Which gym is right for me? What will people think of me? Who do I talk to when I get there? How will I know where the equipment is? What workout will I do?
When first joining the gym, we have a millions questions and worries going through our minds. We may feel like we have no answers to our questions, causing us stress, and thus, we put off making any sort of decision.
Here are some strategies for overcoming the stress of joining the gym:
- Figure out what type of gym will be a good fit
- Research local gyms online
- Tour or trial gyms you like
- Remember that gym members don’t care about what you’re doing
- Have a game plan before you go
- Try going with a friend
Let’s dive right in.
Overcoming the Stress of Joining the Gym – Key Takeaways
⇒ It’s perfectly normal to experience stress when doing something new. The gym is no different and it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways to take control of the process.
Use the following strategies to overcome the stress of joining the gym:
⇒ Before joining the gym, it’s important to know why you’re joining one and what you want out of it as this can help you know what direction to take.
⇒ Researching gyms to figure out which one suits you has never been easier, which you can use to your advantage and to gain greater insight and understanding. Trialling or getting a tour of local gyms can also help.
⇒ It takes time to grow your gym confidence, but this is perfectly normal. In the meantime, don’t worry about what other gym members think of you, as everyone was a beginner once.
⇒ Write up a game plan before you go, as this can reduce the stress of being a new gym member. You might even try going during quieter times or bringing a friend with you, as these all reduce stress.
The Stress of Joining the Gym
Starting back at the gym or joining one for the first time is a big step.
Just like your first day at a new school or job, the prospect of something new can easily spike your stress and bring about unwanted thoughts and feelings.
What will people think of me? Who do I talk to when I get there? How will I know where the equipment is? The amount of ridiculous and unrealistic scenarios we think up in our heads can be difficult to handle.
One of the first steps to overcoming this stress is realising that there are things that are in our control, and there are others that are out of our control.
Uncontrolled variables are the small things in day to day life that we have no control over. Like how slow the other cars drive on the way to work making you late. The speed of those cars is out of your control. But it still causes you stress.
Controlled Variables are all the little things that you can control. Like setting your alarm half an hour early for your first day, so you do not have to rush to get there.
Understanding what is making you stressed and separating these stressors into controlled and uncontrolled stressors can help you to feel like you are in command. Today, we’ll be showing you how you can identify and start to take control of the worries that are holding you back from joining the gym.
How to Overcome the Stress of Joining the Gym
Below are some of the most common worries that people face when first joining and getting started at the gym. We’ll be exploring how you can combat these stressors and gain a feeling of greater control over the process.
Figure out what type of gym you want to join
One of the most common questions that causes a lot of stress for new gym goers is not knowing which gym is right for them. Picking the right gym can be difficult if you don’t know what you want out of the membership. Joining a gym that does not suit your personality, journey or training style can make you feel intimidated.
Therefore, in order to gain greater control over this decision, it’s important to ask yourself – why? If you don’t know why you’re wanting to join the gym or what you want out of it, the process of choosing a gym can quickly become overwhelming and stressful.
Once you’ve decided, you can start researching gyms to find out which one suits your needs.
Research online to find a gym that fits
Another stressful part of joining the gym we see people encounter is not knowing which gym is right and starting to overthink it. You may have already identified the type of gym you want to join based on your needs, but you still might not be sure what specific gym in your area caters for your circumstances.
The good thing about this day and age is that there is an abundance of information on the internet that can answer our questions. Google gyms in your area and look at their websites and socials, really dive deep into what they offer, the community they have and start to decide whether they are a good fit.
At Get Gym Fit, we also provide gym reviews and reccomandations for each suburb, helping take the guesswork out of making a decision. Taking the time to do your research can give you a clearer picture of local gyms that fit, further relieveing the stress associated with getting started.
Tour a few gyms, or make use of free passes before you sign up
It is extremely important that you actually physically visit gyms in your local area that you’re potentially interested in, as this is great way to remove the stress associated with joining. Almost every single gym will offer some sort of free trial, session, or at the very least, a tour of the facility.
This will give you a chance to see whether the facility is right for you. It’ll help you gain an understanding of where everything is located, confim how much everything costs, and whether the vibe of the community is something you’d want to be a part of.
You’ll also be able to ask the staff any burning questions that you are unsure about.
It’s important to keep in mind that gyms will often use this opportunity to give you their ‘sales pitch’ and will also keep your contact details to follow up later down the track. This can be annoying if you didn’t like that particular gym.
Remember, you never have to make a decision right there and then – you can always ask for more time to think about it, or you can always say no. Always remember that you have the power.
Hopefully by now you’re feeling a little bit more at ease about the signing up process. It’s now time address the stressors associated with working out at the gym once you’re signed up.
Everyone was a beginner once and other gym members understand this too
One of the biggest stressors that we see new gym members battle is the fear of people watching them, feeling like they don’t know what they’re doing, or simply not feeling confident. This can cause an unwanted amount of stress and can put you off attending the gym regularly.
The reality is that most other gym members don’t really care about what you’re doing and most often keep their eyes to themselves. Nevertheless, it’s going to take some time to build up your confidence and to feel comfortable in a gym environment.
I personally have been working out and coaching for many years and even I was nervous, stressed and intimidated when I first starting working out at the gym. This is a perfectly normal part of everyone’s fitness journey
One solution can be to practise exercises and movements you’re not confident with at home before going to the gym. If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment or have any concerns, the staff members at the gym are always more than happy to help.
Having a solid foundation of home workouts can help improve your confidence first and you can always start by doing these workouts at the gym. Another solution might be to try going to the gym at a time where there’s less people to start off with.
Have a game-plan
Another way you can reduce the stress of being a new gym member is to write up a game-plan before you go. Once you’re at the gym, it can be difficult to know what to do. I can recall many times as a beginner where I sat on my phone for several minutes, googling and youtubing different exercises to do next because my brain had frozen!
Think about the layout of the gym, the different areas and classes they offer and what equipment that’s avaliable. You should know this information from your trial or tour. Think about what you’ll use and how you’ll go about it and write it down. You might even go so far as to get to the gym earlier than planned, write down some things you want to remember, and so forth.
Try going with a friend
When you’re first starting out, bringing a friend along whom you trust can be invaluable. It’ll help you gain your confidence quicker and will reduce stress, especially if your friend is more experience in such an environment.
The Next Steps
Joining the gym can be stressful. But that should not get in the way of you living a happy, healthy lifestyle and reaching your goals. With just a bit of planning, education and understanding suddenly the gym becomes a lot less scary.
At Get Gym Fit, we are all about helping people find a gym that’s the right fit. We spend an extensive amount of time reviewing gyms in local areas to reduce the amount of stress associated with joining the gym. We want to help you join a gym you’ll love and keep coming back to.