Are you always thinking of joining the gym but the thought of going for the first few times scares the life out of you? Then I have some tips to help you become a gym pro.
Gym anxiety is super common and can leave people unable to reach their fitness goals. I know it’s something I’ve struggled with previously but I finally feel confident in the gym with these tips.
Do your Research – Plan your workout before you go
I think this is the most important point out of all the tips. If you do not have a plan, it can leave you feeling uneasy and dreading what is to come.
Watch Instagram and Youtube videos of fitness bloggers and their routines to learn about the type of moves they perform at the gym and write this down in a notepad or your phone so that you have it ready to go.
Exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses are some key moves that we all should incorporate into our routine if your aim is weight training.
I found this incredibly helpful. Accounts and blogs such as NaturallyStefanie, Grace Fit UK and Natacha Oceane are brilliant. They share useful tips and workouts on their Instagram feeds that you can then incorporate into your workout. This is exactly how I formed my routine. You’ll be able to see the correct form which is also so important – going in with little idea of form can end up in injury.
If you’re interested in cardio, my recommendation would be HIIT (High-intensity interval training). This is much more hardcore and effective than running at the same speed on a treadmill for 30 minutes. You’ll burn more calories and see much more results.
Again, these fitness athletes have HIIT routines available for you to incorporate and many gyms will also have HIIT classes. If you don’t know what to expect, research. There are plenty of Youtube videos available showing you what to expect when you go to certain classes. My favourite is a Canadian Youtuber, Keltie O’Connor.
Often, if you do not go in with a plan, you will miss crucial exercises and waste time thinking about what you are going to do next instead of getting in and out.
Take a friend with you for the first few sessions
Company is also reassuring when you are taking on something new, including the gym.
So if you still don’t think you can go alone after all your research, take along a friend for however long you feel you need them. A couple of sessions or even a few weeks. Eventually, you will find yourself feeling brave enough to attempt the gym yourself. By then you’ll know your routine, where the equipment is and you’ll be able to bash your workout out.
Make a Gym playlist
Have you ever tried to workout without music? Then you’ll know it can be hard to stay motivated. So, create a playlist full of songs that you know will motivate you and that you love so you can power through your workout without even thinking. Honestly, it helps so much. With my headphones on and music on full blast, I forget others are there and even start dancing and singing in the gym. Music is scientifically proven to improve motivation and determination. Perfect for the gym.
If music doesn’t motivate you, however, why not listen to a podcast. This is another one of my favourite ways to keep my mind preoccupied while beasting out a session.
Avoid going to the gym at peak time
I much prefer going to the gym when it’s quiet. Avoiding peak times allows you free reign of the machines and equipment and you can learn your technique without being distracted by others around you.
Remind yourself that everyone is there to better themselves, including you.
If one of your worries is that others are watching you. Believe me, they are not looking at you. They care about their own progress. Remind yourself why you are there. Push yourself through the first couple of weeks and in no time you’ll be in a routine and know exactly what you are doing. It’s unlikely, but if someone is looking at you it’s probably because you’re killing it, let’s face it.
Everyone has to start somewhere, even the huge ripped men who now have arm muscles larger than both of your legs put together. Would they be where they are now if they let what others put them off when they first started off at the gym? Nope.
Even if you’re worried you are performing a move wrong, don’t let this stop you. I know that if I see someone doing something interesting with a machine, I automatically think that they know more about fitness than myself, not that they are using the machine wrong. There’s so much variation in fitness and each machine can be imaginatively used for different things. Don’t stress it!
Following these tips, I’m now confident in the gym. My current routine includes 4-5 days a week of weight training and classes and overcoming the anxiety around the gym has finally meant I am starting to see results.
You can do it too.
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