Going to the gym alone for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience.
After months of thinking about it, you decide to finally do something about your health – wether that be for losing weight, feeling better, or just looking good.
So what comes to mind? The Gym of course.
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Soon after you have your brilliant idea to go down to the local gym, thoughts of what other people there are going to think of me. Will I fit in? Negative images start to swarm in your head.
It’s a new and unfamiliar environment, so it makes sense that you have some doubts…
But you are determined to follow through this time and you push on and you make it to the gym where you sign up for a membership. You decide that tomorrow morning at 7 am you will get your workout in.
You show up and the second you step in the gym and look around you realize that you have no idea what any of this equipment is or how it even works.
What do you do?
Going to the gym alone can be a fearful experience. Here are 4 tips to help you overcome the fear of fitness.
1) Realize that everyone has been where you are
Everyone who has stepped foot into a gym has gone through the anxiety that comes with being the new person in the gym. This is normal. Even I, a grizzled fitness vet, sometimes still get those first time gym butterflies when going to a different gym.
The difference is, I know what I am doing so I exude college frat boy confidence when I step into the gym.
Realize that this anxiety is normal. The fit girl doing squats started where you are and the guy busting out weighted pull-ups started out not being able to do even one pull up.
Everyone that starts on his or her fitness journey starts at the same point.
They may just be at a different point than where you are right now.
2) Not all gyms are the same
Not all things are created equal. That’s why store brand ice cream cost a nickel for a gallon and quality ice cream costs 6 bucks for a pint. Why? Because the expensive ice cream is better in all ways.
Gyms are the same way. There are 4 types of gyms you can go to.
Big Box Gym:
These are the most budget friendly gyms. They will have all the cardio machines you could ever hope for.
If you are looking to build relationships, it will be hard here, for most people have a lone wolf mentality in these gyms.
If you are looking for coaching and guidance, you will have to pay extra with to have a personal trainer.
Cross Fit/ Large Group Gyms:
These are a little more expensive than the box gym, but still overall budget friendly.
There will be limited equipment available to you and you will have to come at set times for training sessions.
These types of gyms are good for meeting people because everything is done in a group setting.
You will get some coaching, depending on the quality of the gym.
Small Group Gyms:
Small group training is a little more expensive.
You will have a program made for you and a coach to help you through the training session. You will have to show up at specific training times.
This type of gym falls between the big box and large group gyms when it comes to ease of building relationships.
Personal Training Studios:
Personal training is by far the most expensive.
You will have all the coaching and programming you will ever need, but you will be doing it with your trainer and no one else.
You will have to schedule all of your training sessions.
Finding a gym that best fits your personality is huge. If you are a 30-something female who enjoys working out to Taylor Swift and have no interest in lifting heavy weights, then the local power lifting gym is not the right place for you. If you are an athlete looking to build strength, power, and speed, the gym that has no squat racks and carries weights only up to 40lbs with no place to do speed and agility work, this is not right for you.
Take some time and find a gym that you will actually enjoy going to each day.
3) Have a plan beforehand
Having a workout plan you know how to do before you head to the gym is huge. This will save you the awkward feeling of aimlessly wandering around doing a set of curls here, a set of leg extensions there and so on.
If you are going to a big box gym it may help to hire a personal trainer
to make you a program and do a few session to teach you the program.
There are also plenty of great online coaches that will be happy to write you a program and can coach you through online videos. This is a cheaper option than personal training most of the time (shameless plug, I just so happen to do online programming and coaching).
Without a plan I can guarantee that you will not stick with the gym for very long. Come up with a plan
, execute it, and follow through with it consistently and you will see results.
4) Take group classes
A great way to meet people and feel more comfortable at a gym is to take a group class. There is no thinking involved, you just follow what the instructor says. A good group class will make modifications to the program to fit your fitness level and any injuries you may be dealing with.
Wrapping it all up
If you spend some time finding the right fitness environment for you and taking time to plan your roadmap to success . I suggest asking a fitness professional for guidance as this will go a long way in quelling your fitness fears.
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