The Common Misconception of Getting Fit Before Joining a Gym

The Common Misconception of Getting Fit Before Joining a Gym

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.


  1. Borreli, Lizette. “Sweat It Out! 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sweating That Actually Don’t Stink.” Medical Daily, 7 Nov. 2014,

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From Tragedy to Triumph – Podcast Ep. 3

From Tragedy to Triumph – Podcast Ep. 3

Welcome to the third episode of the Living Healthy podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

On this episode of Living Healthy, we speak with Logan Seelye, LA Fitness member, motivational speaker, and author, who shares his positive mindset and approach to life. 

Do you have an LA Fitness member in mind that you would like to recommend for a Member Spotlight episode of our podcast? Share them with us in the comments below!

Let us know how we’re doing by tweeting us @LAFitness or send us an email at

This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Timecard Markers – From Tragedy to Triumph – Podcast Ep. 3

Introduction of Logan Seelye

Begins at 0:01

Logan Seelye joins the show

Begins at 1:20

Outlook on life

Begins at 1:41

The tackle, Logan takes us back

Begins at 2:37

The 10 and 90 quote

Begins at 6:07

The 10 and 90 Foundation

Begins at 7:53

Fitness after the injury

Begins at 9:25

Logan’s typical workout routine

Begins at 12:06

Logan’s mentor

Begins at 12:50

Logan’s Advice

Begins at 16:09

Recommended Podcast Episodes 

Member Spotlight | When Enough Is Enough

Member Spotlight | When Enough Is Enough

August 2016

Barrie, Ontario, Canada – Meet Debbie E., a member who was quite unhealthy for the longest time. You may ask yourself, what makes a 49-year-old woman suddenly change her relationship with health and fitness? Was it someone else’s idea? Was it something that happened? Why the change? Why now? Well, much like the beginning of a grand novel in which our protagonist is unaware of life-changing self-discovery laying ahead, it started off as a day like any other… Our story starts in September 2016, when Debbie went to watch a group of friends participate in the Toronto Tough Mudder. Simply walking the spectator course nearly did her in! Eventually, the course was completed and the group of them were able to sit together and celebrate – and that is when it hit her. As if the world around her suddenly stopped, Debbie looked up and in a moment of craziness or clarity, Debbie announced that she wanted to complete the Tough Mudder the very next year.


The teamed looked around in disbelief; shock across their faces, before shouting a resounding “Game on!” And so the story begins.

Game On

Debbie describes herself as having always been a strong-willed person, focused and determined with an all or nothing attitude. However, she never seemed to apply that attitude directly to herself. After a few false fitness starts later, a friend asked Debbie if she would like to join a gym with her. Me, in a gym…Ha!, she thought. But, with the goal of completing the Tough Mudder still gnawing at her, Debbie decided to make the move and join. She realized she really had nothing to lose except weight and bad habits. The physical and emotional efforts of years of unhealthy living were finally getting to her.

A Nervous Heartbeat, A Chance Taken

Walking through the doors of the gym was one of the most intimidating things Debbie admits she’s ever done. Yet she knew it was the beginning of challenging herself, and the start of a whole new way of life. Consistency became her new best friend. She set small goals along the way which helped her tremendously. At one point, Debbie began identifying one thing every day that was a marker of a positive change, whether that was climbing a flight of stairs without stopping, doing one more rep at the gym, walking someplace instead of driving, or choosing veggies over chips.

Trainer Talk

In an effort to continue along the path of success, Debbie started working with a trainer who walked her through workouts step by step, answered any questions she had, and provided tips and strategies that helped hold her accountable.

They say change doesn’t happen overnight. Learning new things and letting go of old habits can be scary, but it can also be exciting and empowering. Being patient can be frustrating, however patience is essential if the journey is to be enjoyed.

Debbie E.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

Like every heroine in their journey to success, there were times when Debbie felt like giving up. She recalls days of sitting in the parking lot thinking of all the reasons why she could or should leave. There were days she really wanted to give in, but with the steadfast support of those around her, she pushed through. Through those trying times, finding guidance from the right sources was essential. She notes that “There have been many who have come along with me and pushed me. It was and continues to be helpful to find like-minded people who have been there and are continuing to work at it.”

Debbie E. and Pro Results® trainer Ian W. 

Debbie’s Typical Workout Routine Cardio – Treadmill or Stairs – 45 -60 minutes /day Weights Workout /Machines – 45 – 60 minutes /day- Push / Pull/HIIT-Core rotation.

My trainer has taught me that the basis of a successful training program relies mainly on resistance training with compound exercises, supplemented with core and accessory work as well as cardiovascular training. Form is priority number one, with intensity being a close second. We continually switch up the program and focus on constant progression, but allow patience when it comes to managing injury or illness and when life gets in the way.

My fundamental workout goal remains to get to the gym every day. I stay the course, enjoy the process, push past challenges and celebrate the successes.

My final words to those who are just beginning their journey are that you should never be afraid to try new things and don’t ever think it’s too late! I have achieved more than I ever would have dreamed possible, and I have a whole new lease on life because I dared to take that first step.

