I like the gym. I love the sense of order: plates line up here, cardio machines over there, dumbbells in a row.i like the sound Treadmill The buzz, the barbell rack, the feet are bouncing. I even love that particular gym smell, a mix of spray cleaner, chalk, rubber and metal, clean towels and hard-earned sweat.
However, I don’t always like it.when i first entered exercising in college, the gym is such an intimidating place. Everyone seems to feel very comfortable there. They know how to operate all the machines, how to run a dizzying array of drills, how to get their own field. regarding me?I’ll go with tunnel vision elliptical machine— there’s always an empty spot, and the action seems hard to screw up — do my thing and get out. I want to check the weights, but I’m afraid it will be obvious that I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like people who can lift weights deserve this space more than I do.
In time, I got a gym buddy who showed me the ropes. Over the years, as I became more familiar with my body and movements, it helped me slowly gain confidence and strength, making me feel like I truly belonged in the gym. I mastered the exercises, adjusted the machines like a pro, and slid bigger plates onto the bars. I lost that “I don’t belong” anxiety and the gym started to become a place where I felt comfortable.
Over 15 years, several gyms, personal training certifications, and later a position as SELF Fitness Director, I can now say that I can feel at home in almost any gym. But I still vividly remember that feeling of intimidation, the urge to cling to the status quo, the desire to withdraw.
I know I’m not the only one: lots of people want start going to the gym Feeling that anxiety right now. They are not only hindered by those internal barriers I mentioned above, but also by external barriers. All you have to do is scroll through fitness Insta, and you’ll come across memes bemoaning the crowd and mocking the influx of newbies (e.g., here with here). Hell, you might even run into some resistance from the gym itself wanting to play its exclusivity factor.spring equinox It is said January 1 bans new members from joining, as they “we don’t say january“Activity. Fitness should be available to everyone, but there are a large number of systemic obstacles Stop many people.
For someone new to fitness right now, these early days can bring worry and anxiety, especially for groups that are often underrepresented in the fitness field.so that’s why i’m begging you, that person Do Feel comfortable in the gym, they feel like they belong, take stock of your actions and behaviors while you’re there. A few simple tweaks can go a long way in boosting someone’s popularity—don’t you want that courtesy when you’re just starting out? I know I will.