Especially if it’s been awhile, hitting the gym can be intimidating and scary. If you’re feeling embarrassed or self-conscious, it’s much harder to get the most out of your workout!
Remember that everyone starts somewhere. It’s easy to think that you’re under scrutiny from others, but everyone is truly their own worst critic. Most people are just worried about doing what they can, and are much less concerned with what others are up to than we think they are…
I personally feel that anytime someone makes it to the gym (or finds a way to exercise in general) that it’s a victory, so my go-to thought is “good for you!” I think that's a pretty common outlook, actually :)
But I understand the feelings of insecurity - I think we've all been there! I just hope to help you get past your fears and get moving, because once you get going, it's a lot easier to keep up the momentum!
Here are 10 of my favorite tips to help you get over the mental hump:
Book a session with a personal trainer. Sometimes one training and/or orientation session comes with your gym membership, so if it does, utilize it! Even if you have to pay for it yourself, having someone give you the lay of the land and teach you how to use everything can be well worth it - walking into a gym and knowing exactly what you want to do (and how to do it) is key to an efficient, effective workout!
Utilize the internet. If the above isn’t an option and you’ve never seen a machine or piece of equipment before, google it and you’ll likely find tons of videos showing you its purpose, exactly how to use it, and what muscles it targets to help you know exactly what to engage.
Choose a program If you have the means to commission a coach to write you a specialized program, AWESOME! If not, there are plenty of free workouts and programs available online that are totally great - just choose one that seems to fit your goals, and scale as needed. Remember also that virtually any fitness program can work, as long as you do it safely and consistently!
Zone out. Make a killer playlist before you go, and have your headphones at the ready. Turn up the volume, forget about everybody else, and disappear into your own mental space - then kick some ass!
Waste no time, and get moving! Get in, get sweaty, get out. See how seamlessly you can move from one thing to another.
Bring a workout buddy. Having a friend there can make the first few times (or every time) you go to the gym so much more fun, more productive, and less intimidating. Helping each other stay accountable is an amazing bonus as well!
Fake it til you make it! Even if you’re not totally comfortable, being courteous and friendly goes a long way. Smiling really helps! A lot of times, it’s easy to assume everyone around you is super serious and judgmental - but if you’re the first to smile, you’ll be surprised at how much warm, friendly energy you’ll get back in return!
Remember that you belong there just as much as anyone else. Every workout is a victory, and every time you go makes a difference.
Know that you are not the only one. There will always be someone who is struggling more than you, has taken a longer break from fitness, or who has farther to go to reach their goals. Everyone trying to improve their health is a warrior, and all efforts are worth celebrating!
Be an inspiration. Whether you know it or not, there’s always someone who is going to be looking up to you, inspired by your efforts, and who respects your attitude, work ethic, or commitment to your journey. Be a great example for someone else who needs it!
So get to the gym, your group fitness class, or rejoin that spin studio - even if the first few workouts are tough, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
You’re amazing just the way you are, and deciding to become an even better version of yourself is a totally admirable pursuit. Everyone in the gym is trying to do the same thing!
In my opinion, lifting each other up with kindness, love, and encouragement is the best way to maximize all of our success - don’t be afraid to give or receive that positive energy :)
What will you do for your workout today?
Please feel free to comment, upvote, or resteem if you’d like!