These days, gyms are practically everywhere. You see them in almost every corner in the city and you even see pictures of your friends working out every time you’re on social media.
Because of the increasing accessibility of these establishments and a large number of people engaging in fitness, it has probably crossed your mind to enroll in a gym. And maybe you have also caught yourself being hesitant and thinking whether or not you are ready for it. Or perhaps you’ve already enrolled but you are not using it because, well, the gym can sometimes be an intimidating place.
A common problem in the gym is that not everyone who goes there is comfortable. Some our intimated with the multitude of machines, some may not feel very confident with their bodies, while others might just not be sure what to do inside the gym. But if we overcome these, the gym can actually be a very fun and stress-free place that we can change our lifestyle for the better.
So how do we overcome gym intimidation?
1. Don’t go without a plan
A very common thing that new gym members tend to do is to go to the gym then walk and look around for minutes just to decide what exercise they should do next. I was very much like this when I first enrolled in the gym and I can relate on how awkward it can be to not know what I’ll do next (sometimes I even end up copying the routine of the nearest person!).
Our number one tip to overcome being intimated in the gym is to go there with a concrete plan in mind. You can write your workouts in a notebook so that you would remember what you have to do, how many sets and reps you have to finish, and which groups of muscles will you be focusing on for the day. This way, you won’t go wandering around the gym and just doing random exercises.
We do understand, however, that there are quite a lot of information that you can get on the internet regarding the “best workout plan for you”. So we advise that you consult a coach or a trainer to give you the basics of what to do inside the gym.
2. Don’t worry too much! No one is looking!
The gym is the place where people go because they want to work on themselves. Their attention is mostly focused on their workouts and beating their personal best. They’re not staring at you and judging your every move. So most likely, no one will notice your uncertainty to pick up that dumbbell or when you make a mistake adjusting the elliptical bike or a machine. It’s perfectly normal for those things to happen.
3. Learn the gym etiquettes
Although we pay for our gym membership, it is important to remember that the gym is a shared space. Which means that there are rules and basic etiquettes we need to follow as a member.
Put the weights back. Wipe down that sweat. Follow proper gym attire.
Knowing these basic rules can boost your confidence in the gym because you already have an idea of the Dos and Don’ts. And so long as you follow these very simple rules, you can certainly just mind your own business and not worry about what other people will think of you.
See: Gym Etiquette 101
4. Plug in your earbuds and Go!
There are so many people in the gym who just walks straight to the entrance, plug their earphones, and immediately do their workouts. And they’re not being a snob or anything, they just want to shut the noise and just focus. I mean, what better way to feel comfortable in the gym than playing your favorite playlist and just be in your own world, right?
5. Remember that there’s no shame in being a beginner
When you see fit people in the gym, it’s good to remember that they weren’t necessarily born that way. They worked very hard and dedicated months or even years to achieve their current fitness level. They too were once a beginner who was also clueless about what to do in the gym.
You already made the first step of signing up in the gym and committing to be a healthier and fitter version of yourself. You owe yourself a pat on the back for that. Don’t overthink about what to wear, what they’ll think of you, or any of those things that aren’t necessary for achieving your fitness goals.
We are all in the gym for our own reasons.
Who knows, maybe a couple of months from now, you’ll be our next #fitspiration!