Gyms don’t have to be a scary place and most of the time are a lot of fun.
For the many years I have been working in the fitness industry I have watched men and women (mainly women) come into gyms, train their hearts out on the cardio equipment and leave again. In some gyms you find body builders, and big scary looking men and women but they make up the 1% of the gym population. The remainder of gym goers are just in there to maintain a certain lifestyle and reach their goals and hopefully get some enjoyment along the way.
As I have explained in previous posts weights are so important for your health and well-being no matter what gender or age you are. I get how people think it’s scary and I know doing something out of your comfort zone is challenging especially when people are already feeling unsure of themselves or in a new place. But we need to conquer fears. It is a part of how one grows as a person and if you want to feel better and look better it is time to familiarize yourself with the weights area at your gym and step outside of your comfort zone and leave your insecurities at the door.
Step 1- Educate yourself.
Now when I say ‘educate yourself’ I don’t mean go and do a personal training course. I mean start doing a little research on how to use certain machines, weights, beginner workouts or whatever your health goals are. Punch them into Google and see what you find out. There is a lot of good information at your fingertips if you look for it.
Doing a little research will empower you and help make you feel more comfortable and confident when you step into the weights area.
Step 2- Talk to a personal trainer
This is much easier to do when you have a goal in mind. Once you have a rough action plan it’s time to source a personal trainer. You don’t need to train with them every day or even ongoing, but at least 3-5 sessions with a trainer is a good start. A lot of trainers get a bad rap because a friend of a friend of a friend once had a trainer blah blah blah. Trust me we are not all the same. It is important to find a personal trainer who you feel comfortable with and you trust. One way to do this is by observing the personal trainers in your gym, watch how they train their clients. From here you will be able to gauge if they are right from you. Not only will a trainer be able to help you with a program to assist in reaching your goals, but they will also show you how to perform the exercises correctly and be able to find your limitations. Finding your limitations is important because there is really no point weight training if you are going too light and not making an impact. Just as lifting so heavy you lose technique or cause an injury.
Step 3- Calm down
Have you ever walked into the gym with the thoughts in your head “they are all looking at me” or “what if I am doing it wrong and those guys are laughing at me.” Don’t worry you are only human and it is a common thing to create the worst case scenario in our heads before doing something new especially in the gym environment.
One thing I can assure you of though, is that most people, especially guys are more concerned about what they are doing and checking themselves out in the mirrors then worrying about you. I mean where else can they go with a whole wall of mirrors to check themselves out. Just joking J. But honestly they don’t care what you are doing, if anything they should be giving you a round of applause if you’re not giving yourself one for doing something awesome for yourself. Everyone starts somewhere even the big guys.
Step 4- Buddy up
Not only will having a buddy keep you on track with your training goals and keep you going to the gym, but when you step in the weights room you will feel a sense of comfort knowing you are not alone. It doesn’t matter if they are a beginner as well. Together you can work it out, start experimenting with the equipment, encourage each other, correct each other’s form and reach your training goals together. Have a laugh and enjoy yourselves.
Every morning I do weights with my boyfriend. We help each other out, we keep each other accountable and we have fun doing it together. He obviously lifts a lot heavier than me and can do certain things I can’t but it doesn’t matter. One day at a time we are both becoming better versions of ourselves and getting closer to our health goals.
Step 5- Just do it
Now it’s time…. You have done your research, found a friend, had a chat and had a few sessions with a personal trainer and built your confidence up. It’s time to step into the weights area. Have fun with your training, remember no one is watching you and if they are it’s because you are awesome!
So from now on I want you to start reminding yourself this-
“I am doing something awesome for myself, and I will become better for it.”
Happy weight training.