Stepping into a gym for the first time can take a great deal of courage for many of us. We may fear looking foolish, be self-conscious or think we may not enjoy it. We may have no idea what any of those machines do or how they work, but there was a first time for everyone on that leg extension machine or the chest press.
By remembering that everyone has gone through the stage where our arms were more jelly than lean and we were more adept to picking up a slice of cake than a dumbbell (of course we can still have both, balance is everything), we can quell some of our nerves. There are a few things we can do to combat this gymphobia and feel more positive about our workout.
Take or make a friend
It can always alleviate some pressure if you can take a friend anywhere with you and the gym is no different. If however, it is difficult to drag your friend to your 8am workout, saying hi to a fellow gym goer may allow you to make a new gym buddy and feel more comfortable. They may even be able to give you work out tips!
Prepare a gym bag
If you ensure you have everything from a good sized water bottle, breathable workout clothes, a sweat towel, and a padlock for your locker, this will put your mind more at ease as you’ll feel organised and be prepared.
Know how to use the equipment safely
Read those instruction stickers on the machines. All gyms should have these on their gym equipment so use them to make sure you’re using the machine correctly and safely. You can even ask others how to use something safely or more effectively. Everyone in the gym has been through that initial period when they didn’t know anything so they will be happy to help.
Remember people won’t be watching you
It can be hard to not compare yourself to the muscular bodies in the room, but the more you frequent the gym, the more you’ll begin to enjoy it and realise everyone is just there to do their own thing. Headphones tuned into Netflix or music during your workout may help you ignore others more too.