Sarah Ohm

The Gym Is Scary – Tips For Getting Started!

I know that sounds a bit strange, but the gym can be an intimidating place. And for the amount that I’m at the gym, you’d think I’d be over it – I can only imagine what people who never go to the gym feel like when they step inside for the first time.If I’m being completely candid with you, I still have yet to even walk into the weight lifting area of my gym. The gym I go to is two floors, and the RPM/Group Fitness studios are all on the lower floor, while the cardio and weights are on the upper.

I’ve always been a cardio girl… ehhhh…. cardio junkie is probably a better term. I’ve never gotten into a groove with weight training like I did with cardio and so I just never do any form of resistance training. With the amount of cardio I do though, I can tell it’s eaten away at my muscles and I’m less strong than I used to be. YAY now it’s time to actually do the strength training. I’m still insane scared of the weight room, so I’ve put myself into different group fitness classes that I don’t normally take and it’s been helping, but I think I have to actually start weight training a couple days each week….

So if I’m so scared, how am I going to do it?? *this is what I envision you wondering to yourself…*

WELL I have some answers, and these aren’t just answers for myself – these are ways for any new gym goer to overcome their fears and get started on their fitness goals!

Sidebar, I just had the most amazing mango pastry EVER I’m on a total sugar high and it was 1000% worth it. Just sayin… 

OH-KAY we’re back to regularly scheduled programming.

Find A Friend

I know – this is easier said than done, but it really does help to have a friend with you. Someone you’re comfortable with, and bonus points if you have one of those friends who’s already familiar with the gym and can drag your ass in there when you get all nervous. I have a couple of those, so if I ever try and back out I literally get physically dragged. It’s great! You’ll find the more you’re at the gym, the more people you’ll meet naturally.

Try A Class

I may be incredibly biased about this because I teach classes, but get out and try a class! Being in a group fitness environment is super encouraging and you’ll see that there are always beginner people (up to advanced too of course) so you feel less intimidated. As an instructor, my biggest piece of advice would be to let your instructor know you’re new (when I have someone new in my classes, I instruct differently than when I have a class of regulars who all know what they’re doing). You should also touch base with the instructor after class if you’re curious about how you did, or if you need to fix anything you’re doing. Also, this is big, listen to the cues the instructor is giving. You may be so immersed in the class that you’re not performing with proper technique or maybe if you’re on a bike you don’t have the resistance right. Listen to those cues that the instructor is given and check to make sure you’re listening to what they’re saying.

Me at a BodyPump Class

At Home Workouts

If you’re not into hitting the gym, buy some simple at-home equipment and creep around YouTube till you find some workouts that look good and fun to you! My recommendations would be:

Yoga With Adriene if you’re into yoga.

POP Sugar Fitness for a variety of different workouts.

FitnessBlender for HIIT workouts based on skill level and duration.

These are a great way to get you started and get that motivation pumping. Once your confidence increases from doing these, you’ll be more comfortable hitting a weight room at a gym.

Bring A Plan

If you are nervous because you don’t want to look silly in front of people, bring a plan! Map out the workout you want to do and you’ll be able to zip back and forth between machines and no one will be the wiser that you are nervous! If you go to GoodLife, a great place to start is their FitFix! It’s a series of machines lined up in a row and if you do the entire thing it’s a whole body workout! It’s extremely basic but it’s a great place to start, and if you do the right weight, that should be enough for you (you may be a little wobbly after! Yay muscle fatigue).

You can use Google to find some beginner weight training plans online for little to no cost, or even find an app that can guide you through!

I totally get that the gym can be a scary AF place. Try to remember though, people are there to get their workouts on, not to judge you. And besides, you reeeeeeally shouldn’t give a fuuuuuck anyways! GOOD FOR YOU for getting yourself up, out of the house and inside that gym!!!! You deserve a round of applause :).

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