How to Make the Gym a Less Scary Place

Perhaps your a new gym bunny (or previous gym bunny getting back into their groove after a while). I wanted to write about something that truly resonated with, even now – GYMTIMIDATION. Going into the gym, not having a clue where to start. Feeling totally intimidated. Totally uninspired. It’s TOTALLY a “thing”. It even happens now to your good friend Kim the personal trainer – shock horror.


We’ve all been there, new gym, maybe new to the whole training game altogether. You step into the gym, don’t know where anything is, or what to do….freak out, make a bee line for the treadmill. Stay on said treadmill as long as you can having 1) worked out how to turn the damn thing on 2) fiddled around with your music and walked a bit 3) Run for a bit, got totally puffed out at some stage, slowed it down ran (crawled, cried) for the exit, swiftly gone home, never to gym again.

I say that I resonate because I was that girl in the gym. I stuck to what I knew, I stayed on my trusty treadmill and did my best to ignore the other goings on. Classes, nah. Weights nope. Jogging and fleeing, that was my game. Slowly I began to work my way round this funny place we call the gym. A place where people are doing all sorts of wild things, but mainly, hopefully bettering their health. Time for you to feel comfortable about doing the same.

Here’s my top tips for avoiding the gymtimidation:

  1. Drag Your Mate Along For the Ride- That buddy of yours that’s roughly on the same fitness path as you? Maybe slightly more or less fit than you? Get them involved! It needs to be someone that will keep your spirits high, keep you motivated and accountable. Don’t choose someone way out of your fitness league it will just make you feel intimidated. Agree to a gym schedule. Doesn’t have to be every time you go to the gym. Maybe 1-2 times a week to start with. You could agree to do a gym session or a gym class. Then both of you are accountable to each other to show up. Having your buddy by your side will make it an altogether less scary experience from the get go. We all take gym a bit too seriously if you ask me! It will also be a lot more fun and you can learn from one another. Once I found a training partner (Miss Tara Margulies), the rest became a lot more interesting! No more dreaded treadmill gym sessions.
  2. Take a Class – Even if it’s on your own. Pluck up the courage (and I know it takes courage!) to go to a gym class. Explore different ones. If you didn’t like one, try another. There’s so many ways to get fit you don’t have to love all of them. You’ll resonate with some teachers more than others. The more you go the easier it will become. This I promise you. Not only will you learn proper technique and form, classes usually bring community. No more lonely gym workouts! Even if you’re not one to socialise a lot at the gym, its worth going to explore different training methods. It’s your trainers job to make you feel comfortable, and make you walk out of the class feeling feel like you’ve achieved something (e.g. like a TOTAL bad ass )
  3. Take up a New Training Discipline – If you’re struggling to keep consistent at the gym it’s probably because you’re not enjoying it. I know I struggle with motivation in getting to the gym if I lack focus or am doing training that I don’t enjoy doing. Whilst there’s an element of sacking it up and getting on with training. It’s worth finding a fitness discipline you enjoy, otherwise it’s not sustainable. Try pilates or yoga, maybe even find a tennis court or climbing wall. There really are so many training opportunities. You will find some you love, some you hate. I hate spinning for example, so I don’t do it. Rock climbing – I’m obsessed, doesn’t even feel like I’m training!
  4. Make a Plan – Doesn’t have to be some crazy whacky exercise programme in place, just a plan to stick to. Training works when you provide progressive overload to the body. Have a set of exercises, work out how to progress them (adding weight, improving form, adding repetitions or sets) then stick to it. Be consistent. A good training regime usually has the same sort of solid movements e.g. squats, deadlifts, repeated a progressively overloaded over time. Get a plan. Stick to it. Ask for help if you need it. Trainers that are “walking the gym floor” and not with a client should be on hand to help if you need it. Let’s keep you safe, consistent and focused. Training for a specific event is even better. Training for something like a 5k, 10k or maybe even a half marathon or mud run, whatever it is, it will give you the motivation you need to succeed long term. 
  5. Music to Motivate – A big saviour of mine is music. If I’m feeling unmotivated or a bit timid at the gym there’s nothing like some solid beats to get me going. It allows you to get out of your head and into your training. Remember people are so wrapped up in their own training they won’t even notice what you’re doing. We tend to assume people are judging us, but really they’re just doing what they gotta do – like you. I use Samsung’s Gearfit Headphones which are perfect, because they’re wireless I don’t have to worry about them getting in the way.
  6. Get Some Strong Fit Kit – Nothing says motivation like new awesome gym kit. Grab yourself your favourite fitness kit and rock it. I mean it, I know it’s not always cheap but long term gym motivation wise it’s worth it. Even if you have one great outfit you feeling insane in! Get it. Work it. If you feel good, you’ll train good. Get in the zone. Get at it! I’m loving Adidas’ new warp knit leggings because they look great and are super comfortable and breathable for those sweaty workouts.

It’s all going to be ok my friends. With a lot of courage, commitment and confidence the gym will become a more friendly and familiar place. Don’t worry; you’ve totally got this. Let me know if you have any questions on how to get going. Better yet get yourself a personal trainer who can also make it a much nicer process for you. They can iron out any imbalances going on in your body and formulate the best plan for your body!

Happy gym going friends!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x


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