I knew when I decided I wanted to start weight training I was going to have to brave the ‘scary area’. Shut off behind a frosted glass wall was the dreaded ‘strength and conditioning room’. I’d peered in ever so often when doing my cardio but never braved the room myself. After Christmas, I decided it was time. My boyfriend made me my workout plan, which meant being in the scary area 4 times a week, trying things I had absolutely no clue how to do. I’ll be honest, I was really nervous about going in and trying new things. I’d got so used to doing my cardio and that being that.
‘Feel the fear, do it anyway’ , I told myself, internally cringing at my own cliché. I was definitely not going to enjoy this. I walked in and, to my surprise, I was actually alright. I didn’t know what I was doing but everyone was super friendly and encouraging and more than willing to help me out. I’ve been doing it for about 4 months now and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve improved so much, made so many new friends and continue to learn and improve with every session. Here’s my top tips for getting started on weights and braving your ‘scary area’.
1) Watch videos before you start.
YouTube videos can be a great way to learn how to do things and helped me to feel a lot more confident when trying things for the first time. A lot of videos will also show you ways you can simplify exercises and progress at your own rate which is super important when you first start out. Don’t worry about not being the strongest in the room, just focus on yourself. No matter what weights you start on, everyone has to start somewhere.
2) If you’re still stuck, ask for help!
Most people are more than willing to help you out (in fact, they’ll probably be quite flattered you asked!). You can also ask the people who work in the gym for a bit of advice, it is their job after all and they’d rather you be doing it properly than struggling and hurting yourself. Asking for help can be nerve racking but if you’re serious about doing it, it’s got to be done.
3) Keep pushing yourself.
The main thing I’ve learnt since starting weight training is you have got to keep on pushing yourself. It can be tempting to stick on a weight because it’s easy but that won’t get you anywhere. Make sure you keep on pushing yourself to get the most from your weight training.
4) Don’t be scared to fail!
You don’t know if you can do something unless you give it a go. As long as you are making sure you’re safe, no one is going to think bad of you for trying something a bit different or a bit heavier and not quite getting there. You won’t be able to do everything straight away (I certainly can’t, ahem pull ups…) but you’ve got to take that first step.
5) Don’t be too hard on yourself…
It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to eat a bit of cake. It’s even okay to miss a session (I know, shocking!). It’s okay to struggle a bit, just don’t stop. When I’m having tough days I find my fellow Instagram gym buddies help me to get my motivation back. You’re not going to see progress all the time and that’s okay. Be proud of where you are at but keep going until you get to where you want to be. It can be tough but you can do it.
My last tip and something I keep in my mind throughout all my workouts, don’t stop until you’re proud. Keep going, but consistent and be kind.
Good luck – you’ll rock it!