After spending the bones of 12 months as a cardio bunny pounding the roads, never setting foot in a weights room/gym, one March back in 2014 I decided after seeing this gym goddess on Instagram, that I wanted to start lifting weights and made the decision it was time to go to the gym.
I was scared sh*tless to say the least. I didn’t know where to start, what to do. Thoughts were racing through my head: “What will everyone think? Won’t I stand out? What if I make a fool out of myself?!”. I’ve been there, I’ve felt that.
Lifting weights has many benefits. Lifting weights enables you to build lean muscle and sculpt your body. Lifting weights will give you that ‘Toned’ look that everyone desires. That toned look in time will make you more comfortable in your skin.
I want to help you to enter into the weights room and achieve your goals. Banish that thought that it is not only for men. Us girls belong there just as much as they do J by stepping into the weights room, it will open up a whole new workout world and possibilities to you, and will equip you with every tool you need to become a healthier and fitter version of you.
Here are the tips I’d give newbies into the gym world..
Whether you write down a workout plan or even just a rough guideline of the exercises you want to do, including sets and reps if you can. Use google and youtube to ensure you’re familiar with the correct form for all the exercises. It is much easier to get started if you know exactly what you are there to do, and what exercises etc you are going to incorporate.
Plug In & Dress Up.
Make yourself a gym playlist full of your favourite songs so once you get there you can just pop in your headphones and get into the zone. This will down out your surroundings and you’ll feel able to just focus on what you are there to do. Also, a favourite of mine, I like to look good and feel confident while working out. So don’t forget to wear a gym outfit which flatters your body and makes you feel fabulous. Ensure your leggings are comfortable and secure. Nothing will demotivate you more if you’re not feeling comfortable and sassy while you are there.
Get an Induction.
Most gyms will offer a totally free induction, an interactive tour of the whole gym, which will include the weights room. Make sure you sign up for this option. It will be with someone who works there and knows the place so make sure to ask questions, request demonstrations and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. They might even offer a trial PT session or a sample workout guide. Make sure to take it.
Take a Friend.
Why not grab a friend and bring them to the gym with you. The weights room is much easier to enter when you have someone you’re familiar with by your side. You can train together, experiment with different machines and encourage each other. This will make it seem less daunting cause if one of you messes up, you can help each other out, support each other and have a laugh/catch up as you go.
If you’re going in alone, my best advice, pick a time where it’s not guaranteed to be packed (i.e. not early morning or just after work). Even try going on the weekend if you’re going for the first time. The place will be quieter and you can get comfortable finding your way around, experimenting with what weights work best for you, without feeling like someone is waiting on the machine you’re currently working on.
If you’re worried about your form on an exercise, or how to use a certain machine, do not be afraid to ask for help. Whether you ask a member of staff or someone else working out, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. It’s better to know exactly what you’re doing rather than trying it out and failing and becoming discouraged afterwards.
A Finally, last but not least, and something you might laugh at..
Most of the people in the gym are genuinely too focused on themselves and their goals to even bat an eyelid at what anyone else is doing. I promise you on that one. They aren’t there to judge other people. If someone does notice you, they will most likely be thinking how much respect they have for you for working out. You’re doing this for you, not for anyone else. And everyone is there with the same frame of mind.
The first time you enter the weights section, it will feel a little bit daunting. However, it gets easier and easier until eventually it becomes second nature. One day you will look back and wonder why you ever worried about it and hadn’t started sooner!