So, you’ve decided to take the leap. You’ve seen the neon signs, the enthusiastic sales team, the taunting billboards saying a six-pack is only days away. If you’ve found yourself the proud owner of a gym membership, but are lacking the courage to step through those large, glass doors you’re not alone. To help you conquer your gym fears once and for all we’ve compiled this simple guide to cure gym intimidation.
The scale of gym chains can be intimidating even to regular exercisers. If you’re finding yourself shying away from open floor plans, and rows of treadmills start small instead. Neighborhood gyms, studios, and boot camps often have small class sizes and offer more personal guidance. If you’re trying to beef up your fitness level before heading to the gym, structured classes like pilates (generally a maximum of ten participants per class for a reformer class) or outdoor boot camps that give you all the space you’d want with the structure of a course, are great options.
Get a Good Playlist
When you’re feeling uneasy in a situation sometimes the best you can do is put your head down and just get on with it. If you’re anxious about heading to the gym, make yourself a great playlist (see how music helps fitness here), head to a treadmill, or stair stepper and just work hard. Time goes by quickly when you’re listening to your favorite music. Chances are too, that everyone around you is focused on their own discomfort, or workout, or life, and not paying you much attention anyway.
Gym Rats are There for Progress
There’s this pervasive belief that people who work out at a gym are already rocking svelte physiques and perfect form. When major gyms like 24-hour fitness advertise on TV, it’s not surprising they only include images of fitness junkies. In reality though, a gym attracts people hoping to improve. While there may be a few of the consistent fitness aficionados there, more likely than not the majority of your workout buddies will be there because they’re either trying to lose weight or firm up. Certain times of day may attract different groups as well; so if you’re really struggling with possible onlookers, go early in the morning or late at night. The most popular time of day at any given gym is generally early to mid morning (8:00 am – 11:00 am) and late afternoon to evening (4:00 pm – 7 pm).
Spring for Some Training
Most gyms offer personal training for an additional cost. While it is generally on the pricey side, even just two or three classes with an instructor will help your comfort level at the gym. If you do spring for classes ask to learn about the various equipment, find what plan is best for your body, and familiarize yourself with the layout of the gym. Another benefit of personal training, is that even after a couple of classes you’ll recognize a friendly face at your gym and that will easily cut back on your gym intimidation.
As is the case with any new experience, going in blind can be intimidating. If you have gym intimidation because you’re unfamiliar with the equipment or etiquette, take time to prepare beforehand. Make a plan of action, an idea of what you want to achieve in the gym e.g. cardio, weight lifting, legs, or arms. From there, you can familiarize yourself with the equipment before you go, plan how long you’re going to stay, and get in and out with out dawdling.
How did you cure your gym intimidation? Let us know by commenting below or on our Twitter. As always, stay up to date with all ThrivePass news by following us here or on Twitter and LinkedIn.