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Starting a gym can be intimidating and downright scary, especially if you don't know what to expect. I am not a personal trainer nor am I a professional sports anything, I just like to work out. I enjoy the thrill of it and I like the way that it makes me feel. Your first encounter is going to leave you re-thinking your decision to get healthy and fit.
Gym = Deserved Break
You will ask yourself, "What was I thinking"? Just know that we've all been there. I remember my first time so I am going to lay it out for you. Working out is not fun and you will wake up the next day regretting that "no pain, no gain" feeling. What you do have to remember is that your "BUTT" probably hasn't seen a squat in twenty years and the most weight that you have lifted since graduating high school was a 12 oz. beer. You made a choice to make a difference for a reason, now you just need to follow through.
My first visit to a gym reminded me a lot of being the new girl at a new school. It is intimidating and scary. You will have your cliques. There will be those girls with the voluptuous bods, rounds booties, and sexy legs and you will stare at the guys with the eight packs. Yes, I did say eight because you will find yourself counting the ripples. You now want to go curl up in a corner because reality has now set in. You're overweight, out of shape, and now insecure because you have now entered a world of fitness doubt and you're all alone. Now you are wondering, "Why am I here?"
Don't Be Intimidated
The class setting is always the most comfortable for a gym beginner. I highly recommend it. There is nothing more fearful than walking around looking at a piece of equipment and wondering, "How does this work?" without walking around wondering, "How does this work?" Your subconscious mind is telling you that someone has noticed that look of confusion on your face but that high school clique fear has now set in and not one person has come over to see if you need help. Attend a class. Might as well show your new unbalanced yoga skills in front of a group of people who are doing the same thing that you are. Not everyone can bend like a contortionist and now you know why. Because your body wasn't designed to bend that way. You have gotten over the fear of the unknown. It is now no longer you against the world.
If the class setting is still not for you, maybe seeking the comfort of a personal trainer is more your style. BEWARE though: a one-on-one confrontation is exactly that. Don't expect special treatment, in fact, expect a military beat-down. A trainer has been trained to push your "ASS" as far as they can. They see all, they do all, because it is now you entrusting them and to be honest with you, "THEY DON'T CARE." You thought those five squats from last week was hard, wait until you are forced to do ten while holding a 5lb weight. Let's face it, you showed your trainer how easy those five squats were from last week. His/her goal now is to push you harder.
Just You and You-Know-Who
Some people join the gym for the sheer fact of spending their time on a machine. I find them boring and a waste of time and money. Seriously, where are you going on a treadmill? Wouldn't it be cheaper to walk on a trail, at least the scenery is different and it's "FREE." The way I see it, "Get your ASS up off the recliner and GO FOR A WALK." The elliptical, same thing, different scenario. Go to a place that has stairs and walk up and down it, 100 times. Same thing, same results, yet, again, "FREE."
Does this "look like fun?"
Weights are the most intimidating. They are what they are; weights. They are meant to be heavy and most beginners avoid them. I still don't like them because they are heavy and they will play tricks with you. Your mind will tell you to quit way before your body does because with every movement that weight gets heavier and with every lift, your mind is telling you to quit. What you don't understand is that your body can withstand more so you have to step outside that comfort box and tell your mind to "SHUT THE BLEEP UP." So yes, truthfully, weights suck but their good for your body.
Your BIGGEST Fear
So, do you still want to join a gym? I say, YES. The fitness journey is a challenge and everyone that you encounter in a gym was once a beginner. The outcome is based on what you expect of yourself. It takes hard work, dedication, and willpower. A lot of people quit and give up way before they encounter results. The one thing that I have learned is to journal your photos. They are a pathway to your results. I remember the first time that I noticed a bicep muscle, it made me smile like a neanderthal. If you are thinking about joining a gym, "DO IT." My advice is to find your niche, something that you enjoy doing because that is what will keep you coming back for more.