At one point in time we are all new to the gym. The clank of the iron, everyone grunting, sweating and breathing loudly. This can all feel, look and seem very intimidating to a newcomer in the gym. I am here to tell you, everything is alright and there is nothing to be intimidated by! Here are some tips to help you get more comfortable with being in a gym setting. Tips to help you succeed and continue your journey rather than become discouraged and quit only a few short weeks after beginning.
1. Program it out!
First and foremost, if you are new to the gym have a plan when you arrive. Don't just come in and start going HAM on every piece of equipment you see. Having a plan sets you up for success, it also helps to keep you on track, focused and calm.
2. Music on world off!
This is a pretty important one even for a seasoned gym-goer like myself. Having music that YOU enjoy can boost your mood, hormone levels and give you focus to get through that workout with gusto and ease. Another thing to remember is that you won't always like the music playing in your new gym, and this is not something as a member we can control. Headphones allow you to get into your zone and focus on the movements at hand.
3. Colors are energy!
If you are lacking in a little energy or motivation grab yourself a great, bright colored outfit! There is science behind how colors affect our mood, you can read that here. You can also purchase a new outfit to show off! Being in something new always makes you feel better, don't neglect that feeling!
4. Sweat baby!
As a trainer, I often hear ladies tell me they don't want to sweat. I am here to tell you, get over this. Sweating is great for you! You lose excess fat (very small percentage), excess water weight, and toxins. Sweating is great for your skin as well! Sweating out impurities in the body for a healthier living.
5. Take it slow!
Whoever told you that you have to go HAM in the gym, slap them. You are new! Are you trying to get hurt? Keep in mind, the members you see around you that are already in shape have gone through their journey. They have taken the time to put in the work, it didn't happen overnight. Allow yourself time to take it slow. Plan your workouts, plan your recovery meals, plan your rest days. The important part is that you got up and made it to the gym to get active and take care of yourself today. You do not need to be an elite level athlete/gym-goer to achieve your goals or call yourself a lifter.
6. Down time!
If you're like me and being in a crowded gym after work gives you anxiety, try to find off-peak times to sneak in a workout. Many times the gym is going to be busier in the couple hours before everyone jets off to work, between 6-8am, and again when they are finished with their work day, between 4-7pm. If you aren't yet comfortable with being in the gym, these are not your time to go workout. Your best bet is to go between 9-3.
7. If you aren't sure, ask!
Listen, if you aren't sure of how a piece of equipment works or how to perform a specific movement, GRAB A TRAINER! Do not grab your front desk, they don't know anything and often times ARE NOT A CERTIFIED TRAINER. Trainers help keep you educated and safe, the front desk knows what they are shown, what they may have learned from a trainer in their sessions, and what they have been told by their managers. They are not here to help you in a fitness aspect. They take care of billing, other gym issues, and so on. ( I worked at a golds front desk for 5 years before becoming a trainer.) Keep in mind that a great trainer will help you and give you pointers and tips, don't take advantage. If you have that many questions, purchase a month and learn something for yourself and about yourself. Don't be THAT guy who can't ask for directions. ;)
8. Go your own way!
Don't worry about what the bodybuilder who has been lifting for years is doing. What the powerlifter/strongman athlete is working that day. Don't allow the bang of the HEAVY weight hitting the floor deter you from your own workout. In other words, focus on what you are doing rather than what those around you are doing. Many times we are off in our own world and unaware of what is going on around us. While this is something I fully disagree with at times it can be useful. In the gym it's okay to do your own thing and not worry about those around you. Keep it mindful though! Put your weights back, wipe down your equipment, and watch how close you get to others. You would not want the same for yourself, right?
So as you plan out your New Years Resolutions for your fitness, wellness, and health journey keep these few gym tips in mind! It never has to be difficult or cumbersome. Get a plan and stick to it. Unsure, ask questions this is how you learn and grow!
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