One of the greatest hurdles I had to overcome when I first began training was getting over ‘the fear’ – I was terrified of going into the gym. It seems strange now, right? I am a qualified PT and work for Gymshark for god sakes but, believe it or not, there was a time I avoided PE like the plague and the thought of walking into the strength and conditioning area in the gym gave me literal nightmares. Overtime I have picked up a lot of tips that helped me to build confidence in the gym and end up not only loving training in my free time but also making a career out of helping others to love it as well. I strongly believe that every single person deserves to feel confident, happy and safe in a gym environment so I hope that some of these top tips will help some of you new gym-goers out there!
Have A Plan
If I could only give one piece of advice it would be this – have a plan. Not only is this going to help you smash your workout but it is also going to mean you’re not wandering around aimlessly and feeling awkward (speaking from experience with this one!). Give yourself a bit of time before your gym session to plan what you want to achieve – that way you can give bits a bobs a google if you’re unsure and walk in with confidence and smash your session.
If you’re struggling with planning your own work out…
Get A Trainer
We’re nice, I promise, and most trainers, if they’re worth their salt, will teach you proper form and help you create a tailor made plan so that when you go at it alone you can smash it. Do your research and get yourself a trainer that is right for you. It can be expensive but, as I trainer and online coach, I really do think it’s worth it. Having somewhere there not only for accountability but also to provide motivation and mental support is invaluable when you’re feeling nervous.
If you’re interested in getting an online coach and want a bit more information, get in contact with me on firstname.lastname@example.org. The initial chats are totally free and although I can’t be there with you, I am available all the time to offer support and guidance.
If you can’t afford a trainer make sure you have a least got yourself a…
Get A Good Gym Induction
A good gym induction is vital when first joining a gym. Even if you have been training before and think you know the ropes don’t turn one down. They are a great way to feel at ease in a new environment as well as gives you a chance to get to know the staff. It’s also the perfect opportunity to assess your fitness levels and workout what your goals are. Having goals will help give you the motivation it takes to fight to nerves and do it alone.
This leads me on to my next top tip…
Do Your Research
Every gym is different and they all have a different ‘vibe’. Don’t be nervous about going to look around the gym and even having a taster session before committing to a membership. Even now there are some gyms I feel a lot more at home in than others. It is important to work out what you are looking for from your gym and what it right for you. Have a chat with the people who work there who will be more than happy to offer any help and advice. It might sound daft but it is really worth making a consideration choice when it comes to which gym you go for. If you like the atmosphere and the people there you are much more like to feel at ease and want to go back.
Invest In Some Killer Gym Clothes
Now I know that I always say you don’t need anything apart from yourself and some motivation to smash your sessions so this might seem a little hypocritical, but I speak from experience when I say that feeling fresh in a brand new outfit really helps with confidence. I used to always say that I would only buy nice gym clothes if I knew I was going to go (kind of like a reward) but this time I got them before and they acted as the best incentive. I have learnt that feeling good in gym clothes isn’t about my having the ‘perfect’ body, it’s about celebrating the body you have at the time and how incredible it it. Be your own cheerleader and invest in some gym clothes – you won’t regret it.
Take Your Headphones
Music always motivates me. A little bit of Survivor and you can guarantee I’m going to absolutely dominate my workout. Having your headphones in also helps you to zone out and focus on your own workout. As much as I love chatting to people in the gym, I know this can be intimidating (not to mention distracting) and so having your headphones acts like a bit of a deterrent.
Don’t fancy listening to some bangers? That’s fine, instead…
Get A Gym Buddy
Joining a gym is a new venture and so it is completely normal to be nervous. Just like with anything else, having someone there by your side for a bit of moral support can be really helpful. Having a friend there with you will make the whole process a lot less intimating and will also provide some accountability in the long run.
Don’t have any friends you can drag along with you? No worries, instead you could always…
Go To Classes
Classes are a fab way to meet people and get yourself used to the gym environment in a fun and safe situation. When I first started training I had no one to go with and so I decided to go to a ladies only boxing class. I went along on my own and got chatting to a lovely girl. Flash forward 9 month and she is one of my best friends and my ride or die gym buddy. Without braving a class I never would have met here, and what I sad, sad world this would be…
Remember, everyone has been there
As I mentioned at the beginning, we have all been there, myself included! ‘The Fear’ is not uncommon so don’t think that every single other person in the room is an expert – the chances are the majority will just be your average person trying to keep fit and healthy. Keep in mind you have just as much right to be in that room as every single other person, whether they are training for a competition or wanting to lose a few pound. Every single person has a goal and everyone should feel comfortable and valued in a gym.
So there you have it, my top tips that I have picked up over the last few years. I will say that the majority of people are very friendly and willing to help. Of course you get some nasty people but I have been lucky enough to only come across kind and supportive people on my journey. Remember that you’re doing it for you. ‘The Fear’ is hard to overcome but I promise you that it is worth it.