Newbies in the Gym. READ THIS!
Gym Membership? Check.
So, you bought a gym membership…. Now what? I’d be willing to bet that when you go in the gym you’re afraid that people are watching you and picking you apart from the first step in. Chances are that you worry about what you’re wearing, or wonder if you should dress a certain way, or wear a special kind of shoe or anything along those lines.
Am I out of line guessing that insecurities poke their nasty face when you begin doing your workouts? Do you ever look around the gym and feel that everyone else knows what he or she is doing, but you have no idea?
When I started going to the gym, I had all those thoughts AND MORE! I can recall never wanting to bench press less than 135 lbs. because less weight made me look weak. I had the same insecurities about dumbbell curls. Thinking back to all these ideas and crazy thoughts in the gym is pretty funny now. The best bodybuilders and fitness professionals will tell you that mastering form is first priority.
Before I start my rant, let me describe myself a little bit. I consider myself advanced in the category of strength training, average in overall health and fitness, and failing in dietary discipline. The reason for sharing these ‘credentials’ is because I am a very average gym member. People don’t watch me and say, “damn, he’s a beast.” I am just an average guy busting my ass and trying to reach all my fitness goals. While I have gotten a few looks when I lift heavy, everything I lift is attainable by any person that puts their time in and works hard.
The recent urge to write about gym judging was the New Year’s Eve spike in membership at my gym. I think the rapid increase in filled parking spaces may have lasted one week at best. Then, back to the same faces that were there in December. I was disappointed to see so many people give up on their goals in the first month.
I did get a free shot of humor when I heard someone clearly bragging to his buddy about not missing a day yet on January 3. He said he was sticking to his workout regiment as he intended. I haven’t seen him since!
Back to the judging (or lack there of).
No matter where you’re at in your fitness level; the people you may think are judging you most likely have the complete opposite thoughts. Motivation breeds motivation in the gym just as it does in anything else. There aren’t too many things more motivating than seeing a new person working hard at your gym.
Post Workout is Very Important
Lately I have noticed one guy in particular that always wears headphones and avoids eye contact. He is a heavyset fellow, but he’s been putting in the work for at least one month. I only cross paths with him once or twice a week, and I have been wondering if he feels some of the things that I felt when I first started lifting. I highly doubt he thinks that anyone commends his consistency enough to write about it. I also doubt that he knows that I, like many others, am readily available to answer any and all questions he has about working out.
I have not judged this guy in a harsh way at all, but I have thought that he could use some help on his form and workout routine. I have seen him use very light weights when heavier weights may have benefited him more. If I tell him my thoughts, I fear he may not want to hear them, or he may lose motivation. However, if he were to ask me anything I would love to help!
Many other new gym members are in the same boat as him. He’s not being judged—he’s being admired! Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help, and never ever think that you don’t belong in a place that is built to better your life. When you see someone that’s in good shape, ask him or her for a little help or advice. If you start training on heavy weights, definitely talk to people doing heavier! The only that should discourage you from going to the gym is……