I’ve always loved being physically active. I’ve always worked at a gym in some form or fashion for over 10 years: managing, teaching group fitness, or floor staff. I’ve seen countless, endless people not feel comfortable in a gym. They don’t think they’re in good enough shape or they feel judged. For a lot of folks, the hardest part of starting a health and fitness program is walking in the door. Keep reading for my suggestions on how to make the transition into the gym or a new fitness class easier for you!
rock your trip to the gym
Wear something that makes you feel good! This is difficult when you’re not feeling confident in your body, but I promise it helps. It's like going out with a fresh haircut. Whether it’s something that you feel hides your “trouble areas” or something new and colorful, pick something that makes you feel good. Got a new VS sport tank? Rock it!
Let them know you’re new! Going to class for the first time? Let the instructor know you’re new so they can keep an eye on you. I know you want to blend in, but deep down it’s that you don’t want to do something wrong. They’ll make sure you’re set up right, instead of walking around confused. As an instructor I loved knowing when I had new folks in class; it made me be more conscious of my cues. I also always made a point to speak to first timers after class to make sure they were successful and gave them tips for their next visit.
Scope it out! I hate that feeling of not knowing where to go. Go in during slow hours and look around. Find what equipment you want to use. Figure out where the bathrooms are. That’s also a great time to ask the staff how to use the leg press or to show you some moves with the kettlebells. Chances are if it’s a slow time of day, the staff will be thankful for the break!
Stop comparing! Here’s the thing yall, no one is immune to gym-timidation. Guys in great shape compare themselves to stronger guys and feel weak. Women in great shape still feel self-conscious. It all stems from comparison. Ever heard “comparison is the thief of joy”? It’s so true. You cannot compare where you are to anyone else’s journey, plain and simple.
Bring a friend! Remember gym class when you had to pair up or choose teams? You naturally reach out to your friends because they make you feel more comfortable! Besides that, they’ll help your performance. You’re more likely to show up and less likely to quit early when you have a workout buddy. Make your girls go to that new spin class together. If your friend already goes to that gym, find out about the guest policy so you can go with them first! Strength in numbers yall.