Many of us know strength training is important, but for several, especially newbies, beginning a lifting program at a gym can be a scary feat. Even I have been intimated by weight rooms at times. But not to fret, I’m here to explain some of the top reasons why people avoid the weight room and how to look like a pro and more importantly, overcome your fears of the weights.
We set New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, for those of you still holding strong to your fitness goals you have found a gym and gotten your bearings. Now it is time to take the next step and approach your workout like a pro and start getting the results you’re looking for. Over the next week, you can look for one tip a day to help you get over gym-timidation.
Tip#4: Remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere
We’ve all been there before, you pump yourself up for the gym, today is the day that you give it your all. You make it to the gym and as you walk through the jungle of equipment on the gym floor your confidence evaporates when you realize that the only open treadmill is wedged between two runners who seem to be running at top speed – like cheetahs in a full sprint. You decide to postpone cardio only to find that every strength machine is taken by sweaty people grunting through more weight than you could ever imagine. A motivational sucking sense of insecurity begins sinking in.
One common fear at the gym is feeling self-conscience or the fear of being judged. Have a little grace and remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere. Everyone has different goals, some people may be prepping for a competition while others may simply want to get a bit toned or feel better.
Gym-timidation usually stems from not being sure what to do, comparing yourself to other people in the gym, feeling like people are judging you, and feeling like you don’t belong.
People who are ripped with muscles bulging did not get that way overnight. They have spent hours and hours in the gym to build muscle. Don’t compare yourself to others. Truth is, most people only really care about themselves and are not even thinking about what others are doing.
While you work out, remember to focus on YOU. Focus on your movement, form, and strength. More importantly, everyone is there to better their selves. If someone is judging you (which you would only know for sure if they came up and told you), then the problem is not you, it’s them. The fact that you made it to the gym in itself is an accomplishment, as you are taking one step towards improving your health.
Believe in yourself! You are your only competition and comparing yourself to others won’t get you anywhere. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone had to start somewhere and were in your shoes at some point or another, so don’t give in to those feelings of insecurity! Keep your goals in mind, and stick with your fitness plans and before you know it, you’ll be just as confident as the gym pros you admired and were intimidated by on day one.
Pro tip: If it works with your schedule, at the beginning while you are getting acquainted with the weight room, go to the gym during less-busy hours. Days later in the week are less busy than Mondays and Tuesdays, and early in the mornings or later in the evenings after dinner are not as busy. Working out during slower times will make you feel as if you aren’t getting stared at as much or hogging the equipment. You’ll also have more opportunities to try out new machines without feeling the pressure of having to get through your exercise quickly.