Are You Comfortable in the Gym? | Gym Confidence for Women
Being comfortable in the gym is something a lot of people, including myself, struggle with. Working out surrounded by people much further along in their fitness journeys, or even figuring out what to do yourself during a workout can be overwhelming. I used to avoid the gym unless I had a friend to go with, which in the end only meant I skipped a lot of gym days. If I had to go alone, I would hide in the stretching area and barely get anything done. I now really enjoy working out alone. I find I get lost in my own world and push myself harder because I'm not distracted. I love the sense of independence you gain from it, which is why I thought it would be beneficial to share my secrets to having confidence in the gym.
1) Make a plan
Before going to the gym, decide what you want to work on that day. Based on that decision, you can “map out” which exercises you will do, and what machines, or equipment you'll need. Many times when I was first starting out, I'd blindly walk into the gym without a clue what I was going to do, and ended up doing the same things, yet again. If you have an idea of the exercises you need to accomplish that day, you'll spend less time contemplating where to start. Even if you don't stick to it 100%, having a plan ensures a smoother workout.
There is a lot of controversy about wearing makeup in the gym. In my opinion, if it makes you feel confident, then, by all means, wear your makeup! Look better, feel better, right? Not to say a girl won't look good without it, but if you feel more comfortable with it on, then I see no reason why it should affect the people around you.
3) Gym Attire.
Dress comfortably! I highly suggest investing in a few pieces of clothing for the gym that will last you a long time and fit properly. There's nothing worse than constantly having to readjust yourself between sets, or realizing your leggings were really not meant to be worn during leg day… Whether your comfort zone lies in sweats, shorts, crop tops, or baggy tees, just be happy with the outfit you're wearing! (Ps. Forever 21 has amazing, and inexpensive, workout clothing!)
Find or create a playlist for yourself that gets you excited and energetic. Like I said, I find myself zoned out and in my own world when I go to the gym, and finding music I really
connect with plays a huge part in that. Turn up the volume and get going, I promise your worries will melt away. See my playlist here: Motivation in Music
5) Don't be afraid to ask questions.
There are generally personal trainers in most gyms who are more than willing to help you out. If you're unsure of how to use a machine or perform a certain exercise, ask. It's so much more worth it than to risk injuring yourself or giving up because you're embarrassed to try something new. I've found it really helpful to go with a friend who knows more then I do and get tips that I can use when I go alone. Or, searching workout videos at home and learning the proper forms to then try out in the gym.
6) Don't compare yourself.
This is really important. Everyone in the gym is at a different place in their fitness journey. Some people started yesterday, others have been working at it for years. Wherever you are is where you need to be. Don't let the bodybuilder next to you discourage you, use their progress as motivation instead. Encourage yourself and others, it makes for a much better environment for everyone.
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**Also stay tuned for a whole series of video tutorials from Sara, targeted towards women coming in a few short weeks. (July). You can find these on our Youtube page. **