For many people, one of the biggest hurdles they’ll face on their fitness journey is actually stepping into the gym. If that sounds like you, Aura Leisure is here to help.
If you feel insecure about yourself or daunted about how to use equipment in the gym, it’s so easy to feel intimidated by others who look like they were born there. People fear they will be stared at because they might look like a fish trying to climb a tree! Well thank god for self-absorption right… We promise you they don’t care!
Here are our top tips for overcoming Gymtimidation:
Ask a trainer for help
Let’s start with a fact: NO ONE is born knowing how to use weights or machines. So don’t feel like a fool that you don’t either and ask a trainer to show you. Don’t forget that’s what you’re paying for. Many gyms offer an induction when you join so use it, a handy option if you’re not ready to take the step to sign up for a personal training session. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn how to use everything with confidence. Once you know the ropes, you can walk into the gym like it’s your own fitness playground!
Sign Up to a Class
Group classes are great if you’re just starting out and finding your feet in the gym. It’s a handy way to pick up confidence and some exercise ideas you can use when you’re doing your own thing. It’s also a great way of making friends with fellow newbies. Introduce yourself to the instructor and tell them you’re new/nervous. Honestly, instructors buzz off helping their clients succeed and will do everything they can to teach you and make sure your form is correct, which is key.
Make a Plan
You know that awkward feeling when you wander around the gym aimlessly and feel like everyone’s looking at you like you’re a lost tourist in a foreign country? The best way to combat this is to make a plan – decide what exercise you’re going to do in advance, what machines and weights you’re going to use and when. This will keep you focused on your workout and determined to complete it. Jot it down on a piece of paper, on your phone, or on one of the many helpful fitness apps on IOS or Android. Then you can reflect on all you’ve achieved and reward yourself afterwards! (Did someone say ice-cream?!).
Music is a great motivator and handy way of blocking out those around you that you might feel intimidated by. Make a playlist of your favourite songs that get you pumped. Put your top songs at the end of the playlist so when you feel like giving up on the treadmill and that deadly tune comes on, it will push you to go further. Recommendation: Daft Punk – ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ or NSYNC ‘Tearing Up My Heart’. I will not apologise for that last recommendation, #tune.
Please, please do not let the appearance of others intimate you. If you see other people in the gym wearing nothing but a sports bra and short shorts, hair perfectly groomed and makeup on fleek, they are probably not there to do a decent work out. The gym is the one of the few places it’s totally acceptable to look like a sweaty dishevelled creature and people will respect you more for looking like that than standing in the mirror taking selfies. Wear whatever the hell you want that feels comfortable. Investing in decent gym gear can also give you confidence and will be a great motivator, when you look good, you play good!
Like anything in life, if you’re unsure, just google it! If you’re confused about how to work a certain machine or do an ab workout, there are an abundance of articles, videos and tutorials on the web. Try watching Youtube fitness videos. It’s a great way to find new fitness ideas that are fun and you can bluff looking super professional! Check out some of our fun HIIT workouts here.
Grabbing a friend to go with you will make hitting the gym a lot less scary. Plus, it’s way more fun to do a buddy workout together and have a laugh! It’s also a great excuse to go grab grub together afterwards. Most gyms offer Pay as You Go so your buddy can go along even if they’re not a member. Aura Leisure offer PAYG rates for as little as €8. Check out our buddy workout here.
Lastly, remember that everyone started out as a newbie at some point on his or her fitness journey. We’re all there to get healthier and happier; we just have different starting points.