Working out in the gym can be daunting, especially for someone who is just starting out. Even if you’ve previously worked out in the past, and are returning back to the gym, you may find it very intimidating.
There are many reasons you may find it intimidating to go to the gym. There are a lot of complicated machines, big metal bars, huge weight plates, and odd contraptions like Bosu and adjustable steps.
The biggest thing that can be intimidating in the gym for people can be what they perceive to be the biggest things in the gym: the people.
As you walk into the gym, you will notice a lot of different people if you look for them. If you don’t, you should not be surprised when you’re eyes gravitate to what you want to see. The multitude of people represent all types of bodies; some are overweight, some are fit, some are thin, some are very muscular. As you look around, remember to look for all the different types.
As you are working out, you will definitely share workout space at some point with someone in better shape than you; regardless of your current fitness level, there is always someone more fit than you. Unless you are the fittest person, but then I’m not sure why you’re reading this… go be pretty!
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to ficus on how good the people around them look. They look at the peoples’ bodies, then they look at their own bodies, and it can be a source of discouragement. The key, of course, is to focus on your own body, and your goals for being there.
The people in the gym with the amazing bodies didn’t get those bodies overnight, and neither will you. Most of them have worked on their bodies for years and years; many since their teens. If you’re coming into the gym for the first time in your late 20s, 30s, or 40s, etc. you’re simply not going to compare to them at this point. Maybe you never will, maybe it isn’t your goal to have arms that stretch a sleeve.
It’s natural to look at the people in the gym with the awesome bodies. Don’t knock it, there is a lot of good eye candy at the gym. Some of these people are absolutely amazing looking. You shouldn’t let that discourage you, because you’re there to improve you. While they fit into the stereotypical view of what ‘fitness’ is, you can set your own example, and it is guaranteed there are plenty of people like you in the gym you aren’t noticing.
So when you’re doing weight training, or when you are on an elliptical machine or treadmill, feel free to share a glance with that more fit person next to you, but use them as inspiration rather than a source of jealousy. You’re there to improve yourself, and if you stay focused to what you want to achieve, and have specific goals in mind, then you can achieve those short term and long term goals you have in mind.
Everyone worries that they are being judged in the gym; the truth is, people aren’t judging you, except maybe a couple of small minded people who also feel like people are judging them. Don’t worry about it. You’re there to achieve, not to worry about what people are thinking.
So the next time you go into the gym, don’t be intimidated. Instead, look around at the eye candy, smile, and hit the machines with the intent of making your health and body better than they are today. It’s a journey, just like life itself.