New Year Gymtimidation

It’s the first day of 2018! What did you resolve to accomplish in the New Year?

Did you pledge to eat healthier and workout more? Most people do. It is the most common New Year’s resolution that people make every single year, but only a small percentage of people who make the promise to lose weight actually do.

There are lots and lots of reasons a person cannot lose weight. For the most part, it is the inability to adjust your life to a new food and exercise routine. Sure, there are a small percentage of people who may have a legitimate medical reason for carrying additional weight, but honestly, the truth behind this failure to lose weight is a person’s willingness or ability to stick to the plan. And who could blame them? It’s a hard thing to do; to break habits that were formed over months and years is a tall order, and naturally, people need all the support they can get. Including at the gym.

Something that I recognize as a road block to success is gymtimidation. As a gym regular I am embarrassed to say that I have heard a few people complaining about the onslaught of gym newbies that are about to show up for the New Year. These are the gym-goers that I can’t get on board with – the ones that whine because all the treadmills are taken by people who’ve resolved to do better this year. They are the people complaining that there’ll be a crowd at the free-weights, or someone might hog the rack.

Move over, Juice Head; There’s room for everyone. Don’t make the rest of us look bad because you’re selfish.

Try smiling; say hello; don’t be a dick.

Newbies; if you plan to come to my gym tomorrow – welcome. I hope you like the digs. It’s a pretty standard gym, but we have all the equipment you need and most of us are real cool and nice. No matter what gym you’d like to try, let me assure you that the majority of gym goers are all working toward a similar goal but perhaps at a different stage than you.

You might see someone like me! And you might assume that I’m just another fit gym rat and it may never occur to you that I was once in your shoes or maybe even heavier than you are now. What you may not consider is that everyone inside that gym also had a ‘first day’ there, too.  Sure, there might be a beefcake or two that throw their weights around and yell obscenities at themselves when they’re just about tapped out. Don’t worry about them. I promise you that they are definitely not focused on you!

You just do your thing. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help or instruction. 

Put your headphones in and grind out your goals. Focus on your mind-muscle connection and keep a close eye on your form. Count your reps and sets, and then count the rests in between. That’s what everyone else is doing, too.

You should be so engaged in your own routine that you aren’t hearing or seeing anyone else’s – and they are too.

Try out the machines you are curious about and know that it’s perfectly okay to check out the rectangle of how-to instructions on each machine before you use it – in fact, I recommend that you read the instructions first if you’re unsure. Once I used a leg press wrong a number of times until I finally read the instructions and figured out why it wasn’t all that effective for my quads.  Some of those machines are complicated!

When you’re done working out, go check out the cool stuff!  Does your gym have a pool?  Maybe you could plan to swim some laps tomorrow.  Does it have a steam room and a sauna?  Get in there and relax for 5 minutes (but no more than 15! You’ll get dizzy….)

Some gyms even have massage chairs or water jet beds. Have at it!  You paid for your membership like everyone else – this gym is your gym just as it is mine.

Welcome. Stay a while. You’ll be a rat like me in no time.

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