Here’s the thing about lifting weights, we all start somewhere. I know exactly how it feels to lack confidence in the weights section. I know how it feels to be intimidated, feel judged, and feel like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. But guess what? Running out of there like a scared puppy won’t get you any closer to feeling confident and actually knowing what to do.
The first time I walked into the weights section, I winged the heck out of it.
I tried to study some videos of certain exercises beforehand, but I was in full on “newbie” mode, and that was OKAY. The reality of it is, you need to be prepared to make some mistakes and laugh at yourself. You’re gonna drop a bar and make a loud crash. You’re gonna look at a machine and have absolutely no idea how to use it, then try to play it cool and nonchalantly read the directions, praying it gives you some hope, LOL. Be prepared to suck at certain exercises at first, we all do. But remember that even the most experienced lifters start in that exact same place. Even we still have to ask questions at times and feel a little bit of intimidation when going to a new gym!
There are steps you can take to lessen that gymtimidation, so I’m going to give you my top tips:
- Do a walk-through of your gym when you first sign up. Take notes of where the free weights are at, certain machines, the locker rooms, etc. You’ll feel better not wandering around like a lost puppy on your first day.
- Have a plan. Take a notebook with you and write everything down so you don’t feel lost. This will also ensure that you’re progressing in weight, reps, improved form, etc.
- Start with the basics, start low, and slow. Focus on compound movements with some accessory work. Don’t try to jump into the heaviest weights or go insane with volume.
- Get as comfortable with using dumbbells and barbells as possible. Machines can be great, but don’t use them as an excuse to stay away from the free weights.
- Try not to go during the busiest hours! Ask the desk attendant when it typically gets the most crowded and avoid those times. Less people = less intimidation.
- Try to go with a friend if you can! Even better if it’s someone who’s experienced. This person can help you feel more comfortable with certain exercises, machines, and just all around.
- The internet is your BFF! If you don’t know how to do an exercise, look it up and watch a video from a reliable source. There would be times when I was starting out that I would be in the middle of a workout watching YouTube videos to make sure I was doing my exercise correctly… again, don’t sweat it!
- Seriously, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most avid gym-goers will be HAPPY to help you, and if not, they’re prob an a-hole.
- Remember that people do not care NEARLY as much as you think they do. I promise they’re not staring at you and judging you.
- And lastly, the MOST important piece of advice I have for you, is to hire a coach who can guide you through your training programming and be there to support you, always. *cough cough* ME!
If you’re new to weight training, know that confidence and progress comes with TIME and PATIENCE. Stick with it, I promise you’ll get there 😊