What to expect from your first time
Huge muscles, loud music and lots of weights? It can be an intimidating experience when going to a gym for the first time. That’s why we’re going to give you some top tips to help you make that first trip a comfortable one.
I remember the first time I ever went to the gym. It was 15 minutes away from my house. Some of my friends were already members and it was open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
My first trip to the Gym
On a Saturday morning, I made my way to the gym for the first time. It was a chilly morning and I was on my own. As I walked closer and closer to the entrance, I grew more and more anxious. I thought everybody will judge me, or laugh at me for being the newbie.
When I stepped into the gym, the first thing I heard was lively chatter and the radio being played. The reception desk was right in front of the entrance. I was welcomed by a tall, muscular man wearing the gym’s branded tracksuit.
He was friendly and welcoming so, already, I felt more comfortable. I told him that it was my first time. So before any signing up took place, he showed me around.
After completing my tour of the gym, I decided to join up. The environment was great, the workers were very helpful and the other members of the gym were very friendly.
After going regularly, I started to feel a bit self-conscious during my workouts. While I was lifting 20kg of weight, the man next to me was lifting a 100kg doing the same exercise. Would he be judging me? Does he think I’m weak? So, I decided to step away from my paranoia and instead I did this. I asked him for advice. When he was done on the exercise he was working, I spoke up and he turned out to be really friendly. And, he was really helpful in showing me a lot of new things.
So, my advice is If you feel stuck in the gym, just ask! Everyone I’ve ever asked for advice in the gym, be it a member of staff or another member of the gym, they’ve always given me help when I needed it and made sure I did everything correctly, offering support along the way.
I realise that feeling self-conscious can be a big turn-off. So, to help, I’ve made a list of three things to stop you feeling so uncomfortable.
3 Pointers to stop you from being self conscious in the gym
- Say to yourself, “I understand that perhaps everybody in the gym is thinking the same. It’s a common thing for people to feel this way.” All of my friends who workout in gyms say they tend to feel that people are looking at them and judging them during training, even though they’ve been going for years!
- Go with a friend or family member. Their company will distract you from thinking about other members. Whenever I went to the gym with a friend, I didn’t feel nearly as self conscious or worry about what others were thinking of me.
- Have your routine planned out and try not to rest more than necessary in between exercises. It’s usually when you’re resting that you notice everyone around you and thoughts of self consciousness may creep in. You don’t want to battle with the thoughts, but it helps to pay attention to what you are doing in the here and now.
What I’ve learned
So, my experience of the gym tells me that you can expect good company, plenty of motivation and a friendly environment in which you can progress regardless of how much you know about exercise or fitness and how much you’ve done it.
The more you go, the more you see many more people like yourself also there at the gym trying to reach their own goals. So try not to over-complicate the process and just go for it!
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