Ok guys, so it’s no secret that I’m like, the queen of cardio. But throw me into a weight room and I get self-conscious, scared, nervous and feel like I look like a fool no matter what I attempt doing.

I know I can’t be the only one that feels that way.

Cue in the *new year new me* crew and I’m in there with them. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to add strength training into my regular workout routine, and I don’t just mean going to a BodyPump class (although I do enjoy one on occasion). Doing cardio at LEAST 3x/week (my spin instructor schedule) plus the other classes I do “for fun” equals A LOT of cardio, and without doing anything to maintain my muscle mass, it all atrophies and I have no strength. So I thought the new year would be a great time to start a new weight routine, like many people do.

I know myself fairly well and I know that once I enter the weight area at the gym, I start looking around and staring off into space, feeling completely overwhelmed with the machines and the people on the machines who have quite obviously been doing this A LOT time. That got me thinking about ways I could figure out how to walk into the weight room confidently and not giving a fuck what other people think.

So if you’re like me and pretty scared of the weight room, take what I say with a grain of salt (it may work for you, it may not) but at least try to figure out ways that would work for you and help you get in there pumping iron!

  • Purchase a program made for you already, so you don’t go into the weight area blind. I purchased 30 Days To Fit with Beverley Cheng and it comes with all 30 days of workouts, videos showing you each workout, PLUS bonus warm-up’s for both upper & lower body, as well as cool downs and a video teaching you how to activate your glutes before you start lower body work. Plus some food prep advice, foam rolling advice, and recipes!
  • Start by trying to go at a time during the day where you know the gym is mildly less busy, just to start. When you’re first going into the weight room, in my opinion, the less eyes = the less nerves.
  • Start by exercising a muscle group that you do feel confident about. If you have strong legs, start by training that. If you have a strong upper body, start there instead. Working on a muscle group where you already feel confident can help combat the fear of lifting weights all together and get you more comfortable in that space.

In general, the more often I go to the gym, the more I realize that just like I’m not paying attention to what other people are doing, they’re not paying attention to what I’m doing, and as long as I’m not doing something stupid that’s going to hurt me, people won’t care what I’m doing!

I got to the gym to train upper body today and had to do a little circuit at the end. I’m always nervous about upper body because that’s where I’m weakest. Part of the circuit was to do this exercise called Bench Jumps. Basically, you place your hands on the end of the bench, clenching the sides, and using both feet you hop over the bench while tucking your knees into your chest. Ideally you don’t pause between you just keep going over, over, over, over.

Round 1, I was rusty. And to be honest I don’t remember one time in my life where I’ve had to do these before. I would hop, pause, hop, pause. By round 2, I was a little better… hop, hop, pause. Hop, hop, pause. THEN by round 3 I had this bad boy and I was killing it. For the entire 30 seconds it was hop, hop, hop, hop, hop, hop right to the finish. I WAS SO PROUD and I felt SO confident in myself after that! I was also breathless and my arms were on fire, but that was the entire point and even now I’m still so psyched that I finished it so well.

So those of you who fear the weight room, just know that with time and some of my tips above you can easily get over it and start building those muscles with me!!

Yeeeeah!! Who’s in???
Sarah