“I love working out and feeling like a jack ass!” says no one ever. Anyone that has ever stepped in the gym for the first time has experienced that moment of insecurity and panic of not knowing what to do and looking dumb doing it. Well don’t fret kids; here are 10 Ways to Conquer the Gym!
1. Paint your big picture. Do you want to fit into your “skinny jeans” or just feel confident in a bikini? Whatever your goal is, write it down and remind yourself about it on a daily basis. Your goal will be one of your biggest assets in conquering any fears you have over the gym.
2. Make a plan and act on it. Create a work out plan that can challenge you but is realistic to your busy life. Most people have a tendency to spread themselves too thin and end up discouraged because they discover they aren’t Wonder Woman. So come up with something that you feel comfortable with and get to work!
3. Dress like a bad ass. You know that rock star feeling you get when you wear a brand new outfit on a Friday night with your girlfriends? Your gym wardrobe should make you feel the same way. There is no need to feel frumpy and uncomfortable walking in the gym wearing black yoga pants and t-shirt that looks like it belongs to your dad. Spice things up with bright colors and crazy patterns. When you feel like a bad ass in your gym clothes you will act like a badass in the gym.
4. Work one small goal. Reminding yourself why you started in the first place has its moments of motivation, but it can also feel overwhelming when your patience suddenly runs thin. When you step in the gym each week come up with a small goal to achieve. Use the scary machine in the Big Girl section, stay on the Stairmaster 5 minutes longer or take that Zumba class you’ve been eyeing. Whatever it is that you’ve been afraid to try, make it your mission to scratch it off the list before the week is over.
5. Find a gym partner and a backup plan. Works out buddies are a great thing to have but what happens when your buddy is not the mood? Are you going to sit on your booty and be influenced by their actions? I don’t think so, girlfriend! Create a plan B. If you are still uncomfortable working out alone try a group class or maybe it is time to make going to the gym alone that one small goal you conquer.
6. You don’t need to have a lot of money to get fit. There is no reason to feel helpless and lost in the gym if you can’t afford to pay someone to teach you. Trainers are great but they are also luxury. Take action into your hands and use the internet to create your plan. Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for information on nutrition and fitness programs already designed for you to follow.
7. Ask for help. Although the gym may look intimidating you will be surprised how many people are willing to help. If you aren’t sure on how to use a machine ask the person next to you. Despite what you may think nobody is judging. In fact, there is an unspoken Kudos among everyone who made the conscious decision to drag their ass to the gym. Not only are you saving time on frustration by asking for help but you may just make a friend. Gym buddy? Cha-ching!
8. Give yourself some credit. You created plan, killed it in the gym, even posted sweaty Instagram selfies announcing to the world that you are on a mission to get fit. Then a week goes by and the only exercise you did consisted of getting off the couch to stick your face in the fridge. Been there, done that and collected all the t-shirts. You aren’t a failure, you didn’t waste all your progress and there is no need to adopt a defeatist attitude. Let it go! Lucky for you there is 365 days in a year which means you have that many times to keep fighting forward. The only time you are failure is when you decide to quit and you aren’t a quitter, are you?
9. Measure your progress in strength not numbers. I am firm believer that the scale and other body measuring devices are toys made by the Devil. He created these terrible objects to watch humans find ways to destroy their self-worth. It’s like a game to him, “Who can I make feel like shit today?” Your progress is not determined by measurements but by how much stronger you have become mentally and physically. Reflect back on where your physical strength was when you started or how many times you picked the gym over the couch. That is the real progress!
10. Believe in your potential. You may not be anywhere near your goal but if you believe that not being able to see the finish line means you are unworthy, then you will stay right where you are. You will not drop inches overnight and your ass won’t perk up fast enough. But if you can find it in yourself to trust the process and believe that you are worth your goals, then you will be the Queen of the Iron Castle before you know it!
Don’t let something silly like feeling like a jackass stop you from getting your fit on. Now you have 10 ways to help you feel like a diva in your big girl sports bra and conquer the fitness world. Stay patient, be kind and don’t let one bad day stop you from getting to your goal. It’s time to get that ass to the grass and sweat like you mean it!
*This article was published in the January 2014 issue of “Indie Chick”. Get the latest issue.