The Gym Fright: Do you Fight or Flight?

At some point in time, we’ve all considered the option of joining the gym – maybe even went in for a few days but then suddenly stopped. Perhaps your self-consciousness and low-self-esteem forced you to quit before even beginning. It’s no surprise that a room filled with complex machinery, huge grunting bodybuilders, and already in-shape women, can be awfully intimidating. But there are three simple solutions to help you fight the gym fright:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you’re a novice, schedule a couple of sessions with a personal trainer at your own gym. They will provide an orientation of the gym equipment and help you develop a fitness program in order to attain your fitness goals. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, then join a group fitness class to become familiar with a range of exercises for different muscle groups. A group setting will help you build confidence because you will find that there are a variety of people in the class with variation in age, body sizes and performance.

man woman exercising weights workout fitness ball

  1.   “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

We’re all too familiar with Dj Khaled’s “key to success” tips. In this case, he may just say “The key to success is…preparation.” But how does this apply to fitness? It basically means laying out a work-out plan and sticking to it. Try to keep the workout plan simple – 4-6 different exercises that target 1-3 muscles. Stick with exercises you know and master them before trying anything complicated. Research online on how to properly perform the exercises and practice it at home – this way you won’t make a fool of yourself.

  1.   “Fake it till you make it.”

Know that others are probably more or just as self-conscious as you are so be confident! Listen to music to help you block out the world around you and just concentrate on your workout plan. You will appear and feel a lot more confident when you’re being consistent with your own plan. Avoid peak hours! When there are too many people at the gym, it can be difficult to access some of the equipment that you may have mapped out on your plan. This may cause anxiety and force you to “flight” the gym.

Just remember that the fitness freaks that seem intimidating were also a novice once upon a time, so don’t compare your chapter 1 to their chapter 20. Next time you feel afraid to enter the weight-room because it’s filled with people with near-perfect bodies, just muster enough strength to ask for help, come prepared and act confident!

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