Gym Fear

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Getting Over Your Fear Of The Gym

Intimidated by the gym because of all the strange equipment, bizarre machines, silent rules and fitness freaks? Don't be! Everybody has been in the same spot as you. Just remember that you have to start somewhere. Here are a few tips that will help you get over your fear of going to the gym:

Try exercising outside of the gym. This is a good option if you feel that you are way too out of shape and simply too embarrassed to go to the gym at all. Look on Craigslist for some great deals on used exercise equipment. You will be shocked to see some of the great deals you can get on a set of weights that was hardly used. If you don't want to buy anything, start doing push-ups, squats, sit-ups, dips, jogging, etc. at home every day. Once you feel more comfortable with yourself, get into the gym and get over your fear.

Select a gym that is appropriate for you. Your gym should be open when you want to go, have the equipment and classes that you need and be located close enough to your home so that it isn't too much effort to go. My gym is a few miles away from my house, so I try and be as efficient as possible by riding my bike to the gym. Avoid peak hours. Try going at odd-ball times when nobody else is there. These hours vary from gym to gym, so call a few places and just ask. The attendant will just assume that you are trying to get a better workout and will tell you when the slowest times are. Go out of the way to avoid peak hours until you feel more comfortable. Even though I am rather comfortable with the gym, I still avoid peak hours because I just prefer less of a crowd.

Don't compare your body to other people at the gym. If you want to feel good about your body by comparison, go to McDonalds. While at the gym, simply stay focused on your own personal improvement and goals. Don't be intimidated by the members who look like they are far beyond your wildest dreams; at one point, they were in the same place as you a newbie to the gym! Personally, every time I see novice just starting out in the gym, I get excited for them. I know that I was once in their shoes and if they keep at it, they will be very satisfied with the results.

Don't be afraid to try new machines! Some machines look complicated, but don't let that stop you from utilizing them. You can usually figure them out by looking at the diagram. If there is no diagram, don't be afraid to ask the gym attendant for help. If you are just to embarrassed to ask, go online and read a tutorial about how to use the equipment you will probably end up knowing more about the exercise than anyone else there! Just remember that nobody was "born" knowing how to work every machine in the gym.

Always keep safety in mind. Don't lift weights that are too heavy for you. Make sure you aren't dropping or slamming weights down unnecessarily. Always put your weights back where they belong so that people aren't tripping over them. You wouldn't want to hurt yourself, someone else, or get kicked out of the gym.

Be courteous and enjoy yourself. If someone asks "how many sets do you have left", let them know. If it is a lot, offer to let them "work in" with you (take turn doing sets). If someone is doing a bench press without a spotter, offer to spot them. Don't hog machines and always be sure to wear deodorant.

Be sure to always remember that you have to start somewhere. You also have to start sometime, and what better time than now! Get yourself into a gym and put your fears behind you!

About the author:

My name is Tom Noonan; I am the creator of and have been an avid fitness enthusiast for years. In high school, I was an attendant for a gym designed for older folks, so a big part of my day was motivating people to get into the gym. It stuck with me and I love to stay motivated and continue to motivate others.

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