If your anything like me, I used to be petrified of the weights area in the gym. I felt intimidated by all the people in there and the whole thing just scared me. Building up my confidence in the gym was something which changed my life. If I’d have stayed petrified of the weights area my whole life would have been different. I wouldn’t have found my passion, my drive, my focus, my confidence and not to mention… my boyfriend!
Taking the courage and first going into the weights area can be very daunting, especially as a younger woman.
So here are my top tips for building your confidence in the gym:
My mum always used to say, “knowledge is power.” Try and teach yourself what you can at home before you’re at the gym. By this I don’t exactly mean studying fitness books, you could just watch some work out videos for tips on using machines and correct form. This will give you ideas, tips, information and some motivation too no doubt!
When I first started, I would write down the exact workout my favourite girls of You Tube and Instagram would do and then copy this in the gym. By learning, educating yourself and being knowledgeable you’ll automatically feel more confident.
Get the Tunes on
Create a workout playlist, get your head phones in and zone out! This way you can stay focused and be less distracted by what other people are doing around you. I remember always feeling like everyone else was watching me and feeling self-conscious because of this. But the truth is, no one will even be looking at you anyway so just zone out, listen to your music and go get it done!
Get Yourself a Personal Trainer
This isn’t essential and isn’t for everyone, but I found by getting myself a PT I learnt things so much faster. I had my form corrected and all my sessions were much more efficient because I had a plan to stick to throughout the week. This is something that really helped my confidence because I felt more knowledgeable and focussed. If you’re a complete newbie, a PT would be very beneficial for learning the basics, getting a personalised plan and getting you started!
New Gym Clothes
You can’t deny that you feel 100 times more confident when you look amazing! Get yourself some new gym clothes or trainers and you are bound to feel more confident. But be sure to make sure your outfit is comfortable and squat proof of course!
Time it Right
If you hate busy gyms, then go at off-peak times. This is something I did when I first started weight training. I found that evenings were so busy but first thing in a morning was super quiet. I just got up that bit earlier and went before work in a morning, this made such a difference for me. So, find out your gyms busiest times and try to avoid them where possible!
Don’t expect to go in the weight room and be able to use the heaviest dumbbells on your first session. Start small using low weights and build them up as you become more confident. By setting your expectations too high you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Yes, you might see girls squatting 70kg but they’ve probably been lifting for years and most importantly, are not YOU.
At first, I struggled to squat or bench the empty bar. I never gave up and I kept lifting for months until the weights slowly went up. I then got up to being able to put 10kg either side of the bar for squats and I remember feeling so proud of myself. Now, after consistently training and not giving up, I hold 4 power lifting world records. That just goes to show that everyone starts at the bottom, you must keep going, keep working and never give up!
“Remember why you started, what you want to achieve and above all, believe in yourself.”
I hope some of these tips help your confidence in the gym. Remember, nothing grows in the comfort zone. Sometimes you must step outside your comfort zone to achieve your goals. If it were easy, everyone would do it but if you want something bad enough it won’t matter how much it scares you or seems unachievable, you just have to do it
For my Beginners Guide to Building Muscle click here.