Get out of your head and into the gym
If you’ve been waiting for the right time to get back in to working out, I’m here to tell you that there is never a better time than now. There will probably never be that perfect time that everything will align and you can commit to going to the gym 3 times a week for the next year. Hell, I don’ t even make my workouts like I have scheduled! Getting there is 90% of the battle, really. That 90% is mostly because of time but a lot of that is internal fear of actually getting back in there.
The gym can be an intimidating place. Tell me this, if you’ve been out of the gym for a while and you are thinking of starting a routine again. Whats holding you back? Other than time. Most of my clients have told me it’s the fear that people are looking at them because they don’t know what they are doing. Some don’t want to look dumb if they don’t know how to operate a certain machine. Even the free weight area intimidates them with all the lifters grunting and dropping weights. To be honest, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND. It can be super intimidating to go into an unknown space where everyone seemingly knows what they are doing and you’re the novice.
But, Im going to let you in on a little secret. There are a lot of people in there just winging it but have over come their fear of the unknown and just said
“F*ck it, Let’s do this.”
As personal trainer and one thing I always tell my clients starting out is that you don’t have to feel obligated to stay in the gym for an hour because that’s what you think you have to do. If at first you want to walk on the treadmill for 20 min then leave and that’s your workout for the day, then that’s ok. Starting out slow and just being there can be enough and you can set a new goal every week to do more, stay longer, try a new machine, take a class...whatever your new goal is you can build upon each one.
In a typical week I visit over 8 gyms to train clients and teach classes. Let me tell you something. I see everyone in there. The big muscled lifters. The older adults just needing to get out of the house. The newbies that want to try out the equipment, and everyone in between. So when I say
There is nothing to be intimidated by, I’m serious.
Most of the excuses you have about not having enough time to workout are rooted in fear an anxiety. Think about it. If you take a good look at your calendar, you can find a time that you can get in a quick workout. Either at the gym or at home. So what’s the problem? It’s not that you don’t have the time, the time is there. It’s that you just don’t want to or are scared of the unknown. We sometimes don’t think of exercise as a scary thing but if you’ve had a bad experience, then it easy to make excuses to not do it again. Example, I see people that come to the gym, go a little too hard and I wont see them ever again. Have you done this? Maybe? Probably? My advice, take it slow. No one wants to be unable to sit for a week because you decided to come out the gate and squat with 100lbs! No one cares that you don’t have any plates on your bar. No one cares that you’re only bench pressing with 20lb dumbbells. No one cares that you walked for 30 minutes then left. No ones cares! Get out of your head, most people in the gym are focused on themselves not you. And if someone is looking at you its probably because you’re taking too long on a machine they are waiting for haha
Since, things are easier said then done
Here are 5 tips to help you overcome your gym anxiety:
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2. Mark off days in your calendar-
Its easy to schedule over things when you’re super busy. But if you’re serious about wanting to get back into the gym them make it a priority. I use google calendar and schedule my gym days and times. That way its always visible and Im more likely to go because I know I don’t have anything scheduled then. I also hav alerts that tell me that I have 30 minutes to get to the gym for my “scheduled” session. This helps to keep me accountable. It’s not a fool proof system as sometimes I still don’t make it but it definitely helps.
3. Be prepared-
A common thing I hear my clients say is that if they have to go home and change after work then they probably won’t end up going to the gym. So why not pack a bag and leave it in your car? Especially is the gym is on the way home, make a short “pit stop” grab your gym bag out of the truck and hit the iron. The same goes with food, make sure to have some snacks in your gym bag or office. Having one of these handy can prevent the “I’m starving, I’d rather eat than workout” excuse. The less excuses you have, the more likely you are to just get up and go.
4. Headphones, headphones, headphones-
This is just a personal option but using headphones are one of the best ways to zone out and avoid people coming up to you. It sounds really anti-social but if you’re in the gym and really just want to focus then getting a good playlist with a nice set of headphones is the way to go. This is especially good if you are a newbie and want to go through your workout unbothered. Most gym goers know that headphones are the universal “don’t bother me” sign.
5. K.I.S.S. aka Keep It Simple, Stupid-
Don’t make this complicated. A good gym routine doesn’t have to take hours to complete and multiple pieces of equipment. If you want to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes then do a few crunches and leave. THAT’S FINE! I think that’s where a lot of the anxiety comes in where we think that we have to use 6 different pieces of equipment and spend 2 hours in the gym to feel like we did something worthwhile. Especially, when you’re just getting back in to the swing of things take it easy. You can look up simple gym routines on YouTube (ahem, my youtube channel wink wink) that just use dumbbells. Find you a spot in the gym and go for it!
Comment down below on how you plan on getting back in to the gym. Or, if you have made working out a priority, comment below how you did it!