As I was minding my own business on the leg press last night, I noticed a couple of young girls out of the corner of my eye. They must have only been at school and it looked as though it was their first (or at least on of their first) sessions.
They had that same look everyone has during their first few visits to the gym. Not fear, but confusion, worry and a bit of anxiety about being judged by those around them.
To those girls, don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and come through the other side. Keep pushing forwards, and if you want to train, train hard and don’t, under any circumstances worry about what people think. The likelihood is that they’re too busy in their own little world with their music blasting to worry about anything or anyone else!
It’s not just about the gym
When you first sign up for a gym membership, the normal intention is to head there a couple of times a week to get some pretty good results. The reality is that the more you get drawn into the training culture, the more you become invested in your results; healthy living starts to creep into every fact of your lifestyle.
You start planning what you eat, eating a wholesome balanced diet, and refusing that last drink on a night out because you know you have a training session the next day. As sad as it sounds, what happens in the gym doesn’t stay in the gym!
To succeed, you have to check your ‘cool’ in at the door
Gyms can seem like intimidating places, filled with people with amazing bodies who seem to know exactly what they are doing. The worst thing you can do when you join a gym is to try to maintain your sense of ‘cool’ in the face of such a sea of experience.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so forget about how you compare to others and throw yourself into your training.
If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, ask
Please don’t fall into the trap of using the equipment wrong, if you don’t know how to use it, just ask someone. Whether it’s a friendly face, your partner, gym buddy or one of the personal trainers, pretty much everyone in their will be happy to advise!
You don’t need to go to every class
Gyms will try and get you through the door to their exercise classes and of course, any exercise is better than no exercise. But don’t fall into the habit of having your whole schedule and training program determined for you by a class timetable.
You can train just as hard by yourself, you just have to kick your motivation into overdrive! Simply get yourself a programme like the Tone & Sculpt app or something similar and away you go.
No matter how much fancy gym kit you buy, it will always be in the wash when you need it
A known law of gym-going is that you never have enough clean clothes to train in. You’ll be surprised how little time it takes before you happily wear the same rank kit all week long….trust me, as disgusting as it is, it’ll happen to you eventually!
Finally, just enjoy it for what it is. Getting yourself into a routine isn’t easy. Dragging yourself there on cold dark mornings and warm summer evenings is absolute hell, I won’t lie. But, if you’re unmotivated one day, don’t go, give your body a rest!
One day’s rest will not be detrimental to your overall training, I promise.