Some of you may be familiar with this notion whereas others may find the fear completely silly and irrational.
It’s coming up to the time of the year where we are forced by nature to shed the jumpers, cardigans, scarves and hats. Many of you may already be in preparation for the perfect beach body, however, some may be still finding it difficult to kick-start a summer gym routine. It could be due to a plethora of reasons but I find a common reason amongst my friends is being afraid of going to the gym due to bodily embarrassment, for example, they think they’re too fat or too skinny or they may perform exercises incorrectly.
I find it such a shame that these insecurities are becoming obstacles for my friends and probably many others in the world. The truth is we all have to start somewhere. There are people who have been a member of a gym for years and they still perform exercises ‘incorrectly’. Once you take that initial step into the gym the fear will diminish. You’re in the same boat as many others.
The first gym I became a member of was a small community gym. This really helped me learn how to perform exercises correctly as I wasn’t surrounded by ‘gym experts’ that could’ve made me feel insecure. Larger gyms such as The Gym Group and Puregym are cheaper however they tend to be quite busy. On the other hand, community gyms are much smaller therefore have fewer members but can be marginally more expensive. Shopping around for the perfect gym isn’t heavily time-consuming and it can also pay off in the long run. Many gyms have day passes (sometimes free day passes) so you can try before you subscribe.
Planning ahead also helps. Knowing your routine firstly minimizes time in the gym and secondly if you know your plan there is less chance you’ll injure yourself during your workout. Start off with simple exercises then as you progress you will open doors to more complex movement and machinery. I started out by tracking my workouts on the BodyBuilding app, which was good as it demonstrated different exercises if I was unsure however, tracking slowed down my workout. Simply writing your exercise plan on your phone or on a piece of paper will suffice (unless you find it easy to memorize workout plans).
Friends can help you along the way. You may have a friend with a similar dilemma as you or a friend that is already a committed member of a gym. Tag along with them. I find that working out with friends or even a family member (try not yell at them) is so much fun as you both can share different workout ideas as well as using one another for motivation.
If you still find it hard to step foot into a gym, familiarizing yourself with some simple exercises might help. A pair of dumbbells or resistance bands can easily be obtained and used around the house. After some time of using dumbbells/bands you may find that you want to progress onto either heavier weights or larger equipment. Hopefully, you’ll feel comfortable going to a gym after having experienced smaller pieces of equipment.
Lastly, it’s easier said than done, but if you feel intimidated by regular gym go-ers then you should either ignore your surroundings to an extent or use them as role models. You’ll probably find that as you attend the gym more and more you’ll start to ignore the people around as you become more invested in your workouts.
Have a happy workout