By: Dom Lalama
If you're a regular at the gym, this article is for you.
If you are trying to get started out at the gym, but you're having a hard time, this article is also for you.
If you’re a seasoned pro at the gym, it seems like a natural thing for you. You go everyday, hit the machines, maybe do a cardio class, show everyone how advanced you are, and go home. It’s like clockwork, and, for you, it is a piece of cake.
However, try to remember back to when you first started going to the gym. It was nerve-wracking to see all the equipment, all the jacked guys lifting weights and the toned girls sprinting it out on the treadmills. It was scary to go to a Zumba class and see that everyone already knew the moves and already had a group of friends in there.
Remember how terrible it was to feel excluded?
The gym is a place of growth. It is a place to go when you feel you need to improve, build or strengthen, and it a place to go to have fun and get active! Essentially, the gym is anything you want it to be. The one thing that the gym is NOT is a place of judgement.
As someone who has frequently switched gyms and has always been one to try new classes, I can tell you first hand that it is really intimidating! Walking into a new Step class and seeing all the other girls chatting to each other and doing the moves off by heart while I’m struggling to keep up is really upsetting. It has, on many occasions, even made me not want to go to the gym at all!
Now, I feel comfortable enough to call myself a regular at my school gym. I go to classes 5 times a week and I know the teachers and the routines. However, it’s very easy to get caught up in an attitude that I know more than the new students, and that I have the right to scoff or make fun of them when they mess up the machines or don’t understand the moves right away. It’s very easy to forget that I was that new kid, many times!
Going to the gym in the first place is hard. You have to drag yourself out of your room, get all sweaty, make your muscles ache, and push yourself to exhaustion. With all those factors, no one needs any more stress on top of that. If you consider yourself to be a gym expert, then look out for the new people! If you see someone that seems unsure of how to use a certain machine, go over and offer to show them the ropes. If you’re partaking in a fitness class and you see someone who seems scared to go full out or doesn't seem to be able to latch on to the moves, shoot them and a smile and make an effort to talk to them after class and tell them it’s hard for everyone at first!
And the same goes for anyone who feels they are that new gym attendee who is feeling anxious to be alone, to figure out the machines, or the one trying to be a natural at the fitness classes. Dont stress! We’ve all been new at some point! Do not be scared to go talk to someone who looks friendly. Do not feel discouraged if you feel as though you're a little bit behind. Everything comes with time! It might be hard now, and it might feel super scary, but it will get easier as time goes on and as you start making more connections who will be by your side to help you and guide you!