How to overcome gym 'fear' for newbies?
Stepping into the gym for the very first time can be extremely daunting and intimidating. All the grunting, sweating, weights dropping, complicated-looking equipment and copious amounts of protein shakes/supplements can have you hiding in the cardio corner on a treadmill for 30 minutes and then leaving - this sums up my first experience anyway. What's wrong with staying in the cardio section anyway, you ask? Nothing really...buuut you are missing out on a whole other style of training the gym has to offer - resistance training.
Why venturing into the weight section is so beneficial?By now, most of us know that some form of resistance training has many great health benefits, but what exactly are they? Well, let’s see...Increase muscle mass and strength (protecting your joints and bones), increase metabolism/metabolic rate, improve insulin sensitivity, improve bone density, assist in weight management and fat loss, boost serotonin and dopamine (the happy chemicals), reduces stress and anxiety, boost self-esteem, and the list goes on and on Firstly, I’d like to clear up two misconceptions about resistance training -
- The fear of getting ‘too big’ (mostly from women). This statement makes me giggle a little. Resistance training does not make you ‘bulky’ ladies! You don’t need to worry about getting ‘too muscley’ - trust me I have been trying for a looong time - it’s damn hard and takes ridiculous amounts of food, training and consistency. Unless you are eating an entire box of donuts to yourself on a daily basis - you don’t need to worry about getting ‘bigger’. Men ‘bulk’ up easier due to their levels of testosterone, woman have roughly 1/20th of the testosterone levels of the average man. We aren’t built to bulk.
- Wanting to only ‘tone’ up. Let’s clear this once and for all - there is no such thing as toning, you either build muscle and lose fat, or gain fat and lose muscle. That simple. The more muscle you build, the more energy your body uses throughout the day, the more fat you are burning, which makes it easier to stay lean. Additional muscle built is also what creates the ‘toned’ appearance that so many people crave. Muscle is your friend and secret weapon to looking and feeling fantastic!
No one is really looking at you.Although you might feel like a fish-out-of-water under a big spotlight, truth is;
- Most people at the gym are just as self-conscious as you are regardless of their size.
- They are so focused on trying not to kill themselves with their weights, they wouldn’t even notice you (unless you break gym etiquette and stand in front of their mirror space - little tip - don’t do this!).
- Most people have completely zoned out to their playlists, and I highly recommend doing the same thing. Creating an awesome playlist that gets you pumped, gives an incredible sense of being ‘unstoppable’ and a buzz like no other.
- Everyone has to start somewhere. Being fit, healthy and strong is a journey not a destination. You just need to keep focused on your own journey. You should be your only competition.