Today I’d like to discuss a topic that’s been on my mind lately.
How many of you have had anxiety or felt stressed going to a gym for the first time, starting a new workout routine, or, simply trying a new exercise at your gym?
Each of these scenarios has been on my mind lately.
Recently, I have tried a new lift that was very unfamiliar to me. I simply had never performed it before.
I’ll be completely honest with you, it was a tad awkward and uncomfortable. If you’ve experienced something similar, you probably felt uncomfortable too (and maybe that’s a good thing).
It doesn’t have to be unbearably uncomfortable. There are ways to ease yourself into a new lift, new workout program, or going to a gym without feeling stress or anxiety.
How To Approach Trying A New Lift
When approaching a new lift, or a new workout routine entirely. It can be very intimidating.
It is intimidating because naturally humans care what their peers, or even people of all ages think. It is one of the largest humps individuals must overcome.
If you’ve reached a point where you don’t worry what others are thinking or if someone might judge you, then great! This isn’t for you.
However, if you do get gym anxiety (this is a real thing), then let’s come up with a plan to help make trying a new lift or workout routine easier.
I am going to share three different tips towards easing into a new lift or a new routine. It is important to try whatever option you feel most comfortable with.
1) Use Google or YouTube!
This is a strategy that I use very often.
In fact I just used this strategy last week when looking into a new lift I had not tried before.
Whether it’s a single lift, or an entire routine, use the internet as your resource. Preferably, do your research before going to the gym as to avoid holding others up.
By using the internet as your resource, you can look up videos, images, or even text on how to properly perform a lift.
I prefer using videos because it allows me to fully understand the range of motion I need to perform during said lift.
If you think you might forget the correct lift form, keep the video up as a tab or save it in your phone. That way you can quickly access it, view the correct form, and you can avoid holding anybody else up.
2) Find A Gym Buddy!
Finding a gym buddy is also a good option.
If you have a friend that is well-educated in the realm of weightlifting and exercise, then make going to the gym fun and lift with a buddy!
Your friend can help show you the correct form to a lift right before your very eyes. This is extremely helpful and is a good way to avoid hurting yourself by using incorrect form.
I have used this option many times. I have learned plenty of new lifts from going to the gym with a friend.
Also, if you have a gym buddy, you can motivate one another and spot each other on heavier lifts such as a bench press.
3) Ask Someone Friendly!
If you feel comfortable enough, you could even ask someone at the gym who looks friendly if you’re performing an exercise correctly!
Many gym members go to the gym at the same time every day that they lift.
This builds a sense of community around people that consistently exercise. If you ask someone for help, they have probably seen you around and would be happy to help out.
This could even be a way to make a new friend.
4) Hire A Personal Trainer.
If all else fails and you just cannot seem to become comfortable performing new lifts or your workout routine in general, then you should consider hiring a personal trainer.
Almost all gyms have the ability to join classes, programs, or hire a trainer. Trainers are specialized in the field of helping others improve their health through fitness and exercise.
You will be in great hands, learn a lot, and avoid the anxiety of not knowing how to perform lifts.
The important thing, is to simply never give up on yourself. Your health is too important.
How To Avoid The Stress Of A New Gym?
Lastly, let’s talk about the anxiety and stresses of going to a gym for the first time.
This can kind of be a scary experience.
You’re most likely unsure of what weights or machines your new gym has, which can be stressful because you won’t know what lifts you can perform.
Also, you’re going to seem lost for the first few times as you find your way around the new gym. This is to be expected!
There are a few things you can do to help ease this process and make it a more comfortable experience.
1) Tour Your New Gym
When you sign up with a new gym, they will most likely provide you a tour of all the facility has to offer. This is their time to prove to you that you made the right choice in picking their gym!
Accept the tour and take your time as you walk around and discover the types of machines or weights available.
Also, if you already have a workout routine, go ahead and ask whoever is giving your tour where the different weights or machines that you’ll need are located. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the gym and definitely makes your first exercise experience easier!
If no tour is offered, simply walk around the entire gym on your own!
Take some time and look for the different resources you will want to use so you know where they are.
2) Be Friendly With Staff and With Other Members
Remember, your gym is a community of like-minded people who are all trying to reach a particular fitness goal.
With that in mind, be outgoing, make friends, get to know staff members! By becoming part of the community, your new gym will start to feel more and more like home.
Also, by making your new gym feel like home, you will absolutely be more likely to stay consistent and stick to your plan.
What Strategies Will You Use?
All in all, these tips and strategies should help you ease into a new lift, new workout, or even a new workout facility.
The goal is to make going to the gym and feeling comfortable as easy as possible. This is how consistency happens. We all know that with consistency comes results.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable trying a new lift, new routine, or going to a new gym?
If you have, share your story! How did you overcome this? Do you have any tips to share with our community?
Also, if any of these tips have helped you, please feel free to comment below and let us know your success story.
Stay safe, stay dedicated, and inspire to be better versions of yourself!
Founder of myshakercup.com
When I joined my local YMCA recently, it was a little intimidating to go to the workout room on a Saturday or Sunday morning. There tends to be more people there at that time than weekend afternoons or weekdays. Once I figured that out, I re-arranged my schedule so that I could feel more comfortable with working out as I was just getting back into it. I completely agree that most people are willing to help you - no matter what stage of life they are at, they are going to the gym to be healthy and fit!
Andrea, You are exactly right. When everyone has the same goal of being fit and healthy, it's easy to connect. I am so glad you found a good time to exercise! :) Russell
Hi Russell, Excellent tips. It can be totally intimidating when you are new to working out or even just new to a gym. I still feel uncomfortable going to new gyms and I have been working out for 15 + years. One of the things I like to keep in mind when I feel uncomfortable is to remember that most of the people in there feel the same way, even if they don't look it. It's just kind of an awkward thing for most people no matter how many times you do it.
Dan, I think you are exactly right. People are definitely not alone if they feel uncomfortable in particular situations. It happens to everyone. Thanks for the comment! Russell