Why gym first timers shouldn’t be afraid of the weights room.

Welcome to the end of week one of my blog! Sunday’s blogs are all about the gym and weights… I think. It is an interesting world and one I feel people should add to their workouts! Shall we?

The weights section of a gym can be a daunting place, the heavy objects the loud sounds of weights and dumbells clanging against each other or on the ground. The grunts of people around you doing their sets. The super fit people lifting things heavier than a house over their heads. It is most unlike the safety of the cardio/weight machines.

I know this from experience, it took me a very long time to be confident enough to go to the other side of the gym and even look at the dumbbells. It took even longer for me to wrap my hands around a barbell! But once I did I was extremely happy about progressing and improving my entire routine in the gym.

Here are some things that I did and some things that I wish I had done to get confident quicker:

Stick those headphones on

If you can hear the voices in your head telling you that you shouldn’t be there on the bench or that you are doing the move wrong then make sure you have the best, loudest song playing through your headphones and drown out those thoughts, it somehow works! You most likely already do this during your cardio workout, just last one more song, and then another! That might just be me though! Use music to help you escape from your thoughts, they may betray you, but over time you will gain that confidence and all your head will tell you is that you can go heavier or do more repetitions.

Not a single person cares about what you are doing

Speaking of confidence… No one down or over in that weight room is a professional (well except the trainers) they are just further along in their goals than you are. This is perfectly fine! If you go down and look nervous then maybe someone will approach you, not to kick you out of their room, but to ask if you are okay. Remember people are nice, they are not out to make you look a fool. More likely than not, if they see you struggling with a workout, they are going to help you. I have found that in my experience in a number of gyms, some have guided me into what I was doing wrong, advising me on what exercises I should do just to start off etc.

Read up

The single best bit of advice I can give is that you should do your research, I failed to do this. I watched what other people were doing and tried to copy them. But obviously, I had no idea if they were doing the moves right themselves. There is the 90% chance that they were, but nothing is certain in the world of the gym (we have all seen the videos of people going mental on gym equipment). I would suggest an app or book/articles and videos. Watch the movements, where your arm or legs or even neck should be. This is all vital to stop you from getting injured.

Bring an experienced friend or pay for an induction/trainer.

All gyms have trainers who have a crazy amount of experience and expertise. For the most part, that is why they are there. Look at their profiles and look at the trainer whose expertise most fits you. There is no point in getting a trainer who is for bodybuilding when you want the opposite. Alternatively, bring a friend. I can almost guarantee that you have a friend who has worked out in the gym more than you and knows what they are doing. Ask them to join you, give you advice and even prep you beforehand. You might be too shy to be a trainer and that is why your friend can be perfect for you. There is no shame in being a little shy at the gym, it is a building filled with a bunch of strangers getting sweaty after all. I wished I had brought a friend with me to help my confidence at the start.

Go when it is a bit quieter

If you are nervous and shy (like I was) then I suggest going later at night when there is no one around to see you ‘fail’. I regularly workout after midnight as it is quieter, but that is more for space issues than confidence. I do have those issues still and it is hard to overcome. Going to the weights section when it is quieter is great for me. You get more options than at 5-7pm as that is when it is usually packed with people. You have time to concentrate on yourself and focus on your moves rather than have excuses of being distracted by someone 4 benches away. Best of all, you have the chance to take a little confidence boosting picture by the weights. Everyone else does it, why not you?

If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook to also receive updates. Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

 

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