Be brave and make a change.

The Moment of Truth On August 20th, 2017, 8 months after joining LA Fitness, Debbie completed the Tough Mudder Toronto course with the support of an amazing team and trainer. She climbed, ran, pushed, pulled, fell, rolled, swung, carried and swam through 10 miles of mud and obstacles. Debbie describes the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as being unparalleled to anything she had ever felt before. For Debbie, the overall experience has been transforming. She’s noticed that as she sheds the pounds, she feels stronger and more capable physically, mentally and emotionally. She’s also been better able to manage the juggling act of work and home. The changes have brought her a newfound sense of confidence and she knows she has added quality years to her life.

…But The Story’s Not Over

Debbie wants more of what a healthy life brings and to ensure this, her work continues! She continues to train a few times a week with her Pro Results® trainer, Ian W., and maintains the structure and routine that has led to her success. She’s also begun trying new things like Zumba® group fitness classes, and she waterskied for the first time in 30 years this past summer. In September 2017, Debbie made it to the top of a mountain that had previously done her in (she had only made it ¼ of the way before) 3 years ago, and she enjoys clothes shopping more than ever!

Future Goals

  1. To become as strong and healthy as I can, and to minimize the risks of age-related health concerns. Aging is inevitable. But I believe that being as fit as possible will help me to look and feel my best.
  2. To become the best version of myself, inside and out. I want to be an amazing role model for my children, my family, and my friends. I want to be an inspiration to others who are also on the journey of fitness. Now that I know what it is really like to feel healthy and good about my life choices, I know that I could never go back. I want to show people that if I can do it – anyone can!
  3. To continue to work with my trainer to develop new skills (and muscles). There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment you get when you are finally able to do something you never dreamed you would be able to do! I will continue to evolve and challenge myself while maintaining an active fitness program.
  4. To continue to use fitness as a way to combat mental and emotional fatigue. I have found that taking your frustrations out on the treadmill works better than anything else I have tried, and leaves you feeling much better than other less healthy coping methods.

Left: December 2016 | Right:January 2018

Debbie’s Diet She follows a meal plan that emphasizes balanced and healthy eating, focusing on lower carbohydrate intake. This was a huge change for her and over the course of 14 months, her diet has helped her lose over 175 lbs. and 48.5 inches (from a size 26 to an 8). She now eats smaller portions 6-7 times a day and includes vitamin supplements. She’s learned that food is fuel and that she needs to properly fuel her body so that it can perform how she wants it to.

A Special Message to LA Fitness Staff from Debbie E. Of special note, all the staff at my LA Fitness deserve a huge thank you and recognition for what they do and how they do it. Whether they know it or not, reflecting on my experience thus far, they have played a large part in why and how I kept going and keep coming back. They have been the smiling faces when I enter the gym (when I’m not so sure I was in the mood to smile back), they have offered words of encouragement and listened, they are knowledgeable, approachable and professional. I owe them all a tremendous debt of gratitude.

LAF, LA Fitness, Pro Results training, muscle logoSign up for a complimentary Pro Results® fitness assessment today! Only you can take the first step to completely transforming your life into what you’ve always dreamed it could be.

Do you have a fitness goal you’d like to share with us? What are you working towards? How do you plan to live out your life story? Commit to being fit today!

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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Member Spotlight | The Journey to Gain Weight

Member Spotlight | The Journey to Gain Weight

In the fitness world, a common issue seems to be the struggle to lose weight, but that’s not that case for everyone. Adrianna E., of Orange City, Florida, has fought her entire life to gain weight. Growing up, she struggled to weigh even 100 lbs. She had always been naturally thin, but this was different. Her diet didn’t help her situation. Adrianna would eat about twice a day, which led to her feeling completely drained 24/7, and contributed to the fact that she was unhealthily underweight. It was an uphill battle, which she seemed to be losing. Still, she pushed on and wanted more for herself.

It was after high school graduation, when Adrianna had her mind set on becoming a law enforcement officer, that she realized she had to make a change. After going through the Junior Law Enforcement Academy, she realized she needed to get into much better shape before she could see her dreams come to fruition. This is when Adrianna decided to join LA Fitness, with the added assistance of a personal trainer.

The Change Begins

Adrianna E. began working with Pro Results® personal trainer*, David A. With his help, Adrianna learned that she was not doomed to be underweight forever, and that she could exercise control over her own body. With that, her mindset began to change, and she began working to make healthy changes in her life. Unfortunately, every great story, and every great hero, has some roadblocks along the way.

A year and a half into her fitness journey, Adrianna found out that she was extremely sick and was confined to bed rest for three long months. She was devastated to think that all of her hard work with her trainer, David, would be gone, and all of the progress she made would vanish. It’s these moments, when the odds seem stacked against us, that we are tested mentally to keep pushing on.

Adrianna knew she would get back to the gym.

After being cleared to go back to the gym, Adrianna credits her trainer David for helping her get motivated again, and feel better than she did before. When she started the training program, she weighed 100 lbs., and now she is proud to say she weighs a healthy 127 lbs., and feels the best she ever has!

