When I first started going to the gym I used to stick to the cross trainer and the treadmill, steering clear of the weights and mats. I was so self conscious that people were looking at me thinking- she has no clue what she is doing.
Fair point. I didn’t. But not doing it isn’t going to help you learn, or get over the fear of being looked at.
One of my favourite quotes is
"You don’t have to be great to start, you have to start to be great."
Lots of people I speak to say that they don’t go to the gym, or workout outside because they’re worried what people think.
Here are a few truths to help you hopefully not feel so self conscious.
You’re doing it and they aren’t-
Whatever a persons shape or size, if I see someone running I think, good on them, and I’m sure most people are the same. I even find I get jealous if I’m not out running! So good on you for inspiring people.
Everyone is looking at themselves –
When I’m in the gym and I feel self conscious I look around to see who is watching and what do I find? People looking at their own form, checking their app for their next exercise, psyching themselves up for the next squat set, and sometimes just boldly admiring their own bicep in the mirror. No one is looking. Then I think about it, I can never remember who else was in the gym as I was too worried about my own form and concentrating on what I should be doing next, not what anyone else is up to.
Everyone makes mistakes –
You learn so much about exercise and you own body when you start to work out. Chances are the first few times you go in you’ll make a mistake, or your form won’t be quite right.
People aren’t born knowing how to deadlift or use a lat pull down, it’s something we learn, and you can too.
If you’re unsure about what exercise you should do, or you don’t know how to use a machine then ask one of the instructors, or invest in a PT to help you 121.
We have to start somewhere
If you never start then you’ll never reach your goal. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or tone up, that won’t happen watching XFactor or Bake Off and putting off gym visits because you’re conscious. You’ll soon get over your fear by going and walking in confidently. Head high and all that.
Here’s a trick: When you walk in the gym it might be a little scary. First go and fill up your water bottle and get your bearings. Scout out which machines are free. Warm up with 5 minutes on a cardio machine then have a plan of exactly what you’re going to do. Mat work, weights. Smith machine. Have a back up too in case one of the machines you’re after is busy.
If you’re not a member of a gym, how about a workout outside, or in your living room?
Here’s a little a HIIT workout you could do at the gym or in your home.
Body weight squats
30 seconds per exercise, 1-2 minutes rest. X5-10 rounds.
If you’d like any advice on what you could do in the gym, comment and we can chat. I’d love to help anyway I can.