The start of any fitness program is likely to bring anyone a lot of challenges. From sore muscles on a daily basis to the struggles of new dietary restrictions, it’s no wonder that so many who start a fitness plan end up quitting within just a few months. Additionally, discouragement can also come from the initial weight gain that comes with starting a new workout program; this is due to the inflammation from micro tears and the breakdown of muscle tissue. And then there’s the added struggle that our minds force us to suffer: our self-image. When joining a gym, a true concern for most is what others think of them.The following are nine tips on how to be successful at the gym, including ways to combat the general anxieties of working out in the presence of others:
1. Know the Basics
Do some research on a few basic exercises and practice them to perfection in the comfort of your own home. Once you go to the gym, your confidence in these movements will be enough to forget about any imagined judgments surrounding you. Be sure to perfect the basics before progressing to more advanced workouts.
Some practical basic techniques to complete include:
2. Consider Group Fitness or Personal Training
Along with the high energy and the fun nature of fitness classes, the ease of having a class instructor is also a great benefit. Classes like Zumba or Turbo Kick are both enjoyable ways to burn calories. Some gyms even offer glow in the dark yoga classes. Once you feel confident in the movements taught in class, you can incorporate the elements that you like into your workout. If you feel too shy about starting a class, standing in the back can help relieve some of that anxiety. Make sure you can still see yourself in the mirror, though! If you want to get serious, many gyms have great deals on personal training as well. These experts will be particularly useful in acquainting you with specific equipment and their various potential uses!
3. Avoid the Crowd
Aside from the benefit of feeling like no one is watching you, working out during off hours also gives you the luxury of using any and all of the equipment you want! In general, early mornings guarantee an empty gym, especially on the weekends.
4. Do Your Research
The abundance of health and fitness information available online can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting at the gym. Lots of misinformation is also out there! Don’t mistake someone for an expert just because they work out. Always be on the lookout for credible sources and certified professionals. For example, bodybuilding.com is an excellent resource for learning proper form.If you’re more of a hands-on type of learner, gym staff will be happy to show you how to do an exercise. It is important to learn the basics correctly, as consistently working with the wrong form can result in serious injury in the long run.5. Set a ScheduleCommit to particular gym days and stick to it! Starting slowly and realistically is important. Perhaps, in the beginning, one to three days a week will be the necessary amount. Mark it on your calendar to make it feel like an official commitment. If you exceed the number of workouts in your weekly plan, then that’s great!
6. Have a Plan
Stepping into the gym without a plan will likely result in a mediocre workout. Be sure that you know exactly what your routine entails before stepping foot in the gym. It is wise to have your entire week planned to work with your schedule. For example, assigning leg day to Monday allows your lower body muscles the entire week to recover. And sometimes, you need a whole week to recover from leg day! The rest of the week, you can give your lower body a break with upper body and core workouts.
7. Find a Gym Buddy
Having a workout buddy will hold you to your commitments and keep you accountable. If you feel unmotivated, perhaps all you need is some encouragement from your workout partner. It is important to be selective with your gym buddy, though! If you find yourself talking to each other more than working out, then perhaps you need to choose a different gym buddy!
8. Try New Things
To ensure that you don’t plateau, it is important that you have different workouts available. Martial arts, rock climbing and pole dancing are all excellent ways to train your muscles while also having fun. If you don’t like it, move on! The important thing is to add some variety and continue finding different exercises.
9. Have Fun
It seems cliché, but it’s important. If the gym starts feeling like a chore, you will likely quit soon. Once you’ve tried new things and identify the things that you enjoy, plan to incorporate some of those things in your life. Instead of hitting the gym on a Wednesday night, maybe call up a friend and try that new rock climbing place in town. Make sure exercise is something you look forward to and not something that you dread. Continue finding things that you love to do; life is too short to be mundane.