A lot of people have the motivation to exercise and keep fit, but the fear of the gym can often hold them back. When you first sign up you’re overwhelmed with positivity and visions of your dream body, but then the apprehensive thoughts start to kick in and you begin to regret the whole thing. Annoyingly, these fears can only be conquered by entering the gym but there are a lot of ways in which you can feel more comfortable and at ease.
Lack of Knowledge:
If you’re concerned that once you get in the gym you won’t have a clue what to do with any exercises or machines there are lot’s of ways to become more confident.
Watching Videos: Whether you want to train your bum, legs, abs or arms there are thousands of videos on You Tube and Instagram which can help you get started. When I first started the gym I used to constantly watch Jen Selters, Amanda Finnie’s and Paige Hathaways posts in order to try and get some inspiration for my own workouts. I still watch them daily as it’s great to keep getting new ideas.
Follow Fitness Accounts and Pages: In order to feel more confident around the gym it can help to read up on fitness in general. The more you learn about exercises, diets and the way these affect your body the more you start to feel involved and more confident in the fitness world.
Personal Training: A great way to get a feel for routines and the equipment is to book a session with a personal trainer. They’re used to coaching complete beginners and often have great tips if you tell them what your main goal in the gym is.
Join a friend: If you have a friend or family member who has been going to the gym for a while then ask them if they can go through some of the machines with you. Most are repetitive to move and re-adjust so when you’ve got the hang of one you’ll easily be able to manoeuvre the others.
Even after years of working out there is still nothing worse than a busy gym, but when you first start it’s incredibly daunting. It’s difficult trying to to go on any of the machines and you’re afraid that people are going to watch you. The main tips for dealing with a busy gym are:
Avoid Peak Times: This is often easier said than done, but there are definite ways in which you can avoid the main crowd. Throughout the day gym’s are usually quiet, so if you’re lucky enough to be off work or working a later shift then going around mid-day will be a lot better. If you, unfortunately, work a standard 9-5 then either going before work at 6:30-7 or later on at night around half 8-9 is the best idea.
Do half your routine at home: When I first started working out I’d often do part of my workout at home before going the gym. This helps you get in the mood of your routine completely by yourself and at your own pace. If you gradually shorten your workout at home, and start transferring exercises to the gym, you’ll soon find you’re comfortable in doing your whole routine at the gym.
Compare Gyms in your Area: If you live near a city then there is often a vast array of well established 24 hour gyms. The bigger the gym and the more flexible the opening times are, the quieter it’s going to appear. If you’re a member of a small gym which is connected to a hotel or your local leisure centre then unfortunately it’s going to extremely busy at peak times.
For the majority of people this is the main gym fear. It’s easy to get yourself in a panic thinking that people who have been going to the gym for years are going to be judging you, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that everyone has started somewhere and most of the time people are too involved in their own workout to even acknowledge others. However, there are a number of ways you can limit your worrying for when you first start going to the gym.
Practise exercises at home: Going through your routines at home can be extremely beneficial. You can master the technique as well as building your confidence in each exercise. It’s also great for trying out something new if you’re reluctant to do it for the first time in the gym.
Gender Specific Gym: For some, the idea of training in front of the other gender is a worry. Luckily, there are lot’s of gyms which are either completely geared towards female or male or they have separate sections where you can have some privacy.
Go to classes: Exercise classes are a great way to conquer embarrassment in the gym. They are usually a small group of around 10 people who are completely focused on watching the teacher, leaving little time to look at anyone else. A lot of gym’s offer classes for beginners which is ideal for finding out if you like the type of exercise, and if you’re happy in the way it’s affecting your body. During the classes you’ll often meet people who are also self-conscious around exercising, so it’s nice to be able to comfort and help each other.
Go with a friend: Going to the gym with a friend often makes you forget that you’re actually working out. Between chatting and trying out routines together you’ll find that not only are your gym fears disappearing, but you’re also having fun too.