1. Tour, try and talk
“Sam, I can’t go to the gym because I don’t know what I’m doing”.
This is a fear that I totally understand. I know it can be incredibly intimidating walking into a room full of machines and equipment with absolutely no idea on what they’re called or how to use them. Remember, everyone in the gym has been in your position before and we all have to start somewhere. You’re trying to find something that makes you feel safe and motivated and has good energy the moment you step through the door. This is something that is very hard to discover through a phone call, website or Instagram page. So go down and speak to someone, 9 times out of 10 you know when somewhere is the right place for you. I also encourage you to make the most of group fitness classes to help build up your fitness and familiarize yourself with some key pieces of equipment, instructors, fitness terminology and other members.
2. Test a trainer
Any good gym will have staff and trainers who are happy to show you around and even give you some tips on how to use some of the machines. It’s definitely worthwhile investing in a few PT sessions, just to get familiar with some of the equipment and some basic exercises. This will ensure that when you go off on your own you have an understanding of correct technique
- You do not need to wait to ‘get fit’
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Sam, I’m going to join your gym/program as soon as I get in shape”. You do not need to “be in shape” to get started, you just need to start. I get it, getting started is scary. We have fear and doubt and we don’t know where to start but you need to remember that most people understand the position you’re in.
- Remember, no-one is looking at you
People go to the gym for a reason. That reason is not to look at what other people are doing and pass judgement. Everyone is there do to exactly what you’re doing- do your workout and leave. Put your headphones in, listen to a ripping playlist and get it done.5. Take a buddy
Team work makes the dream work so why not grab a friend or family member to workout with you? You can hold each other accountable and use each other as moral support. Whether they’re a seasoned gym-goer or someone in the same position as you, having someone there can help to minimise those feelings of anxiety and discomfort.6. Plan your workout
Often people are scared of heading to the gym for fear of not knowing what to do or for wandering around clueless. Work out what your workout is going to look like and even write it down so that when you get there you know exactly where to start. It’s always good to have a few backup options in case the piece of equipment you’re after is already in use. There are so many refreshing online resources available so you will undoubtedly find a workout or program that works for you.
Often people are scared of heading to the gym for fear of not knowing what to do or for wandering around clueless. Work out what your workout is going to look like and even write it down so that when you get there you know exactly where to start.
I hope all of the above tips have helped take away a little bit of the fear around putting the gym membership to use. Another important thing to mention is that I always see the best success people have when joining a gym is when they have been referred by someone who has had success just like them. So with this in mind, ask around, try before you buy and know that before you know it you’ll look back and laugh at the thought of ever being afraid.