The gym can be a daunting place; the runway walk from the changing room to the treadmill, the awkward wait for a machine and the creepy stares from strange men are enough to put anyone off. I still find it intimidating sometimes but at the end of the day it’s where the magic happens and I’ve learnt to deal with most of the weird stuff. Here are my top four tips for anyone new to a gym.
Go to your gym induction
It’s tempting to skip your induction, (although in some gyms they are compulsory) but they are useful. You may feel silly having to lag behind a trainer as they show you how to turn the treadmill on or re-rack a weight but gym staff are there to help so make the most of the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like about the gym and how you can make the most of it. You’ll wish you did when you’re stuck on a machine wondering how on earth to adjust the seat. Some machines can be confusing at first but if you’re alone and clueless you may end up with an injury so utilize your induction and find out what advice the staff members have for you to reach yor goals.
2. Wear something you feel good in
No, the gym is not a fashion show, although it might feel like one sometimes with the amount of nipple and navel on show, but if you’re spending half of your workout pulling up your leggings or trying to make sure your belly doesn’t show as you plank then you’re less likely to get the most out of your workout. Wear something that you feel comfortable in; if you don’t like wearing sleeveless tops then don’t feel pressured to just because everyone else is. Dress in something that you feel happy wearing and can exercise effectively in. When you look good, you feel good and positive energy creates productive workouts.
3. Go with a plan
It’s easy to just waltz in and work out depending on ‘how you feel’ but a workout based on your mood can result in disaster. The best type of gym routine is a consistent one so take the time to research and create a training plan and stick to it. Hopping from one machine to the next without a clear structure will not get results. Plan your routine, reps and sets before you begin and your workout will flow much smoothly and have a greater impact.
4. It’s all about you
You might be scared at first and feel like all eyes are on you but in actual fact, most people are too focused to care about what you’re doing. Don’t feel intimated by those around you and don’t compare yourself to what others are doing or how they look. She’s lifting heavier than you or her legs are more toned than yours? So what! It’s your journey, so focus on yourself and do what you need to do. Put in your headphones and get in your zone and give it all you’ve got, you’ve come to the gym to achieve a goal so don’t let Mr I-can-help-you-squat distract you or waste time instagramming every aspect of your workout. Put in the hard work and your results will come.
Did you find the gym daunting when you first joined? What tip would you give to a newcomer?