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The Shy Girl’s Guide to the Gym

by Megan

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!

Still working up the confidence to join a gym? Check out this post first: How to Get Started Going to the Gym

First Steps

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!

2. Prepare

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!

The Shy Girl's Guide To The Gym #HerHealth #shop

And sometimes it wants to hang out with the kettlebells.

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!

The Shy Girl's Guide To The Gym #HerHealth #shop

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 workout ON!

The Shy Girl's Guide To The Gym #HerHealth #shop

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!

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!

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Summer Davis June 11, 2014 - 12:30pm

You. ROCK. I’m sharing this all over the internet. I’m not shy in the least, and even I get a huge case of gymphobia. I don’t like going to a brand new gym, and while I LOVE doing free weights, I never know what to do. I have never heard of that app before, but I’m downloading it RIGHT NOW because I really believe it will help me get the most out of my workout and continue down the super healthy path. I also love that Walgreens is all over the place so that when you need something in a pinch, it’s there. #client

jill conyers June 14, 2014 - 2:00am

I love love your people are judging you tip. It’s true! They are judging! I know so many women that won’t go to the gym for the reasons you listed. When I had a gym membership I loved it. The gyn was my second home :)

Laura@Baking in Pyjamas October 5, 2014 - 6:45am

This is a great post, as a women who goes to the gym 6 times a week it can be daunting to go by yourself if your not sure of what of it’s like. Good luck with your progress. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

Jill October 5, 2014 - 5:44pm

This is fantastic! Pinning!

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