after sitting on the edge. Costco now requires safety bars on the roofs, so this won’t happen again. A worker in Arizona claims to have seen everything within the aisles of Costco, from people screaming and convulsing to haemorrhaging.

The Best Companies to Work For in the UK

LinkedIn has conducted an analysis to discover which companies people want to work for in the UK, with an annual list of 25 rankings.

The data was analysed from over 24 million LinkedIn members, looking at job seeker reach, job interest, engagement and worker retention. The data found that ASOS was the most desirable company to work for, with the BBC closely following in its place. Several financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Barclays also made the list.

ASOS has been increasing the number of new hires since 2016, as it plans to create 1500 new UK jobs over a three-year period. They shared the news of their ranking on Twitter, stating that they were ‘on cloud nine’ and couldn’t be prouder.

The list is as follows:

  1. Asos
  2. BBC
  3. McKinsey & Company
  4. Richemont
  5. Kering
  6. JPMorgan Chase
  7. Amazon
  8. EY
  9. HSBC
  10. Boston Consulting Group
  11. Selfridges
  12. Apple
  13. Barclays
  14. L’Oréal
  15. Vodafone
  16. Goldman Sachs
  17. Facebook
  18. Lloyds Banking Group
  19. Accenture
  20. Salesforce
  21. Sky
  22. Alphabet
  23. Virgin
  24. Volkswagen
  25. Dell Technologies

It’s no surprise that not many high street companies made the list, after a tough year with many stores facing closure. Online companies such as ASOS and Amazon have replaced the high street, demonstrating their dominance of the market.

The luxury retailers are showing less signs of waning, with Selfridges, Kering and L’Oreal appearing on the list. L’Oreal owns many luxury beauty brands such as Kiehl’s, Yves Saint Laurent, Shu Umera and Proenza Schouler.

The banking and financial industry is still appealing to people seeking work. Four professional services companies have appeared on the list for the first time – McKinsey and Company, Accenture, EY and Boston Consulting.

Apple and Facebook are also featured in the list, with the latter being famous for employee benefits such as on-site gyms, a generous holiday allowance, free meals and classes for employees to learn new skills and hobbies.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

last minute gift ideas mothers day

It’s happened again, hasn’t it? You’ve forgotten about Mother’s Day. It’s 2 days away, and you didn’t even realise. The good news is that you don’t have to worry! There’s still plenty of time to find the perfect present for your Mum…Unless you’re reading this on Sunday morning… In which case, hang your head in shame and run to the petrol shop for some flowers.

Mother’s day is the day to celebrate your mum for all that she does. From giving the best hugs to cleaning up after you, she really is Wonder Woman, and she deserves so much. Here are some last minute ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts, from small budget to large, we have you covered.

Gifts on a Budget

If you’re strapped for cash, one of the easiest, and sometimes cheapest options, is to go for a card/chocolate/flowers combination of gifts. Tesco, Asda and Morrisons will have an array of bouquets to choose from today and tomorrow – you may even find that they’re reduced on Saturday evening. So, if you’re a risk taker, you might want to chance it tomorrow. When it comes to chocolate, boxes are the way forward. However, if she has a favourite brand, definitely get her a large bar! Some other great ideas for gifts on a budget include prosecco and alcohol.

Luxury Gift Ideas

If you have the cash to splash, why not consider some high-end gifts? Stores such as Debenhams and John Lewis offer beautiful gift sets for a range of skin combinations. Although you may want to stay away from the anti-ageing cream (“n-no you don’t LOOK any older”) you should definitely look at hydrating creams and gels. Brands such as Estee Lauder offer great products, and many come in sets that are sure to make her smile.

Homemade Gift Ideas

If you’re struggling to find the money for a gift, you may find that making your Mother’s Day gift is the way forward. Why not consider the following for your mum this Mother’s Day:

  • Bake a cake
  • Make her a card
  • Cook her dinner
  • Paint her nails
  • Do her make-up

Okay so obviously the last two on this list might be a little difficult if beauty isn’t your thing, but there are plenty of ways to show your mum what she means to you this weekend. If you’re still living at home, and your mum often cooks for you, why not surprise her with breakfast in bed and a nice evening meal? It might not seem like much, but it really is the thought that counts when it comes to days like these. For once, treating your mum the way she treats you will be enough to know how much you appreciate her, no matter what your financial situation.

The Beginners Guide to the Gym

If you’ve joined the gym and you’re still not sure what to do with your membership, you may be looking for something to spur you on. You might be unsure how to use the equipment or just not confident enough to join the seemingly endless brigade of people who look like they have their life together in this intimidating environment. Yes, when you first start out at the gym it can be scary, but knowing a few handy things before you go can really help.

Join a Friendly Gym

Make sure that you join a gym that you’re comfortable with. Have a look around before you commit, and make sure the staff are friendly and willing to help. Pure Gym is a great affordable gym, which offers classes, the latest equipment and is open at convenient times.

What to Wear & Take

Don’t worry about having all the gear and no idea. Just wear comfortable workout clothes – Sports Direct have some good quality brands at a discounted price. You should wear trainers which have already been worn in, to avoid getting blisters. In your kit, you’ll need a bottle of water, a small towel and possibly some headphones to block out the sound of the gym. If you have Spotify, you can find some great workout playlists such as throwback playlists, 90s playlists and rock playlists.

The Different Areas

There are usually three different areas in every gym:

  • The cardio machines – this area includes treadmills, bikes and cross-trainers.
  • The resistance area – This is where you’ll find equipment for strength training, such as barbells, dumbbells, squat racks and benches.
  • The flexible space – This is the bit of the gym where you can do stretches, mat work or train with kettlebells.

Free Session

A lot of gyms will offer a free personal training session when you join. This is a great way to get started in the gym – you can discuss your goals with the trainer, whether that’s to lose weight or gain muscle. The trainer will then come up with an exercise plan which is tailored to you. You can follow this training plan until you get more comfortable with the equipment.

Warm Up

You should always warm up with some stretches before you do a workout. You can also warm up for five minutes or so using the treadmill. The important thing is to get your heart rate up and avoid injury by ensuring your muscles are ready to be exercised.

Create a Plan

A workout plan can help you feel like you know what you’re doing in the gym. It’ll stop you wandering aimlessly from machine to machine, and you can track your progress by increasing reps. You can get inspiration for a workout plan from a magazine, YouTube, Instagram or blogs.

Be Comfortable

If you’re going to be lifting weights, you need to make sure that you’re lifting a weight that you’re comfortable with. If you haven’t done weights before, start light to ensure that your muscles will get used to lifting weights. The weights area can be the most intimidating part of a gym, but you have every right to be there, so stick with it and you’ll be just as confident as the other people using it in no time.

Clean Up

Once you’ve finished with a piece of equipment, clear up after yourself. Re-rack weights and take the plates off the barbells. Wipe down the machines with your towel and your fellow gym users will definitely thank you.

Be Mindful

If you have to visit the gym at busy times, it’s ideal to try and vary your workout so that you’re not spending too long on one piece of equipment. This will mean other members can use the equipment too and there won’t be long queues forming.

Classes

Lots of gyms offer free classes included in your membership. This includes Pilates, Circuits, Spinning and other types of exercise. It’s a good way to get used to working out and the instructor will help you work on your form. You’ll learn exercises which you can take into the gym with you, and you might even make a friend who will become your new gym buddy.