Kick Gym Anxiety in the Butt!

27 January 2019

Most of us would like to be healthier and in slightly better shape. There's nothing wrong with that and wanting to better yourself is admirable. But a lot of people don't know where to start when it comes to embracing a healthier, more active lifestyle. It took me ages to realise that exercise didn't have to mean sports. Which is great because I hate sports. I recently started going to Lissome Newcastle and I feel like all my gym-related anxiety has vanished.

Lissome is an all-women Crossfit Gym and it's just filled with positive vibes that make it almost impossible to not have a good time every single workout. I recommend Lissome 100% to any of my Newcastle babes, but maybe all you're looking for is a regular old gym to get into.

No matter what your current level is or what you want to achieve in the end, the gym is supposed to have you covered. So then, why are so many people so reluctant to start going to the gym.

It's true that for people who aren't used to it, the idea of going to the gym can be a pretty intimidating experience. I was always most nervous about someone coming up and talking to me or trying to tell me what to do. Which seems silly now that I'm at Lissome.

You assume that you'll be surrounded by complex machinery that you have to figure out while people who are far fitter than you watch and laugh to themselves. Which they probably aren't. People at the gym are generally only focussed on themselves.

For a lot of people, the whole idea of going to the gym is so stressful that it can put them off exercising at all! This could be the point in time when you need to consider taking a supplement for your anxiety that gives a mellow effect before you hit the gym so the gym doesn't hit you!

But anyone can and should get themselves down to the gym if they want to make themselves fitter and healthier.

So here are a few simple tips for any nervous, first-time gym-goers.

Know What You Want and How to Achieve it

Before you step foot in the gym, you should know exactly what it is that you want out of your workouts. Are you looking to build muscle? Burn fat? Get toned? Do you want to be bigger or smaller? Do you want to increase your strength or your flexibility?

 All these questions are super important because they will dictate the kinds of workouts that you'll need to be doing. You can speak to a personal trainer to help understand which exercises are best for the results that you want, but you can also find a lot of the answers online.

Figure out which machines are right for your workout and how they work. There are plenty of places that will let you know which machines do what. This is also incredibly useful if you're looking to set up your very own home gym. This means that you can have your entire workout routine carefully planned before you ever walk through the gym doors.

This can make that first trip far less stressful because you already have a much better idea of what you're doing, rather than wandering around aimlessly, not knowing whether what you're doing is having any effect at all.

Get some Headphones

One of the biggest barriers to people going to the gym is the idea of all the other people around them. Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. No one at the gym cares what you're doing. Everyone is there for the same reason, to get in shape. Most of the time people are too busy worrying about their own workouts to care what you're doing with yours.

But it's pretty understandable to feel a little uncomfortable around lots of people, especially when you're starting out. One of the best things that you can do to combat this is to have some music and some headphones with you.

That way you can shut out the world and really get into the zone, forgetting about everyone else around you. Not only that but it lets you pick your workout playlist so that you can make sure you're seriously pumped up! Listening to the right kind of music when you're working out has been shown in a lot of studies to actually help you work out for longer and improve your strength and stamina.

Don't Forget, You Can Ask for Help

Equipment at the gym can be dangerous, particularly when dealing with any heavyweights. One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is that they don't ask for help when they need it and end up hurting themselves because they're using the equipment wrong. I was definitely one of these people, but instead, I just wouldn't use the equipment.

 Instead of trying to figure something out and putting yourself at risk, ask one of the trainers at the gym to assist you, it's what they're there for after all, and they'd much rather see you get the most out of your workout than struggling. 

You might have this idea in your head that you're going to be looked at as some kind of failure because you have to ask someone to give you a hand or some guidance here or there. However, most people who go to the gym regularly or work there are going to be more than happy to share some of their advice and knowledge with someone who's just starting out.

Go with a Friend

The best way to ward off those nerves that can keep you from getting through the gym doors is to go with someone else. Not only will this keep you motivated but it stops you from feeling awkward in the way you might if you're on your own. Working out with a friend means that you will have someone to push you and stop you from giving up, as well as making sure that you're safe when you use the equipment. It also has the added benefit that if one of you messes up, then you can laugh about it together without having to feel embarrassed. 

Not only that but it actually makes going to the gym a whole lot safer. You're not necessarily going to be able to tell if your form is wrong or if you're running the risk of doing yourself some damage, but a friend can let you know right away.

Not only that but you must have a spotter if you decide to hit the larger weights at any point. The last thing you want is to end up pinned under a barbell with no one around to help you!

Back it up with the rest of your Lifestyle

One of the things that leaves a lot of people feeling kind of embarrassed about going to the gym is that they don't feel like they're making the kind of progress that they would like to. They feel as though people can see that they're showing up to the gym every week and there's no difference in how they look or how to fit they are. This can cause a lot of people to give up. I understand! I still sometimes need someone to remind me that progress is slow and that with consistency you will get there!

If you do feel as though you could be progressing a lot better than you are, then there are things that you can do. 

The most important step is to be sure that you're backing up your workouts with the right diet and lifestyle. If you're trying to build muscle then you need to be sure that you're getting enough calories and a lot of protein, and if you're trying to lose weight then counting calories and cutting back is going to make a difference. Of course, you shouldn't be going overboard in either direction.

You can also try supplements like oxyshred as well. I've been drinking this for a while now, (I Love Wild Melon) and it really gives me the boost to get through my 6am sessions.
These aren't going to guarantee that you suddenly start seeing a huge change at the gym right away, but backing up your workouts with the right lifestyle can only be a good thing.

At the end of the day, a gym is a great place where anyone can get in shape and become their best self. Don't let your nerves stand in your way; it's really not that scary once you get started.

The most important thing to remember is that, as much as it might feel as though everyone is looking at you, the truth is that most people are just trying to get on with their own workout and they really don't care about what anyone else is doing. Sure, the first couple of trips are going to be kind of scary but once you get into the rhythm of it, you're going to stop noticing the other people around you altogether and you'll become far more interested in getting the best possible workout that you can.

Good luck!