So you’re rocking gym rookie status, good for you! Starting your fitness journey is exciting, but it is also scary and intimidating:
“Where do I start? Should I do cardio or lift, or maybe both? What kind of lifting? Ass to the Grass, what does that even mean? Why are people looking me?”
“Okay, well I guess I’ll just do the elliptical.. again…” (Please don’t resort the the elliptical. Please?)
I get it, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. We all had to start somewhere.
But I’m here to tell you starting your journey doesn’t have to be intimidating; it doesn’t have to be scary. You just have to be prepared.
Wear a comfortable outfit: Make sure your clothes fit you (i.e. make sure your sports bra isn’t too tight or too loose), and wear an outfit that you feel confident in. If you’re self conscious about your arms (which you shouldn’t be! But if you are), wear a long sleeve shirt. If you’re self conscious about your tummy, don’t wear a crop top, etc. Also, wear the right kind of clothes – tennis shoes, flexible pants/leggings/shorts, moisture wicking shirts, etc.
Look good, feel good, and get your grind on.
Have a plan: This is SO important. How many times have you gone to the gym without a plan, tried a couple of machines out for size, then just resorted to cardio because you didn’t know what else to do? One hundred billion times, probably. So don’t do that – have a plan when you go to the gym. Know what workout you’re doing, what lifts you’ll be doing, how many reps, and stick to it.
My favorite source/site for workout plans is bodybuilding.com. There are pre-made programs to meet your specific goals, and there are also transformation stories where people share the exact workout(s) they used to transform their body, both male and female. Find someone you like and copy them; at least it’s a start.
Practice From Over Weight First: While you’re looking for a plan, make sure you know how to do each move on the workout plan. Google it, YouTube it, ask a fellow gym goer, ask me, it doesn’t matter – just make sure you know how to correctly perform the move.
While you’re at the gym, and for your first few times performing the move, make sure you’re focusing on form and that you’re engaging the right muscles (i.e. if you’re doing bicep curls, you should feel it in your biceps, not your shoulders). Then, once you have your form down, you can move up in weight.
Don’t Worry About Being Watched: I know it’s way easier said than done, but you really need to get over your fear of what people think of you at the gym. Honestly, putting it bluntly, people don’t care about you and/or what you’re doing. Most people at the gym are focused on what they’re doing – making sure their form is right, making sure they don’t take too long of breaks, pumping themselves up for a new personal record, checking themselves out in the mirror (because #gainsbro)… What I’m getting at is, the last thing these people are doing is looking at you.
It’s so important to understand that, as uncomfortable as you may feel, most people in the gym are there to focus on themselves. And for the few gym goers who do seem to have staring problems, screw em’. If they want to waste their time watching you, then give them a show.
Good Music/Good Headphones: There is nothing quite like getting to the gym, losing yourself in the music, and getting to work. Buy a good set of headphones that fit and will stay in/on your ears, and use music that keeps you pumped up. I generally use Pandora which just shuffles songs based on the type of music I feel like listening to. Spotify is another great app that allows you to create playlists and/or listen to other people’s playlists.
Plus, pertaining to the the fear of people watching you, music and headphones will help you stay in the zone. You might even catch yourself dancing in between sets! Or not, maybe that’s just me…
Till’ Next Time