I first started going to they gym two years ago and, at first, it was a daunting place. Although I ran and did other exercise the gym was unknown territory full of people who might be judging me. I didn’t know the difference between a squat and a deadlift or how to operate a treadmill, and the free weights area seemed out of bounds to a young, skinny girl, reserved only for enormous, burly men. Two years later, however, I love to work out in the gym and I feel comfortable there. Here’s a few of my top tips to build up your confidence if you’ve ever felt a bit anxious at the thought of the gym.
1. Be comfortable in what you’re wearing
Don’t think that you need to look like an Instagram model in the gym. You need to wear whatever you’re comfortable in, as long as it’s practical. So if a baggy t-shirt and leggings is your thing, then go for it but, just the same, if you feel great in a crop top and shorts, then don’t be scared!
2. Don’t worry that everyone is judging you
Everyone is at the gym to do their own thing and, mostly, they won’t be concerned about what you’re doing. If they are looking at you, then they need to get their head down and focus on their own workout. However, don’t be afraid if anyone comes over to offer some advice, it might be useful!
3. Create some goals
Having an idea of what you want to achieve will stop you floundering in the gym with no idea of what to do. Think about: do you want to improve your strength? Your cardiovascular fitness? Lose weight? And then break these down into smaller goals. for example, if you want to improve your strength which areas do you want to target? If it’s your lower body then your first goal might be to learn how to squat. Next, you can set targets of increasing the amount of weight you can squat. Clear targets will make you more focused in the gym and, of course, give you a huge confidence boost when you achieve them.
4. Find a gym buddy
Taking a friend along can help you feel much more comfortable in the gym. It could be another newbie who is in the same boat as you or a friend with more experience who can give great advice but having someone with you will definitely make the gym less scary, and maybe more enjoyable. You don’t need to be with someone all the time though; I quite often prefer to go solo as I can be more focused on my workout. Other days, though, I think it’s great to have someone I can work with.
5. Get advice
Don’t be scared to ask for advice. It could be a friend, your partner, gym staff, or other people in the gym. Even the enormous, burly men usually have some good ideas and aren’t really that intimidating. The internet can be a huge help as well. There’s so many resources with ideas for workouts or YouTube videos on to perform exercises which can be really handy.
Let me know how you feel about going to the gym, if you’ve got any tips or whether you find it an intimidating place.
Love, Rebecca x