5 Things To Remember If You're A Nervous Gym Beginner

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Having always been a self-conscious person, the hardest part about starting my fitness journey wasn't a lack of motivation, but getting over my nerves about what other people thought of me. I knew I wasn't as strong or as fast as I wanted to be and yet the biggest barrier I faced wasn't breathlessness whilst running, but the process of learning to focus on myself rather than worrying about how I was being perceived by other gym goers or runners in the park. The gym definitely seemed a lot more daunting than running because, while you pass another runner in a split second and probably won't see them again, you can be surrounded by the same people for your whole work out in the gym. So here are a few things I had to learn to get over my gym nerves:

- More often than not, no one is watching you! Lifting weights actually takes quite a lot of focus and everyone is in the gym for a reason, 99% of the time, the only thing people are thinking about is their own work out. If it seems like someone is looking at you, they may just be staring into space during a rest or they may be looking for inspiration. I'll often have a quick look at someone's set if they're doing an exercise I'm not familiar with so that I can give it a try next time!

- There are personal trainers and fitness instructors available to help you. This is especially important if you're gymming alone as it can be harder to know if you're getting everything right. Asking for help can feel like advertising to the whole gym that you have no idea what you're doing, but once you've bitten the bullet and asked, you'll start to build a little more knowledge of the different exercises you can do and before you know it, you won't feel like such a beginner!

- Don't rush! When you're nervous, it can be tempting to rush your exercises to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible. But rushing your weight training is a sure fire route to an injury. Take it slowly, don't lift heavier than you can comfortably manage and really focus on your form (again, the personal trainers as well as youtube videos can come in handy for this)! By focusing on your form and really nailing all of your compound movements, you'll see much quicker progress than if you rush your sessions.

 - Without a doubt, the most daunting area of the gym is the free weight section, especially for females. But the longer you put off giving it a try, the more daunting it can be. You will often see much more progress by combining free weights with machines so it really is worth getting into that free weight section. A great way to ease yourself in is by adding one new free weight exercise to each session, that way you'll gradually get more comfortable in the area.

- Just as most other gym goers aren't looking at or judging your session, try not to focus on anyone's work out but your own.When you're feeling unconfident about your own ability or progress, it can be really easy to compare your own workouts to those of someone more advanced than you and wonder why you're not there yet. But comparison is the thief of joy comparing your page one to someone else's page 20 won't help you to make progress any faster. When you make a conscious effort to focus on your own journey and the little improvements you make each session, you'll feel notice a lot more progress as well as enjoying the process a lot more.

Now put on your trainers, play your favourite playlist and smash your workouts.

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