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Do you work out at home or (gasp!) not at all, because you are too intimidated to step foot in a gym? It can be a scary place for a newbie, but there is so much the gym has to offer, that you can’t afford to let your insecurities get the best of you. Read on for my tips for achieving ultimate confidence at the gym (and a hot body, while you’re at it)!
I joined a gym for the first time this year. It’s located right next to my son’s school, and the price is right, so it was a perfect fit for me. I’ve been to gyms before, but it had been years, and I was definitely unsure of myself. But within a week, I was working out like a pro with the big muscle men! Follow my tips, and you too can find the confidence you need to rock your workout!
1. Get the lay of the land
Take a tour of the facilities, ask questions, and get familiar with the layout. If your gym offers a crash course training on the weight machines, take it! Find out what group fitness classes they offer and when. The more you know about your gym, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You’ll also feel a sense of belonging, which will help boost your confidence levels! Before you know it, you’ll be helping out a new newbie!
Figure out what you are going to bring with you. Are you a “bring a bag full of essentials for every possible emergency” kind of girl? If so, you’re going to want to assess the locker room situation and possibly bring your own lock to keep your stuff secure while you work out.
Or do you keep things simple? For me, I bring my keys and maybe a protein shake, but even the shake usually stays in the car!
If your gym happens to be near a Walgreens (which it probably is- I think I pass 3 or 4 on my way!), that’s a great place to stop in for your fitness needs. Walgreens is a one-stop shop for women’s health essentials. Stop on your way to grab a protein shake or some vitamins to help keep you fueled, and then stop on your way home for a hot/cold pack to soothe those recovering muscles and an air freshener for your car or bag!
Working It Out
So now you know where everything is, you’ve brought your essentials along, and you are ready to work out!
3. Fake It Til You Make It
What word have I already mentioned several times? CONFIDENCE. It’s everything. Let’s say you’ve never even set foot in a gym, and you’re about to walk through the doors for the very first time. Guess what? NOBODY ELSE KNOWS THAT!
Want to know my workout secret? It’s an app called Gain Fitness. And it’s free! When you’re ready to work out, you tell it how long you want the workout to be and which muscle groups you want to target (upper body, lower body, core, full body, etc). Then you just click a button, and it generates the workout for you! No need to waste time figuring out what to do next- it takes you through from one exercise to the next, and it even demonstrates how to perform each exercise.
You could go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for an hour, but you could walk for free anywhere! Utilize the free weights and machines that your membership fees are paying for!
When I first went to my new gym, I had Gain generate my workout, and it wanted me to use the Smith machine, which I had never heard of. I watched the quick tutorial in the app, and a minute later I was using the machine like a pro!
Use technology to your advantage! Your confidence will skyrocket!
4. Everyone is judging you.
I bet you’ve read this advice before: “Don’t worry about what other people look like at the gym, or what they think about you. Nobody is paying attention to anyone else, and everyone is there for the same reasons!” NOPE. They are looking, and they are judging, just like you are. Don’t lie, I know you’ve done it!
But now we know that, and we can get over it. Boom. People are looking, people are judging, but who cares? Hit your workout hard, and then go home knowing that you are a little healthier and a little sexier!
Fitness is literally about stepping outside your comfort zone. Wear something you feel fabulous in (or at least comfortable), power up that app, and get your work out ON!
5. Gym Etiquette
Whenever I try something new, I’m always worried that I don’t know what I don’t know. In other words, am I making mistakes that I’m unaware of? When it comes to gym etiquette, if you are using common sense, then you’re probably doing just fine.
Just think of the gym as your house, and…
…put things back where they belong. When you finish an exercise, put the weights or dumbbells back on the racks.
…clean up after yourself. If you sweat excessively, carry a towel and wipe down the machines if necessary.
…be mindful of others. Don’t interrupt someone who is concentrating, keep your music from blasting, and take turns with the equipment.
…be mindful of the equipment. I’m sure you don’t have to be told to take care of the equipment that you and other people will be using, but apparently some people don’t get it. Recently at my gym, a guy using the cable machine let the handle fly and crash every time he finished a set. It was super annoying and disrespectful. Don’t be that guy!
Like I said, use basic common sense, and you’ll be just fine.
Keeping Healthy Habits
6. Make it a routine
Now that you’ve joined a gym, you know your way around, and you are a pro at working out, all you have to do is keep doing it!
Figure out what works for you. Can you commit to early mornings? Are you a night owl? Maybe there is a class you like to take, so that’s when you go.
For me, my son’s school drop off time coincides with the time the kids’ room opens, so that’s when I go. I already have to be up and out, and I drive right past the gym, so I truly have no excuses! Find what works for you, and then commit!
7. Keep yourself healthy in and out of the gym
Now that you’re an old pro and a gym regular, make sure you are keeping your body healthy all year-round. Walgreens can help you celebrate Women’s Health by conveniently providing all the essentials you need to achieve a healthy life.
Stay healthy, work hard, have fun, and I’ll see you at the gym!
Stuck at home? Check out my month of free workout videos!