Welcome to our New Year Fitness blog series at Greaves. A new year means there will be many of you wanting to kickstart your fitness resolutions, so we pulled together our best tips on the important topics that anyone new to the gym, or even someone who is a regular gym-goer, can use as a guide on their fitness journey.
While not specifically the name of an official mental health disorder, ‘Gym Anxiety’ is the intense nervous feeling one may get before they go to the gym for the first time. The fear that people are constantly looking at you combined with being unsure about what to actually do in the gym once you get there can be enough to make you turn the car engine back on and drive home.
We can assure you that with just a few helpful tips you can help you gain confidence in the gym and lower that voice in your head that’s making you worry. Have you ever heard of anyone regretting getting into fitness or going to the gym? We didn’t think so.
How To Get over Gym Anxiety:
- Realise that no one is looking at you.
- Go in with a plan
- Don’t be afraid to use the light weights
- Go with a friend
- Tune out everyone around you
Realise That No One Is Looking At You
Probably the biggest worry of anyone going to the gym for the first time is that other, regular gym-goers will stare and laugh at you. This is not the case. In reality, everyone else in the gym is focusing on their own workout.
Yes you might see people looking around or even in your direction, but the likelihood is that they are just resting between their own exercises or maybe they’re just noticing that they haven’t seen you in that gym before. Everyone started somewhere and everyone you can see in the gym had their own ‘first day’.
Go In With A Plan
The internet is full of videos and workout plans at your disposal. YouTube will have literally thousands of beginner workout plans that are easy to follow. Going in with a plan means you know what equipment (if any) you need to pick up to start your workout and even what area of the gym you can stay in away from other people.
Standing in the gym having no idea what to do is a quick way to have a terrible time. But going in, following a beginner workout plan is a great way to get used to the movements and get your first workout ticked off.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use The Lighter Weights
You might be thinking “everyone else will use massive weights and I’ll look silly using the 1kg dumbbells”. Full transparency, there will be people using heavy weights who have been going to the gym for a while. However, people will pay no attention to you using a light weight if that’s the weight that is meant for you.
The people that look silly are the ones using weights that are clearly too heavy for them and are using them to only ‘look strong’. Trust us when we say that this is not a good look. The likelihood is that if you use the correct weight, you’ll end up stronger and fitter than the person using the weight that is clearly too heavy for them.
Go With A Friend
Don’t fancy walking into the gym by yourself? Go with a friend! This can be someone who has been gyming for a while or even someone else just starting out. Going with a friend means you can both learn and support each other.
If they have been at the gym before, ask them to show you a workout, but just be mindful not to use too heavy a weight. Start off light until you get used to the movements.
Tune Out Everyone Around YouWhether this is putting headphones in or just really focusing on the muscle that you’re working, it helps to zone out everyone around you, helping you to really focus on your own workout instead of the person next to you.
The best way to make progress is to make sure you worked as hard as you can for that workout and that you completed your own goals no matter how large or small they are. Pay no attention to the person next to you, you do you.
Going to the gym for the first time can be daunting, but use our tips above to get the most out of your workout. Remember that as much as your brain is telling you that people are looking at you, the likelihood is that they just looked at you when you walked in and then got back to their own workout. Grab your gym bag essentials, go with a friend and definitely don’t be afraid to use the light weights.