Learning how to overcome gym intimidation might help a lot of newbies to take action and finally get into shape in 2017. If this is something that bothers you, read on to learn some tips to overcome your situation.
In a few short weeks, gyms across the nation will be flooded with people ready to make some changes in their lifestyle.
While the crowded classes and occasional wait times for the treadmill aren’t something I look forward to, I am always always happy to see eager people ready to make a positive change!
I remember using the weight room in the small gym at our pool in high school for the first time, when my dad offered to show me a few exercises with the dumbbells (thanks, dad!!).
Walking in was like entering a new land where everyone else seemed to know what was going on, and I didn’t know the rules.
I’ve come a long way since then – even getting my personal trainer certification over 2 years ago – but I completely understand what it’s like to be intimidated by the gym.
I still get a little of the first-day-of-school butterflies when I go to a new gym.
Tips To Overcome Gym Intimidation
Whether it’s been longer than you care to think about since you’ve been to the gym, or are brand new, here are my 5 tips to overcome gym intimidation:
1. Slow And Steady
No need to get fancy here! When you’re just starting out, stick to the basics, and if that means using zero equipment and doing all bodyweight exercises, that’s OK!
First, get comfortable being in the gym and part of the environment. Notice what machines are available, where people tend to stretch, how they interact, and the flow of the room.
As you begin feeling comfortable, go out of your comfort zone and try a different machine or dumbbell exercise. Continue trying new things to increase your confidence.
2. Get In The Zone
Create your own bubble. Put headphones in and listen to whatever makes you feel unstoppable! Whether that’s hard rock, top 40 pop, or a motivational podcast, create an environment that makes you feel at ease.
Podcasts also offer a wonderful distraction, and there are many in the health genre that help motivate you. You want to get into your own world.
Pump yourself up with your favorite song and you’ll quickly build confidence! Plus, not being able to hear conversations and noise around you is always a welcome break.
3. Go When It’s Slow
Traditionally, gyms are a nightmare from 5-8PM. Although the morning rush from 6-8am is not a slow time, it’s not nearly as busy as the after work crowd.
If you work close to your gym, or have one in the building, or have a flexible work from home schedule, then perhaps you are able to get a workout in on a lunch break. Or you might also do your workout before work, or after the post-work rush.
This will not only mean more room for you and no waiting for equipment, it also means less eyes on you! Just get your gym bag and head to the gym!
4. Ask Around And Do Your Research
Check out what others are doing. This is a great way to learn; and if you have questions, ask! The front desk is there to help.
But if you don’t want to ask in person, look up for guides and reviews online. Youtube is saturated with how-to workout videos. Simply look up what you want to do and watch over and over again until you feel ready to try it yourself.
5. Go To Class
Classes are great for a few reasons:
- They get you to the gym in a routine schedule.
- A professional will instruct you on what to do and what’s the correct form.
- You are learning new exercises to add to your arsenal!
If you can get your butt to a morning class, do it. With it being less crowded, you won’t be squeezing into a corner and can easily ask questions if you’re feeling brave, or pull the instructor aside afterwards.
Rest assured – and I say this in the kindest way – no one is paying attention to you! Gym goers, for the most part, are there for a workout. This is their me-time, too, so judging how you do a pushup and what barbell you squat with is not on their radar!
This is a guest post written by Dan Chabert, a danish ultramarathon runner from RunnerClick. Be free to share his tips to overcome gym intimidation, if you enjoy it!