You’ve wanted to lose weight. You’ve wanted to get healthier, feel better, and have more energy. You’ve thought about the possibility of joining a gym, but something has held you back. Perhaps it’s fear, vulnerability, or a lack of confidence keeping you from accomplishing your fitness goals. Before allowing any more negativity to cloud your frame of mind, let’s push the pause button.
For many toying around with the thought of joining a gym (but slacking with the follow-through), we’re here to say: let’s not put off your health and happiness any longer. There seems to be this common misconception that one must get fit before getting fit in a club. That could not be any further from the truth. Yet, it’s an idea that many people believe, usually due to one of the fears listed below.
7 Common Fears When New to the Gym (And How to Avoid Them)
1. Everyone is going to judge me.
- No – most people who go to the gym are way too focused on their own workout routine to be watching anyone else, let alone judge you.
- The gym is a type of community where you’re surrounded by others who share similar health and fitness goals.
- Almost everyone is supportive because they’ve been where you’ve been and want to see you succeed.
2. I won’t know how to use any of the equipment.
- Easy fix – perhaps one of the easiest on this list! On most machines, there is a picture showing which muscles the machine helps target and how to properly perform the exercise. Take the time to review it before getting started.
- Still nervous that you may be doing it wrong? There are plenty of helpful videos showing proper use of gym equipment online (check out our LAF YouTube channel).
- Your third option can be adding on some personal training sessions to your membership and have an instructor walk you through how to properly use the machines and explain which would be best for you.
3. Everyone is going to be ripped fitness models/competitors.
- No – sure, some people at the gym will be in peak fitness shape. Some will be fitness models. Some will be bodybuilders. The majority will not be.
- Remember: Everyone was once a beginner. You’re not any different or capable of accomplishing any less than those others you see at the gym.
4. I am going to sweat… a lot.
- This is probably true. We’re not going to lie to you. Working out can get sweaty, especially if your body isn’t used to it, but guess what? Everyone sweats.
- Sweating is great for your body! It can help rid your body of toxins and help cool the body down from a particularly intense workout. Plus, it’s great for boosting those feel-good endorphins (just don’t forget your towel).
The weight area will be dominated by Arnold Schwarzenegger built men.
- The weight area of any gym can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never lifted before. The key for overcoming this fear is to do your research so you know how to properly use the weights without bringing injury to yourself.
- It never hurts to ask for help! Do you see someone who looks like they know what they’re doing? Wait until they finish their set, and then ask them to help spot you or ask for assistance. Again, most people want to help and watch you succeed. In fact, they may even be flattered that you’ve thought to ask them for help.
- Not a fan of asking strangers for help? Book a session with the PT department and they’ll walk you through the weight training basics.
- Men and women can be seen in the weight training area. Being strong is sexy. The old-age idea of hulk-like men grunting and dropping weights is yesterday’s worry. Fear no more.
6. I’m so out of shape, I won’t be able to keep up in group fitness classes.
- Far from the truth! Group fitness classes can be a great place to start if you’re looking for an instructor to help push you, without the added cost of personal training. All classes can be tailored for the fitness level you’re currently at. Let the instructor know that you’re new and they can help give alternative moves so that you can confidently complete the class without fail.
- Stick with the class. The more often you attend, the better (and more comfortable) you will become. You’ll begin noticing a difference in your endurance and strength levels with continued participation.
7. I won’t end up going, it’ll just be a waste of money.
- We wish there was a way to say this isn’t true, but it’s entirely on you. There is a frame of mind that you must be in to make sure you’re putting your gym membership to good use.
- Think of the money that gets spent on fast food, specialty coffees, and afternoon snacks. If you aren’t feeling healthy, wouldn’t an investment towards your health be more worthwhile than the money spent on less than healthy habits?
- Here’s some advice on healthy (and inexpensive) meal prep to help get you on the right track –
- Don’t commit to a membership yet. Give us a try first.
You don’t have to be in shape, an experienced-gym goer, or former athlete to reap the benefits of joining a gym. Whether you’re a complete beginner (or otherwise) there are ways to modify your gym experience to fit your personal physical fitness goals.
At LA Fitness, we’re a judgment-free zone. We’re here to help you reach all of your fitness and health goals. Come check us out today, and don’t be afraid to start.
- Borreli, Lizette. “Sweat It Out! 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sweating That Actually Don’t Stink.” Medical Daily, 7 Nov. 2014, www.medicaldaily.com/sweat-it-out-5-surprising-health-benefits-sweating-actually-dont-stink-309718.