The thought of joining a gym can be intimidating for many. Where do you start? How do you use the equipment? Will people stare? There are countless reasons as to why one may feel hesitant to join a gym. From not being comfortable with your current fitness level, or just not wanting to work out in front of massive groups of people, walking into a gym can be tough. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to increase your confidence when it comes to first joining a gym and getting comfortable.
Choosing the Right Gym
Every gym is wildly different in terms of the culture, what if focuses on, and equipment it offers. It is important to know what you are looking for out of a gym, and what amenities and services are non-negotiables. Creating a checklist of what is important to you is vital to ensure that the gym you choose checks off those boxes.
Set up an Orientation
This seems simple, but it can go a long way. Not only will this allow you to get familiar with the gym layout, you will be assisted by a professional who can show you how each piece of equipment works from the start. One of the main reasons people tend to avoid going to the gym is being unfamiliar with the equipment and how to get set up. Along with now being comfortable with the equipment, you will also have established some relationships with the staff which can increase that level of comfort as you walk in. Along with this, when you have relationships with the staff, you will be more comfortable asking for assistance in the future when you don’t feel like you are alone in the gym.
Hire a Personal Trainer
If you are unsure of how to set up a workout plan or where to start, there is no better solution than to work with a professional to show you the ropes. A personal trainer will be able to sit down with you, go over your goals, create a custom training program, and provide you with support and encouragement along the way.
Have a Workout Partner
If a personal trainer is not quite in the budget just yet, having a regular gym partner can go a long way. It is always easier to do something with the support of a friend, especially when it is an activity you are already uneasy about. Even if your workout partner is as uncertain as you are, there’s always that feeling of safety and comfort in numbers. It can also make your gym experience more fun and sociable.
Try out Classes
Another great option is to join in on the available classes that your gym provides to get a better grasp on specific movements and be under the watch and instruction of a professional coach. Along with this, you will have the fun group dynamic and comradery that a group class can bring. The great thing with the class programs at the gym is that there are multiple different options to choose from and so, by trying out a few, you can see what it is you really enjoy doing.
Choose Off-Peak Hours
If it is the large group numbers that often make you feel uncomfortable with gyms, opting to go during off-peak hours can go a long way. You will still be able to get in your workout and avoid the mass groups of people. If this is the case, it is important to speak to the front desk to determine what hours the gym is typically quieter so that you can aim to include those times in your schedule.
Gym intimidation is very much real, most of us experience in one way or another which is perfectly normal. Fortunately, as you can see above, there are multiple ways to gradually increase your comfort in the gym, the equipment, and building towards your goals!