Everyone has been there. Walking into a gym for the first time and feeling completely overwhelmed. You see all the jacked guys pounding out reps in the weight room and all the skinny girls on the cardio machines. The gym can be a very intimidating place – but it doesn’t have to be! First, you have to stop obsessing over guessing other people’s thoughts and get control of your own.
When I first started I would throw on a baggy dark shirt and pants and just try to blend in. I would hang out on the stepper that overlooked the weight room and watch everyone work out. I started to learn where certain machines were and how to use the weird looking ones just by simply watching from a far. I knew I wanted to start lifting weights and my goal was to make it into the weight room.
I found a program online and looked up how to do each exercise on YouTube. Having a plan and knowing how to do it will help you feel more confident in the gym. I knew what I was doing and exactly what I needed to do next. I wasn’t standing around wondering what to do or randomly jumping from machine to machine.
Getting control of your mind is the key to any success. If I started to feel my anxiety building up when I couldn’t find a certain machine, I would stop and always tell myself this: “If you leave because you feel like you look stupid in front of people then you’re the only one who is suffering.” They still get their workout in and go on with their day. If I leave then I am the one who will be depressed the rest of the day at home and not working toward my weight-loss goal. The serious lifters are way too into their own workout to watch what other people are doing anyway. The one’s who do sit there and judge people don’t know what they are doing either! That’s why they have time to sit there and people watch. They are just as lost as you and their opinions don’t matter.
Now I go into any gym with confidence and If I get weird looks doing hip thrusters in the middle of the gym floor, well at least I will walk out of there with a bigger ass. Hell, I’ll even make eye contact with the person who is staring at me from across the gym. 🙂