Advice For Your First Time at the Gym

I remember when I walked into my local gym for the first time, tugging at my t-shirt and trying not to make eye contact with anyone who might see me. Looking back on that now, I have come a long way. Although it is still not an easy feat to work out with confidence as a young woman. I have gathered some pieces of advice that I think are important to keep in mind for your first trip to the gym.

  1. 1. Go with a buddy!

    When I first started to work out on a regular basis, I had no idea what I was doing (and I still am not an expert). Luckily, my mother is in pretty great shape and was able to hit the gym with me. Regardless of the person, I still found it helpful to have someone there to motivate me and give me a boost of self-confidence. Plus, you can trade off using machines!

  2. 2. They are probably not looking at you

    The hardest thought to shake can be thinking that everyone is staring at you. You might be thinking those big bodybuilders are secretly laughing on the inside about how you use the machines. Odds are, they are not even paying any attention to you. They are most likely in the zone, and you should be too. Bring a pair of headphones and just tune the whole world out. People are most likely not judging you, they are probably applauding you for prioritizing yourself.

  3. 3. Read the machines - they have instructions

    Sometimes I will go over to a weight lifting machine and then realize I completely forgot how it works! The good news is most machines have instructions on them. They show and describe how you should use it, and also have diagrams of what muscles you’ll be targeting. If your gym does not provide this, you can always look up YouTube tutorials.

  4. 4. You do not have to make conversation with other people

    The best part about the gym is that everybody is there to work on themselves. You can show up and not interact with a single person. Don’t worry about trying to make small talk with other people who are working out. You are free to get in and get out. Focusing on your own routine. After all, staying physically active is so important for your mental health - this time is precious!

  5. 5. You also do not have to continue a conversation when someone else approaches you

    If another person attempts to start a conversation with you, you are under no obligation to have a long discussion with them about what you are doing. As a female, I think it can be especially tough when just starting out. I have had my share of experiences with others trying to tell me how to use a machine or what workout I am supposed to be doing. Just brush it off and keep doing your thing! You can be polite, but remember you do not owe anyone an explanation.

  6. 6. Take your time

    Whether it's in the short or long term sense, working out takes some time. Both getting used to a routine and the gym you’re using, or just the actual workout itself can be part of a long process. It's okay to get frustrated at times, but use that to your advantage and stay motivated!

Regularly working out can be intimidating, but I can tell you it has so many benefits. You will feel great from the inside out and will see positive changes in both your mental and physical health. I hope you are able to go to the gym with all the confidence in the world because I know you can do it. Good luck!