Motivation tank on empty? Allow me to help.
Hands up if you own a ban.do water bottle, a pair of Lululemon leggings and a Shock Absorber sports bra. Yeah, us too. Do you use them? To exercise, we mean? Now that gyms are offically re-opening, you may find joining a gym or signing up for a new class too intimidating, especially with all the new guidelines in place.
But here’s the hard truth about gymtimidation, it's about you, more than other people. Other people in the gym don’t care if you walk at 3.5 on a 0 incline or if you sprint at 11.5 on an incline of 3. They’re too busy thinking about themselves (and trying to breathe) to care about you at all.
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Keep scrolling for the gym motivation tips that trick my brain into craving the gym.
Location, Location, Location!
Pick a gym that’s near your house or your job - if it’s easy to visit you’ll be less inclined to put it off. Likewise, pick a gym that caters to your interests. Certain gyms attract a certain clientele, so if powerlifting isn’t for you then stay away from gyms aimed at that audience. There are plenty of gyms that have facilities for all fitness levels, with weights and machines to suit beginners.
Meet A Trainer
The best thing you can do is ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with it. If you don’t know how to use the equipment or what weights you should be lifting, ask a member of staff. Without being blunt it’s why they’re there. If you’re on a budget, opt for a gym that includes assessments in your membership. That way you’ll get a tailored programme suitable for your abilities. Plus you’ll be able to pick the trainer’s brains for tips and advice.
Get Your List Out
Before you go, always have a plan in mind and if you’re too embarrassed to carry a piece of paper around, utilise the lists function on your phone. Once you have a list you can make the most out of your workout instead of going home early. Everyone was a beginner at one stage, so take it slow and don’t feel like you have to do the same as the person next to you.
The Naked Truth
No matter what age you are, changing rooms can be uncomfortable, and none more so that when you’re surrounded by those without an ounce of shame. So, if public nudity isn’t your thing, use the toilet until you feel more comfortable. Always remember though, people are rushing to get themselves cleaned and dressed, so whether your bra matches your pants probably isn't top of their agenda.
Wear Something Comfortable
Take no notice of Fitness Fiona on the treadmill in her shorts and sports bra (to each their own!). Instead, focus on yourself and your workout. People go to the gym to work on themselves so no one is looking to check if your runners are on trend. Wear whatever you will feel comfortable in. Most importantly, the gym gives you an excuse to go and buy new clothes. Winner, winner, protein chicken dinner!
Avoid Peak Times
If you’re intimidated by others or feel like you aren’t confident enough to work out in front of a crowd, then go at times when it’s not that busy. You won’t feel under pressure from people hovering around waiting to use the machines so you can take your time and try new exercises. Best of all, you can build your confidence up until you don’t even notice who’s beside you.
Fake It Till You Make It
If you really like the dance classes but you think you look like a dad at a disco, then why not look up the routines on YouTube or Instagram? Nine times out of ten, there will be a video of someone doing it so you can practice in the comfort of your own home before you go to the gym. The same goes for using exercise machines, look at how others use them and take mental notes so you won’t look like a lost puppy trying to read and understand the instructions card on the machine.
Bring a Pal
There’s strength in numbers, so why not convince your friend to come with you? Even if neither of you are experts, you’ll feel more at ease with someone you know. Having a pal there can also motivate you to go and keep you on the right track, plus come the Summer and you both are feeling your like best selves in your bikinis, she won't be able to stop thanking you!
Sort Out Your Music
Having a good workout playlist can be one of the most important things when hitting the gym. Putting in your earphones and smashing it out to an upbeat song will not only make you feel more comfortable but will also block out any anxious thoughts you might be having about being there in the first place.
Main image by @emmalouiseconnelly on Instagram