10 Steps To Feeling Less Awkward In The Gym
Because, let's be fair, it can be awkward AF.
So you want to get fit, you’ve got your trainers on and you’ve signed up for a gym membership – only issue is, you’re too scared to use it. If the thing that’s putting you off is the fear of walking into a busy gym with no idea what you’re doing, we’ve got your back.
The thought of ending up on a YouTube fail vid after aimlessly wandering from machine to machine is enough to put anyone off. But if you’ve never trained in a gym before, don’t worry – it’s possible to get past those nerves with a little preparation.
Need a little inspiration? Try this mega arms workout:
1. Plan what you’re going to do
Instead of walking into the gym with no idea what you want to do, decide which equipment you’re going to use before you even leave your house. It will help you feel more confident walking through the gym with a plan.
2. Ask for advice
Once you’ve decided on your workout, think about whether you know how to do it safely. A good gym instructor will give you an induction and answer any questions you have. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about asking for help - that’s what they are there for!
3. Talk to a PT
With the number of unmanned gyms increasing, there might not be anyone on shift at the gym you’ve chosen. If that’s the case and you want to start lifting weights, look up some professional advice of how to use the equipment, so you’re doing it comfortably and safely. Or better still, whether your gym is manned or not, book a session or two with a PT! Once you’ve explained your goals, they’ll be able to suggest the best exercises for you, and they’ll show you the correct technique. Yes, seeing a PT can be a bit pricey, but it will ultimately end up costing you far less than a bunch of physio appointments would if you injured yourself while training with bad form.
4. Shop around
Make sure you find a gym you feel comfortable in. Each gym has a different vibe, and there’s no point in becoming a member of the place that’s closest to where you live if you don’t actually like it there.
5. Invite a friend to join you
Asking a friend to go with you could help to settle your nerves as you can train together. You’ll also be able to motivate each other to stick with it on those days when the sofa has you in its clutches.
6. Wear headphones
Wearing headphones is kind of like having a comfort blanket in the gym. You don’t have to worry about making small talk so you can just get on with your workout, and with your favourite tunes playing you can go to your happy place.
7. Find out when the quiet times are
If you’re really nervous about using the gym, ask the instructors when it’s usually quiet, so you can train then. It’s a great way to help ease into using the gym, and it also means you’re less likely to have to wait to use any equipment.
8. Stop comparing yourself to others
Remember, everyone was once a beginner! Don’t compare chapter one of your fitness journey to someone else’s chapter 20. Stop worrying about what anyone else is doing in the gym and just focus on your own session.
9. Remember everyone is there for the same reason
One of the things many people worry about when they join a gym for the first time is if people will judge them for being sweaty and out of breath. Of course not, that’s what everyone is there for! Everyone gets sweaty and out of breath when they’re training.
10. Treat yourself to new workout clothes
Although you don’t need to worry about what you’re wearing in the gym, if some new gym clothes will boost your confidence then go buy some. Shop around and you'll find some that don’t involve taking out a mortgage.
Words by Natalie Roberts