There seem to be two different types of people when it comes to gym time. First, there are people who kind of thrive on it, who would rather workout around other people who are working out and be in an environment of fitness, as opposed to working out at home.
The second type of person is embarrassed or intimidated by the gym because of the generally more "fit" people that usually populate it. For these people, the gym is an awful place where they hate to spend their time and can hardly bear the thought of spending 20 minutes there, much less an hour or two.
These people might not even be that out of shape or inadequate when it comes to their physique. They might even want to want to go to the gym, but for some reason, it just doesn't happen that way for them.
There are definitely reasons for this type of what I'll call "gym aversion". If you have such an aversion, there might be a perfectly good explanation for it, and if you were to determine what that is, it might help you get over your distaste for gym attendance and help you get yourself out the door and into your local health club for a refreshing workout.
Here are the most likely reasons you hate going to the gym. Keep in mind that I'm assuming you have a desire to work out, but that apprehensions about the gym are holding you back.
If you simply don't want to exercise, this article isn't for you.
1. You're embarrassed because everyone else there is in shape. - Plenty of people feel this way, regardless of their own physique. They assume that everyone at the gym is loaded up with muscle and fewer than five percent body fat, doing one-armed pushups while they pound protein shakes. Now it's possible that you'll run into this at a place like CrossFit (which is not for the faint of heart), but your local gym or health club isn't likely to boast such an intimidating cast.
In fact, most people who frequent the gym are right where you're at. They're trying to get in shape, keep up an active lifestyle and are doing so while fighting a certain level of intimidation.
Know that a good gym isn't designed to intimidate you. Instead it's designed to give you a safe place where you can focus on your workout without feeling like you're being scrutinized. Remember, everyone in there is in the same boat as you, and even if there are people there in great shape, they started from zero just like everyone else.
2. You feel like you don't have enough time to make any significant progress. - You might be under the impression that driving to the gym, spending an hour or so, then driving home is too much of a time investment with too little return in terms of your health and overall physical progress.
Keep in mind that the gym is a place that has been optimized for exercising. That means that you'll be able to accomplish more there in a shorter amount of time than you could anywhere else. Even just spending 30 or 45 minutes will allow you to get a lot done and get a fairly full workout routine under your belt.
The amount of time it takes for you to drive to the gym will certainly vary depending on your situation, but even if you don't have one close by, time will be less of an issue than you might think.
3. You're worried that you won't know what to do once you get there. - You might have some trepidation because of the possibility that you might not know what to do at the gym once you get there. You're worried that people will be using what you want to use or that the volume of exercise options will overwhelm you.
You can definitely combat this worry, and possibly eliminate it completely by breaking your workout up into two segments:
- Resistance Training
Cardio in the gym is usually pretty simple, since all those machines are always together in the "cardio section". For that part of your workout, all you've got to do is find an empty treadmill. Easy enough.
For resistance training, you want to break that part of your workout down into even smaller categories:
- Free Weights
- Body Weight
Deciding which way you want to resistance train can give you a better understanding of what you'll need at the gym and how you'll navigate it when you get there. Free weights and machines are usually broken up into two different areas. If you plan on doing free weights, pick out the exercises online or in a magazine before you get there, that way you'll already know what you want to do.
If you're just doing machines or body weight exercises, those are both pretty self-explanatory. Mats, lighter weights and bands will usually be in the same spot, with a separate area that you can use for those kinds of bodyweight exercises.
Once you know the way it's broken up it's a lot easier. It's even fine to go and "scout" your gym for 10 minutes or so a day before you go into workout, especially if it's the first time going to that particular gym. Most gyms will give you a tour for free and will definitely help familiarize you if you're a paying customer. Just take mental notes about where everything is and how you want to utilize it.
It'll make going in for your actual exercise routine a lot less intimidating.
The gym isn't a scary place once you get used to it. In fact, it can be a really refreshing thing, either in the morning or even after work. Don't feel like when you're there you have to be superhuman right away. Every gym has a learning curve and it can take even the experienced gym goer some time to get used to a new environment.
Don't let these apprehensions keep you from getting a good workout in. Scout your gym, plan your routine ahead of time, and know that most people who are there feel exactly the same way about the gym as you do.
We're all in it together, because we all start at square one.