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Conquering Gym Intimidation

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

Working out can be intimidating to many. Considering that the gym is usually swarmed with large men and machines that seem more complicated than helpful, it is easy for a new gym-goer to be turned away. Working out is good for your body and your self-esteem, so here are a few tips to help ease gym “newbies” into the process of “making gains.”Going to the gym does not mean that you have to become insanely buff; you can if you want to, but it is also a great way to get toned and shed some weight if you feel the need to. Picture me, a small girl who wanted to get in shape, walking into a room full of metal machines and people who were quadruple the size of me. Instead of letting it intimidate me, I let it motivate me. Since I had no idea how to use the machines, I began by using the treadmill and focusing on cardio (which is quite typical for a gym “newbie”). While I jogged on the treadmill I observed other people in the gym and learned through my observations. I also attended group fitness classes which taught me different exercises, eased me into lifting weights, and gave me even more motivation to continue learning more about the gym/working out.

Another easy way that I learned a little about the machines was by reading the labels found on the sides of the machines; they show you which muscle group it targets in particular, and gives you a brief instruction on how to use it. Also, I utilized YouTube and Pinterest to view workout plans, demonstrations on certain workouts, and how to personalize a workout for myself that targeted each muscle group.As I started to notice small changes about myself (feeling more active, confident, and a little lighter,) I realized how amazing going to the gym is; not only are you physically getting stronger, but becoming mentally stronger as well. My newfound motivation led me to hire a personal trainer, which wasn’t the most cost effective choice, but it allowed me to learn so much more about the gym that I couldn’t have learned on my own. With the help of my personal trainer I mastered the once “scary” machines, and learned how to properly adjust them (which is very important towards getting the best results). He taught me proper form and allowed me to feel confident while I walked into the free weight section, or the “sea of men” as I like to call it.

It was the most amazing thing for me to experience this 360-degree transformation of joining the gym and feeling clueless to becoming a personal trainer for my friends. Going to the gym and working out helped me through a tough time in my life, and I highly recommend everyone to use the gym as an outlet for the daily stresses of life.

Now go get ‘em, ladies!

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou
TCNJ Senior Journalism major, Interactive Multimedia minor.