I’ve been in gyms for 16 years, either as a member or as a professional. I’m lucky in that I have never found them daunting or scary, perhaps because I’m just used to the environment and I simply love exercising so it’s a positive place for me.
However, my years in the gym also make me wise to what goes on, what kind of people there are and why many of you dread it. And after years of being a fitness trainer I also understand the inner struggle many of you undergo in order to motivate yourself to get there.
So here are my top tips on how to overcome your fear and build a positive relationship with your local fitness centre:
Go with a friend
Training with a partner increases motivation, and you can hold each other’s hand through the first few sessions until you gain confidence to go on your own.
Ask for help
The trainers and gym staff are there to show you how to make the most out of your experience. Tell them what you want, tell them that you’re nervous/shy/new and ask for their advice.
Alternatively, personal training sessions are a great way to gain confidence, learn what to do and how to train for your body and you have the focus of your trainer for the full session, so you won’t be distracted by what other members are doing.
Find a class
I assure you that 99% of class attendees are paying more attention to themselves than to others. So find a new class that interests you, tell the instructor that you are new, hide in the back if you need until you find your confidence and go for it.
Classes are such a fun way to exercise and the music, moves and energy will really get the most of out you.
Create a gym schedule that is motivating for you
If you are forcing yourself to attend a class that you hate, train at a time that you struggle to attend, or plan your sessions at times when the gym is at its busiest (and therefore most intimidating) that then you won’t stick with it.
Make your training regime work for you so that you get the best out of every session and are motivated to keep attending.
Remember why you are doing it
It may seem easier said than done as I appreciate that gyms are intimidating environments, especially if you are new to fitness.
However it’s your life, they are your goals and you are the only one who is going to reach them. So be brave, challenge your comfort zones and remember that no one else is going to achieve your goals except for you.
Post written by Tara Whitbread: a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and Nutrition & Weight Loss Coach.