The Gym Can Be Scary

The gym is one of those places that you either love or hate.

For anyone new looking to go into a gym for the first time or returning after some time away those first few times can be scary.

I have had clients tell me stories about their fear of the gym for years from driving to the gym and not getting out of the car, to making it to the front counter and turning away. I have lived this first hand recently when my wife started training with me at the gym late last year for the first time and now a month in she is loving it but the first few times she was hesitant. I have been able to learn more from her on this, so I thought I would share some tips and tricks on how to battle those first few weeks in the gym.

Generally speaking when someone decides to go to the gym for the first time or returns after some significant time away from the gym their motivation for going is the key factor in how long they will stick it out for. Weather you are going to the gym to loose weight, get fit or tone up all of the below tips will help you get through those first few weeks and have you craving a gym session in no time.

Crowds and people

Going into a new gym with all those people can be daunting, are they looking at me, am I going to look like an idiot, what am I doing here, there is to many people I should just turn around. All of these are common thoughts and one that you shouldn’t be ashamed of thinking.

The first thing you need to realise is most people in the gym are there for themselves, with headphone on and in their own little world, to put it frankly they couldn’t care less what you are doing. That sounds harsh I know but it’s the truth, people go there to train and get out and rarely pay attention to you.

Each gym will have peak times and low time, ask the staff when these peak times are and build up to them. If it is quieter in the morning vs the afternoon train around these times for the first couple of weeks and build up to the peak period where the is more people as your confidence grows.

Gym Equipment

People often head into the gym with a training program in hand they got off the internet or some exercise routine YouTube videos they have watched, but often these don’t tell you how to use the actual machines once you get to the gym.

This can be very daunting when you start out or if equipment has changed since the last time you were there.
These days 90% of equipment has diagrams on how to use it and the muscles it works printed on the machine itself. This can be a big help as often they have step my step diagrams which will show you how to use the machine.
Don’t be afraid to ask a PT either, do a couple of sessions get your head around the equipment and what you are doing. A PT is there to assist you and build your confidence so you can train in the gym by yourself as well. Gym’s like Crunch Fitness even offer PT packs where you get 3 introductory sessions at a discounted rate so that you can get a handle on the gym. These are a great way to ease into training.

Or put in your headphones, bring up YouTube and type in ‘how to use a leg press’ and watch the video, everyone in the gym is on their phone anyway so no one will know the difference.

Bring a Friend

Training with someone you know and trust whether its their first time or not, can also be a big help. My wife will still only go to the gym with me or a friend and that is fine, I like it, we get to spend time together and I love to train so I am getting to show her part of my world.

Training with someone you know makes everything a little less scary. From having someone to ask questions or throw ideas off to the simple things like if you are both doing the same exercise you can swap out between your sets and that makes your rest time easy to measure as your friend is on the machine while you are resting and vice versa. Plus you get to chat, gossip, talk the whole time which is always a plus.

Group classes

Group classes are an easy way to ease into gym life, they are made up of a group of likeminded people who are there to have fun and exercise. There is an instructor to help you or show you how to do something if you have any questions. Plus it is a great way to meet other people in the gym who may turn into training buddies. I know several people who have gym friends that all started from group classes, I even have some of my own and we now even years later still catch up.
Personal trainers
A personal trainer knows the gym like the back of their hand. They are there for you to ask questions and help you each step of the way. They are also a great at customising programs for you, if you have injuries, like or dislike machines and a pt session means there is someone there to literally help you each step of the way and show you exactly what to do.

So remember even through the gym may appear scary at first it doesn’t have to be. Take a friend, ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help or join a group class. In no time you will be loving going to the gym and remember the more you go the more confidence you grow.

 

Image credit: Crunch.com.au

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