Alright, so you’ve decided you want to make the journey to a more fit you. WHOOP WHOOP! Only there’s one roadblock. The f*cking gym. If I was a fan of the gym, I wouldn’t be trying to shed weight and get more active. See, the gym is intimidating when you’re not some super supreme fit gym god/goddess. What makes the gym intimidating, you say? How much time do you have? LOL. But seriously, intimidation can come from tasking yourself with learning how to use the equipment, the possibility of being in the way of experienced gym goers, feeling small when you see others carrying out routines far more complicated than you can INITIALLY complete, not knowing where to begin (cardio, weights, machines, :screams: AHHHHHHHHHH!). The gym also presents the most major problem of all, BOREDOM. What do you do when you’re tired of the same routine? You’re in luck. I’m going to discuss how I am defeating the gym safely while making gains in my fitness journey.
‘Mind over matter,’ they say. ‘Make it fun,’ they say. How in the health (you see what I did :gun and wink:) do I consider something fun that requires having to work extremely hard and ends in pain and soreness? And then rinse and repeat? Wellllll, it happens, if you stick to it. For me, going to the gym and making it a habit was like wearing a seat belt 14 days straight to make that a habit. I started going to the gym daily with no days off. Even on rest days I walked around the track for a minimum of 30 minutes. Next, I had to determine when I was at my most calm, peaceful, energized self so that I could really dig my heels into my workouts. I determined that working out first thing in the morning was perfect for me and helps keep me energized throughout the day. I get up at 4:45 a.m. daily and get to the gym by 5:30 a.m. I tried to workout after work, but by the time I complete my work day, I’m out of it mentally and physically, and it shows in my workout. So, challenge yourself to be active even on your “rest” days, and determine when your mind and body are at their best during the day to have a good workout.
‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ has never rang more true than when it comes to the gym. How many times can you lift the same weights and run on the same treadmill before you mentally check-out? And then physically check out and stop going? The truth is, it doesn’t take long 🤷🏾♀️. As someone who has failed at staying active in the past, I can tell you from experience that a week of the same thing can cause boredom very quickly. This time around I thought long and hard about how to do things differently and how to stay engaged in the gym beyond my weight goals, but as part of my lifestyle change. Don’t be afraid to try different fitness activities such as: spin class, yoga, Pilates, battle ropes, kickboxing, Zumba, aqua fitness, aqua Zumba, etc. Switching up and alternating between different types of fitness will increase your chances of becoming and remaining consistent with the gym.
DO NOT let the gym intimidate you! Remember that nearly everyone there has the same goal as you, doing what’s needed to look and feel good, not judge you and make you feel bad as a beginner. Don’t let the equipment intimidate you. Ask a staff person for help if needed, or someone working out if they seem friendly enough to help. And most importantly, remember to run YOUR race. Do not let yourself focus on how advanced other gym goers are. Remind yourself that a lot of them started where you are as a beginner and they continued to work hard to get to the more advanced stages of fitness and training. Make sure to ask someone more experienced, such as a personal trainer, what the best way is to get started without harming yourself. If you have any health concerns, contact your medical provider first and always.
Finally, the most important part of this, MUSIC! When exercising solo, please create a playlist for yourself, get some headphones, and get that heart rate going. At least that’s how I handle the gym. We underestimate the power of music, as it is often the soundtrack to our daily living, and that includes the gym! Music gets me through my workouts so effortlessly. It’s that final push when I need to get through the last 15 minutes. So I’ve included a link below to my Waist Away Playlist. Happy sweating it out!
Waist Away Playlist
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