How to Conquer the Gym

Have you ever wanted to hit the gym, but was unable to because you were too afraid. You don’t have to worry because it is a pretty common fear. The gym is a place filled with new and scary looking machinery, giant mean-looking guys, and the feeling you do not fit in. However, you are not alone. After reading these tips and trying them out, you’ll soon be a regular at the gym!

Tip #1: Avoid going at peak times

The first few times you go to the gym can be nerve-racking as you’re trying to learn the layout and how to use all the equipment. What you do not need is a crowded gym, which can be overwhelming. The times a gym is empty depends on the gym itself, so you can phone your gym and ask when crowds are minimal. At UVic’s CARSA, the best times to go are early in the morning or late at night. At night, 9:00 p.m. is the least busy time. By doing this you will have more time and space to yourself, so you do not feel rushed or overwhelmed.

Photo: One of CARSA’s fitness rooms


Tip #2: Don’t compare yourself to others

This is easier said than done. It can be hard to look at someone who you believe has the perfect body, and not feel bad about yours. Never forget that everybody is unique and beautiful. At the gym, you will see that there are many different body types because healthy isn’t one look.  Everyone has been where you are, a newbie at the gym, trying to create a positive change in your life. Whether that change is wanting to lose weight, tone your body, gaining muscle, staying healthy and active, or any other reason you want to be there. The best advice we can give is to come to the gym focusing on yourself and your goals, create a playlist that hypes you up, focus on each workout and your breathing. And before you know it, you will be finished your workout. 


Tip #3: Ask for help

Looking at new machinery that you have no clue how to use can be discouraging, but have no fear! At many gyms, including Carsa, there are descriptions and pictures on the machine that demonstrate how it should be used; it also has a QR code which you can use your phone to access and watch a video. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the gym’s staff members how a machine works, they’ll be happy to help. These people will be glad to help you.


Tip#4 Bring a friend

One of our favourite tips is to bring a friend to the gym with you. Find a gym buddy — or two — and go together. This makes going to the gym more fun, motivates you to work harder and helps you forget about the other people at the gym because you are focused on having quality time with your friend and getting your sweat on.



Tip #5 Take classes

Classes are one of the best things that gyms like CARSA  offer, from spin class to several types of dance, there’s something for everyone. So, if you are too scared to jump right in and use all the equipment, sign up for a class and bring a friend. It's a great place to make even more friends and have a fantastic time.

Now that you have a few tips to help get started at a new gym, you will be a professional in no time. Good luck!   

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