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Take a class.
Take a class. / Commercial Eye/Getty Images

Looking to get in shape and thinking about joining a gym? Not so fast. Trainer Tom Holland has some things you should know before joining your local gym. His unconventional guidebook Beat the Gym gives you the ins and outs, from what gym to join to what to do once you're there. Check out these tips:

Read the fine print.

Salespeople try to get you to buy their product, and it's no different with a gym membership. So on your initial trip to a gym, don't sign anything on the spot. Take the paperwork home, look it over and then look it over again.

Get a locker rental.

The small expense for an overnight rental will pay off in a big way. You can stock your locker with workout clothes, shoes, towels and even post-workout snacks and drinks. The more convenient your workout is, the more likely you are to do it.

Mix up your cardio.

We tend to work out on the machines we like and the exercises we're good at. But if you don't vary your workout, you probably won't see results. Try something new; for example, if you love the treadmill, try the stationary bike. These two machines exercise different muscle groups, which gives you a more well-rounded workout.

Don't be intimidated.

If you try classes, whether yoga, spinning or cardio-boxing, group fitness can be a little scary for a newbie. But remember, even the experienced students were beginners once. As long as you show up and are willing to try, you'll find that classes can be a fun and exciting way to enhance your workout.

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