TRUTH: I use to be incredibly afraid of going to the gym. I mean the big popular gyms with the grunting and slamming of weights…yeah, those. I was much too worried about looking stupid using the machines or feeling “weak” not lifting heavier dumbbells. I was wayyy too worried about people around me and not focused enough on myself. I was too busy comparing and not caring for my personal progress.
After getting comfortable with myself and really not giving any thought about the people around me *DJ scratch to present* I finally realized that everyone at the gym was working on themselves. In whatever capacity that was for them. And if there were people in the gym who were judging, criticizing, and demeaning others well they were just A-holes!
So as you may be getting back in the gym this year or simply trying to decide to go the gym I wanted to give a few quick tips on how you can battle your gym intimidation:
- Research: Using the app Bodyspace by Bodybuilding.com was great when I began my strength training journey. I would recommend it to everyone. Not only did I use the plans with their great guides, it also provided videos and instructions to show proper form. There are so many fitness apps and websites available to use as guides conveniently on your phone. A few great examples that are both free and paid are Nike Training App , FitPlan, and Aaptiv. Check em out! Try it! And of course there’s always my favorite resource, Youtube.
- Grab a partner or join a class: Sometimes going to the gym alone can be incredibly overwhelming. I loved attending group class sessions at the gym because seeing 30 other men and women sweat and groan with you makes you feel like you’re not alone in this thing. Also, having people push you and encourage you for 60 minutes is a major plus to make sure you’re not selling out on yourself. When you have a buddy to go with, let them show you the ropes! This can be a great initial introduction to gym life. Asking for help is not a bad idea!
- Go at “off” times: The majority of the time I like to get my workouts done in the evenings. It just works better for me and my schedule at the moment. More often than not, there are less people in the gym either really early (before 6) or really late (after 8). There are usually certain days of the week you may want to avoid as well, especially Mondays. Everyone feels like working off their weekend “mistakes”. So possibly Wednesday or Thursday could be a good day to go. It’s also best to find a 24 hour gym if possible, because how can you beat that?! Less people around, more time to focus on learning equipment and less time to focus on people around you. When you are first getting started not having the hustle and bustle of other people in the gym may benefit you. Test out some times to see how it best fits in your schedule.
- Put on some music and grab a hat. No shades because that’s just creepy AF: I know that what others are wearing or NOT wearing to the gym may distract you. Grab some headphones, turn on a bomb playlist, and put on a hat to keep your eyes focused on the real goal. It’s you and you only. Now I’m not much of a fashionista, but if throwing on a cute pair of leggings and a cute top helps to get your butt up and moving then do it!
Hopefully these tips can help you get into the gym this year and get on track to your healthiest self! Any questions? Leave a comment!