The gym can be an intimidating place. This is felt by many… you’re not alone! The feeling that you’re the novice newbie that knows nothing, compared to the die-hard gym junkies who seemingly know it all! Don’t beat yourself up and put yourself off, before you’ve even begun. Everyone (every pro) was once a beginner, also very often the die-hards are doing it wrong…
I recently devised a gym programme for one of my good friends, Clare, and trained her through it, which made me consider this fitness fear notion in more detail… Now I’m not implying that Clare is scared of the gym, she’s been a member for donkeys! But she is was a self-confessed cardio queen, that didn’t feel confident or comfortable using weights (until last Sunday, when she smashed our session!), and also didn’t have a structured programme to follow. So didn’t really know how to train efficiently and effectively, and succumbed to being a slave to the treadmill.
Here’s 5 top tips to crush the fear
- Take advantage of your gym induction and ask for help – a gym induction is mandatory in most facilities, for health and safety. This is where an instructor takes you around the gym, showing you how to use the equipment before you go it alone. Now these tend to be quite whistle stop, as in you’re not shown every single piece of equipment and all of the different programmes you can do. But you should come away from this knowing basic set-up of CV (cardiovascular) kit and weights machines. If you still feel unsure of anything ask, and keep asking for help until you do feel confident. That’s what instructors are there for and are more than happy to help.
- Ask for a gym programme or PT sessions – these are either included in your membership, you get a few free PT sessions or it’s worthwhile investing in that support and guidance. You’re there for a reason, you have fitness goals you want to achieve, make sure you’re training efficiently and effectively to reach those goals. Otherwise you end up wandering aimlessly from piece to piece, not really working or doing anything other than passing time.
- Focus on you, only you – in a gym full of junkies it’s sometimes hard to zone out and focus on you, you’re watching what everyone else is doing, or are paranoid thinking that everyone else is watching and judging what you are doing. They’re not! They’re in there for the same reasons as you – to workout, get the job done and leave (on an endorphin high!). Zone out and focus on your workout, having a banging playlist can help with this.
- Bring a buddy – for many it’s the fear of going it alone, safety in numbers is the name of the game. Bring a friend and become the best of gym buddies – support, encourage and motivate each other to smash your fitness goals.
- Treat yourself to some snazzy exercise clobber – if you look good, you feel good and new exercise clobber or funky kicks can be just the ticket. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a small fortune either, you can pick up great gear at most supermarkets nowadays, in discount sports shops and online; and with the summer sales in full swing now is the perfect time to bag yourself a bargain!
Fear… forget everything and run… or face everything and rise!