Over the past few months during my travels across Australia I have made quite a lot of effort to maintain basic levels of fitness. One of my favourite ways to do this was by visiting as many different gyms as possible along the journey – it helped me to maintain my fitness but also learn a lot too.
There have been lots of advantages for me personally – seeing a lot of variety within training methods and approaches, meeting new people and observing alternative coaching methods, to name a few – but not only that, I have also become pretty used to overcoming that initial new gym anxiety.
It can be quite daunting to walk into a new gym where it feels like everyone already knows each other and of course there is inevitably that unique gym etiquette to get to grips with too.
That being said, all the gyms I have visited have been exceptionally welcoming and friendly but nonetheless there is often that feeling of the unknown to deal with and so here are some of the “tools” I have found help when starting a new gym:
- Familiarise yourself with the equipment and facilities – most gyms will offer an induction which is a great way to learn.
- Try some classes – a great way to meet people and get to grips with the equipment and facilities available to you, especially if you’re new to exercise in general or if you want to try a new approach or skill.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously, especially when you trip and fall in the middle of the gym floor (it happens to the best of us). Side note: not sure the Aussie’s quite get our Brit dry, self deprecating sense of humour but I’m working on it.
- Ask for help when you need it – there’s no worse way to put an end to your new gym efforts then to get injured, always ask a suitable member of staff if you’re unsure of a movement or how to use some equipment.
- Make sure you’re fuelled & hydrated – nothing worse or more unproductive than getting ready for your gym session and feeling like you’re running on empty.
- Ease yourself in – especially if you’re new to exercise, take it easy and gradually build up your gym time and be prepared for a bit of muscle soreness
- Be organised, have a plan and write it down – walking around aimlessly will do nothing for your confidence in a new gym, be prepared and you will be able to go in with a purpose.
- Keep off your phone, no one likes waiting for equipment whilst the person using it is on their phone..just saying..
- SMILE – it puts you at ease and helps to connect with other people (though I am known for an excellent, unintentional resting bitch face when concentrating)