Where She Is Now

Adrianna continues to train 3 to 4 times a week. While she admits it can be difficult finding the time for the gym between full-time school and full-time work, she has learned that when you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make time.

Her cardio sessions are limited to 1-2 times a week, “just to keep [her] heart happy,” but she focuses mainly on weightlifting, in order to help build her muscles. She admits that the biggest change has been her diet. She went from eating two meals a day to eating every three to four hours. Adrianna no longer eats fast food; and while she still loves her pizza and tacos, she makes sure to eat those things in moderation, and instead, fuel her body with what she knows will make it feel good.

Adrianna plans to spend 2018 focusing on gaining strength, and in her words, if “tons of gains come along with that, I’m not complaining!”

Overall, I have learned that absolutely anything is possible for yourself if you try hard enough to make it happen. I’m forever grateful for LA Fitness and my trainer, David A. I will never live without the gym again! This is not just a “journey” for me anymore – it has become a lifestyle.

Adrianna E.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

Advice From Adrianna 

“Do not compare yourself to others in the midst of your own fitness journey. You are in a competition with nobody but yourself. Always strive to be better than who you were yesterday, never who somebody else is today.” – Adrianna E., LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

*Pro Results® services are subject to a separate agreement and an additional fee.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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Member Spotlight | From Broken Foot to Completing the Chicago Marathon

Member Spotlight | From Broken Foot to Completing the Chicago Marathon

At the young age of 29, Lewis C., of Atlanta, GA, feared he may never walk properly again. After a tough tumble down a flight of stairs, Lewis was confined to crutches for a week and a boot for 7 weeks, after learning he had broken his fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He was unable to walk, let alone work out. Being confined to having his foot elevated 12 hours a day, Lewis was quickly gaining weight and noticed his overall demeanor began to change. It was a long, and rough, 7 weeks.

Maybe it was being confined indoors, maybe it was the lack of exercise– whatever it was, something ignited in Lewis over these 7 weeks. With a broken foot, and a rough recovery, Lewis decided he was going to run the Chicago Marathon in celebration of his 30th birthday. Lewis was determined to not let the injury define him or make him lose sight of his fitness goals. After all, he had always been committed to fitness in his adult life and was active in sports like swimming and track when in high school.

The Training Begins

After a sufficient recovery period, Lewis began his training program in June of 2017, five months after his foot injury had occurred. Lewis  knew he needed a place to train and realized the incredible resources offered at his local LA Fitness. With the proper equipment he was able to condition his legs, core and overall body for the race. He paired indoor and outdoor running, along with the assistance of his LA Fitness coach, Lisa, and was able to get the job done in an unbelievable 18 week training period.

Lewis successfully crossed the finish line in Chicago, Illinois, on October 9th 2017.

An Interview with: Lewis C.

Q: Have you always been in shape? 

Lewis C.: Like most people I have had weight fluctuations due to inconsistent eating habits brought on by a job in the airline industry with variable hours. Since 2007, I had more or less worked out 5-6 days a week and do my best to take protein supplements regularly. It’s what keeps me sane, I have to get a workout in and LA Fitness has been the best gym experience I have had since I joined in 2016. I have been to and worked at many other health clubs and the resources included in the LA Fitness membership are vast. I didn’t know it until I really needed people to help me execute the extensive cardio conditioning required for training for your first marathon at age 29.

Q: Have you learned anything about yourself since joining LA Fitness?

LC: Yes. That it’s OK to not know something and ask somebody for help. LA Fitness has staff and members from all walks of the active world: former athletes, current ones, trainers, beginners, body builders, etc. that all have a perspective and voice you can use as a resource and pool to get new fitness ideas, completely change your life, and smash the snot out of goals you never thought possible. I never dreamed I would actually go through with running the Chicago Marathon last October until I finally just paid the registration and bought marathoner shoes.

Also, I think people think running a marathon is an individual sport. It is really a team sport, which I learned, as I had to rely and lean on all different perspectives and advice and change my way of thinking. That’s where LA Fitness is more than just a gym to me; it’s a blackboard where new and dynamic fitness goals are conceived and executed.

Q: How has living an active lifestyle changed your life?

LC: I have had great health and happiness in my 30 years, which I think is primarily due to my staying active. I am the kind of person who needs structure and a tangible goal to reach and a place where I can ask questions of like-minded people. My father always taught me “to be one, ask one”. This is where the structured training plan of a marathon challenged me and a place like LA Fitness nurtured my curiosity and helped shepherd me through the process.

Future Goals

Lewis is back to training 6 days a week in an effort to be in his best shape by summer 2018. With travelling also on the horizon for Lewis, including a trip to Budapest in May, and Shanghai in July, with his best friend Michael, Lewis joked that since he’ll be in a lot of pictures he looks to “LA Fitness to keep [him] camera ready 24/7.”

Lewis’ next big fitness goal is to complete an Ironman race by his 40th birthday.

A Special Message 

Lewis would like to recognize his LA Fitness trainer Lisa, and member services representative, Yolanda, who Lewis credits as the reason he joined LA Fitness.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Member responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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