Most beginners are scared of going to the gym alone. I know I was.
There’s the idea that people will be staring and will probably make fun of you if you mess up or because of how you look, and while that may happen here and there it is not something that happens as often as you think.
It’s really just a mind game we play on ourselves.
when I decided I wanted to venture out and try something other than home workouts, I went down to my apartment complex gym.
It was the next best thing, and much less intimidating than a public gym because there were less people, and also less equipment so everything was pretty much straightforward.
It took me about 11 months to build up the courage to go to a real gym.
I honestly can’t believe that lol
When I got there I was so nervous and I kept looking at everyone and second guessing myself and it was just a bad experience
Don’t be like me.
The gym is not as bad as some people may think
9/10 no one gives a damn about you, unless you’re in their way, or they think you look good
But even then they still will go on about their business because they are there for the same reason you are…
Most experienced people in fitness could care less about what the next person is doing, because they went there to get shit done, not to look at other people.
So if you keep that in mind while you’re there that may help with your nerves.
If you do notice someone staring chances are they probably zoned out and don’t even realize that they are.
I’ve done that so many times. Lol So just keep doing what you do.
No matter what go in and mind your business. If you’re not looking around at other people then you won’t even notice if someone is looking at you.
Getting over your fear is the first step to not looking like a dumbass in the gym.
And it may be easier said than done, but just go.
Over time you will start to feel better, and those insecurities won’t be as bad once you start to realize everything I just stated for yourself.
Now, there are a few things you can do at home before you go to the gym for the first time if you don’t want to draw unwanted attention to yourself and look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Doing these things will definitely help you feel more confident in yourself and at ease.
Believe me, one sure way to get people to stare is by doing something crazy or dangerous lol so use these tips to avoid that.
Bring A Gym Bag
It definitely helps to be prepared for anything.
Pack up a bag with your workout equipment such as resistance bands, jumprope, sweat towels, water, protein shakes, bar pads, braces for your joints etc.
Even if you don’t plan to use it that day it’s a good idea to have it in your bag just in case your workout plans change while you’re there. (sometimes equipment you may need may be being used, and you might have to alter your plan)
You will have everything you need on hand, and it will be much easier to carry your phone, keys, and other personal belongings that you may have too.
Plan Your Workout
If you haven’t already downloaded this planner I suggest you do before your first day.
Make sure you know exactly what you are going to do before you even leave your house.
It’ll save you a ton of time, and get you out of there quicker as opposed to if you walked in with no idea of what to do.
If you aren’t sure of what kind of workouts you can do, check out my favorite fitness trainer’s instagram profiles for workout tips and ideas, or simply go on YouTube and find a beginner friendly gym workout.
This is just as important as planning your workout if you don’t want to look like a newbie.
If you know what you’re going to do but don’t know how to do it you are definitely going to draw some attention when you get in the gym and are standing there confused, or start doing something wrong.
Take the time to watch videos of the exercises on your list.
Watch how the person in the video moves.
Listen to the advice they give.
Some exercises have weird names that don’t always make it obvious of how to actually do the move, so prepare yourself by watching a video of how it’s done beforehand.
When you are prepared and well educated you will be more confident in yourself while you’re there.
You must know that form is important in all things you do.
You can get injured if you do things incorrectly, which can cause you to not be able to workout at all.
Don’t risk that.
So, while you are watching videos, pay attention to the instructor’s form.
Watch their every movement.
Listen to keywords that they say on how to do the move correctly.
Then while you’re at home get up and practice it either with bodyweight or if you have some light weights you can use those.
Try to make sure your form is correct before you move on, so that when you get to the gym you will already have an understanding of how to do it then you’d just add weight.
And if you aren’t sure if your form is correct, ask someone.
It’s better to ask than to do it wrong and get hurt.
If you still feel a little iffy after doing the above it’s never a bad idea to call the gym and speak with someone about your concerns.
There are people there to help you.
They have trainers, and membership counselors for a reason.
If you’d like to know more about the gym, the trainers, class schedules, the amenities or whatever, calling ahead of time and talking to them about it should help put you at ease, and they may even offer to help you once you get in.
And don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help!
As a human asking questions should become second nature whenever you feel unsure.
You’ll prevent injuries that way, and also clear up any uncertainty.
One Last Tip
When I go to a new gym, before I start anything I like to walk around the gym to see where everything is, like the locker room, the equipment I plan to use, the pool, spin room etc.
By doing that I learn the layout of the gym so when I want to do a specific exercise I know in what general area the equipment I need will be and I won’t have to wander around like a lost puppy.
I started doing this because a few times I was in the middle of my workout trying to find the machine I needed but I couldn’t, so I’d be walking around confused and honestly it was very embarrassing to me.
After doing these things you should feel much more confident in yourself about going to the gym for the first time.
Your fear is all in your head, and you can overcome it!
Again, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing while you’re there.
Stick to your plan, mind your business, but ask questions if you need to.
Most people will be willing to help if you ask and aren’t being a bother.
Also keep your phone handy in case you need to look something up again, and keep that planner with you too!
You have nothing to worry about.
Go get fine!