New Years resolution and many may have the goal to join a gym. Which is great according to me. Of course, the gym isn’t for everyone but if you don’t try it you won’t know. But also, you need to get past the first 4 weeks where you might feel self conscious, like a newbie and also trying to find your schedule and favourite way to workout.
Maybe you like supersets (doing 2 different exercises in a row with no rest inbetween) or maybe trisets (with 3 exercises in a row with no rest) or maybe you like circle training (where you might just 6-8 exercises, do X reps of each exercise in a row and then rest after you have done all the exercises, and then do all of that again for 2-3 times.) Or maybe you like doing alot of cardio or lifting light weights for many reps, or maybe heavy weights for low reps. Maybe you like working out with just your body weight or maybe you like maxing out with heavy weights…. it is a learning experience, you try different styles and see what you like. Maybe you might be a gymclass type of person and that is perfectly fine as well, you don’t have to like being in the weightroom and lifting weights to be at the gym, you can go to the gym to go to yoga class or body pump or spinning!
When you first start at the gym you may feel self conscious, see everyone doing their thing looking confident. You may think people are staring at you or judging you, but i can promise you… they aren’t. Everyone is so focused on their own thing and those that do stare… well they are barely working and i can promise you that you will have so much more results and progress even if you mess up at times, than those who just sit/stand and stare at others.
Don’t let gym anxiety or the fear of messing up hold you back. I can tell you that after almost 6 years at the gym, i can still feel self conscious when i go to a new gym…. even if i know how to do different exercises, have a workout routine and generally have good self confidence at the gym i can still feel some low self confidence when going to a new gym. Most people feel this way, and it is ok…. go there and do your thing anyway!!
Below are some tips which i hope will help you if you are worrying about being new to the gym.
Have a plan:
The best way to succeed is to have a plan. If you go to the gym and have no idea what exercises you will do or what order you will do the exercises it can often turn into a workout where you mostly sit and try to figure out what exercises to do.
1) Do your research: Look online, different videos and pictures and pick out a few exercises you want to do. Write them down or take a picture of the exercises and have that with you.
2) Be flexible with the order of the exercises: Sometimes the gym is packed and you don’t have the space or equipment to do the workout in the order you had planned… that is ok, do it in another order or try a different exercise.
3) Ask for advice and tips from a gym instructor or PT at the gym: At many gyms when you first sign up you might get offered to be shown around or a PT can show you a few exercises – say yes. Just to get some advice and tips, and if they don’t offer that just ask one of the staff if they can show you around, show you how the machines work, give you some advice and tips.
Go with a friend/family: If you can, go to the gym with someone who already knows how to workout. Or what about going with a friend or family who is also new to the gym so you can learn together and workout together! Makes it easier to succeed with your goals if you do it together! It can make your gym session more fun and you motivate and challenge yourself more when you are with others, but also you may not feel as self-conscious.
When trying new exercises or trying new machines – go at a time there won’t be so many people. Usually at 9-11 and 13-15 or even 20-22 there aren’t so many people at the gym and if you have a chance i would recommend you go then if you want to try new machines and exercises. Maybe look online at videos to see different exercises and how to do them correctly and then give yourself some time to try them.
1) Don’t be scared to mess up or fail. This goes along with trying new exercises… you don’t always get it right the first time. Sometimes you don’t know how the machine works or you do the exercise wrong or it doesn’t feel right and you need to change it…. that is ok. Laugh it off. Just like if you end up falling over or walking into something or whatever… laugh it off. I have fallen over at the gym, i have almost fallen off the chair once, i have had times i have had to adjust an exercise so that it works better… and you just laugh it off. I know you may want to go hide in a corner if you do something embarrassing but instead, try to feel even more self confident and think “who cares”.
Take the space you need: One of the most common things i see at the different gyms i have been to is that girls don’t take up so much space at the gym and especially not in the weight room. I am not saying that you need to take up a whole corner of the room and never move out of the way. But i often see that girls walk into the weight room, notice there are a bunch of guys/men (and me!) in there and then walk out again…. Of course not all girls are like that, many girls/women DO take up space in the weight room, but far too often i see girls just stick to the stretch area and cardio machines. Which is fine, but more girls need to feel ok with being in the weight room and taking the space they need.
Have good workout music: When i go to the gym i always put on my best workout music and tune out the world and my thoughts for the time that i am at the gym. It makes it easier to focus as well as is more motivating when i have good music. So a recommendation is to have a playlist ready which makes you feel energized and motivated and focused, not to mention it saves you time having to scroll and find good music while you are at the gym.
Don’t worry about what others are doing or if they are staring. Remember you are there for you and your goals. Try to tune others out and just do your thing, but also remember you have just as much right tobe there and use the equipment as anyone else.
I hope this helps and remember the gym may not be for everyone, but try different workouts and try to get over the initial first few weeks where you may feel self-conscious and trying to get into a routine. If you feel you still don’t like the gym after a few weeks, try another form of exercise instead!
In a new post, some gym etiquette will be up, just as a little reminder!