Gyms can be incredibly scary and intimidating for newcomers to the scene - particularly if you are just getting started on a weight loss program and trying to get back in shape. It’s no surprise, then, that something like ‘gymtimidation’ exists.
The gym is full of muscle-bound guys and girls who look like they own the joint, and they are fit. Actually, really fit - in fact, they barely seem to break a sweat after a few hundred metre sprints on the treadmill and a weightlifting session with dumbbells the size of half a cow. At least, that’s what it seems like.
But the truth is somewhat different. Just because people look like they are running the show, gymtimidation happens to almost everyone, just in different ways. And if you want to get fit, you’ll need to face your fears, and defeat your particular version of gymtimidation once and for all. Here are a few ways of doing it.
Never pick a gym and start paying membership without going down and checking it out first. Some are ideal for newbies, while others attract a more hardcore crowd. The point is, with a little looking around and selectivity, you will find a gym that is suitable for you - and that has many other members who are in a similar situation to yourself.
Map your workouts
Gymtimidation often leads to indecisiveness, and you might find yourself wondering around for 10-15 minutes wondering what you should do next. Try to avoid doing this and come up with a workout plan before you go, either through your own research or with the help of a personal trainer. In fact, personal trainers can be a great help when you are just starting out, so if it’s within your budget, I recommend getting one.
Look the part
The better you look in the gym, the more body confident you will feel about working up a sweat - it’s that simple. The trick here is to dress comfortably, in clothing that suits you - don’t just go for the latest styles just because everyone else is. Patterned clothing can help hide a multitude of body sins if you are worried about bulges and bumps - and don’t forget about the gymtimidation in the locker room, too. Something like patterned Waxx underwear for men or women, for example, will help you appear a little slimmer, and draw the eye away from your bumpy bits.
Gyms can be intimidating aurally as well as visually, and the combination of sights and sounds can weigh heavily on you when you are working out for the first few times. The solution? Try taking your own music, to shut out everyone else’s noise and keep yourself in your zone. Build a playlist on Spotify or something similar, grab yourself some workout earbuds, and away you go to a perfect workout.
Go late - or early
Gyms, just like everything else in life, have peak times. And it’s at these popular times of day that you tend to get the real show-offs turning up. So just avoid them! Go earlier in the morning or later after work, and you should miss out on the regular gym intimidators. Not only that, of course, but you will a lot more access to all that important equipment!
I hope these tips help you build up some confidence for your next gym experience. Let me know how you get on!