Gym newbie 101: 5 tips to feel more confident

Say ‘Sayonora!’ to your gym fears, my friend. Discover 5 practical tips for beginners to boost confidence and feel more at ease in the iron paradise.

By: Adam Meadows

The gym newbie...

Ah, the good ol’ gym – the habitat of chiseled bodies, titanic weights, and an odd assortment of grunting noises.

Picture this: There you are, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to embark on your fitness journey. You step inside, looking like a kid on the first day of school, water bottle in one hand, towel in the other. You look around, your eyes met by a landscape of barbaric machinery and people who look like they’ve just emerged from the pages of a fitness magazine.

You approach what seems like a simple piece of equipment – only to realize… you were sorely mistaken. Trying to adjust the weights feels like you’re cracking a secret code. You have a quick look around, hoping nobody’s watching, as you half expect the gym police to come charging at you for misusing the equipment.

Meanwhile, on your other side, a gym veteran effortlessly lifts weights that resemble small cars. You’re sure they had spinach for breakfast, Popeye-style.

Sound familiar?

We at Up and Adam Coaching promise, you’re not alone. There’s an alliance of gym goers who have been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale. They’ve navigated through all the metal contraptions, deciphered the language of ‘AMRAPS’ and ‘EMOMS’, and learned that ‘burpee’ isn’t just a funny sounding word, but also the hardest exercise to love.

So stick with me… I’m here to share some practical tips that are bound to boost your gym confidence in no time. Welcome to the iron paradise, where it’s time to crush goals… but in a realistic, non-scary, and totally achievable kind of way.

Keep it simple

Starting your fitness journey up ‘Mount Get-Fit’ and stepping into a new gym environment is already a huge move (major congrats by the way). You don’t want to make it harder on yourself by trying to navigate complex exercises involving bosu balls, mini bands, and a double back flip.

Starting with a simple workout plan with simple exercises sounds… well, too simple. But, it’s the right move. I promise.

Think of it as dipping your toes into the fitness pool, rather than cannonballing into the deep end.

Kicking off your fitness journey with a doable plan you can execute helps you minimize anxiety and build traction. 

Not only will this approach keep your muscles on speaking terms with you, but it will also help you cultivate a consistent workout routine. And trust me, consistency, not bicep size or treadmill speed, is the real MVP of the fitness game.

Focus on you

We’ve all been there: walking into the gym for the first time, feeling like you’ve stepped onto a stage where everyone’s a contestant on ‘America’s Next Top Model – Gym Edition’. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone’s eyes are glued to you, judging your every move. But here’s the hilarious truth – they’re far too preoccupied with their own sweat, grunts, and reflection to even notice you’ve been using the rowing machine backwards.

Remember, everyone at the gym started somewhere, even the muscular guy doing pull-ups with one hand was once a rookie trying to figure out which side of the dumbbell to hold. So, next time you catch yourself fretting over imagined side-eyes, take a deep breath, tune into your favorite pump-up playlist, and remember you’re there for you and your health. After all, the only ‘like’ that matters is when you ‘like’ the progress you see in yourself. You’re on your own path, there’s no need to sprint because someone else is running. This is your journey, your pace, your story.

Take it slow and be patient

Fitness, much like fine wine (or a good beard) takes time. So take a breath and be patient. The goal isn’t to make the most dramatic debut, but to keep coming back, session after session, gradually improving and growing stronger.

And don’t forget to celebrate every stinking small victory along the way. Seriously.

Maybe it’s an extra rep, a few more minutes on the treadmill, or finally remembering how to adjust the seat on that exercise bike. I don’t care how small they may seem… celebrate them.

These little wins are the building blocks of your fitness skyscraper.

Practice good gym etiquette

Being a polite gym-goer not only elevates your gym experience but also helps you blend seamlessly into the sweat-drenched mosaic of your new fitness community. Consider this your secret passcode to becoming one of the ‘regulars’.

Let’s take a moment to cover some of the basics:

  • Wipe down your equipment. The gym provides those handy wipes for a reason. Use them.
  • Re-rack your weights. Nobody wants to wander the gym searching for the missing 10-pound dumbbell you’ve left behind. Plus, re-racking your weights isn’t just a strength workout bonus… it’s a nod to the next user. 
  • Share the equipment. That leg press machine isn’t your new recliner. Between sets, give others a chance to work in.
  • Respect others’ boundaries. The gym isn’t a social club. Some folks like to chat, others prefer to focus on their workout. If someone’s got their earbuds in and is giving off a ‘bitch don’t kill my vibe’ vibe, it’s best to leave them to their sweat-filled solitude.
  • Don’t do bicep curls in the squat rack. Just don’t.

Get connected with a positive fitness community

Trying to go it alone might sound heroic, but ultimately it just means facing hurdles and challenges without any helping hands.

That’s a no for me, dawg.

Joining a fitness community allows you to share your journey with like-minded people, turning the grind into a collective celebration of progress. In the company of your fitness homies, not only will you find the gym a more welcoming place, but you may also discover that the path to your goals becomes a road trip full of funny gym memes, shared victories, and lots of high-fives.

Final thoughts

You’re set, my friend. Well, sort of. This might be great info, but it’s empty words if you don’t go take action.

But I believe in you future gym legends.

So lace up those workout shoes, start small, and get after it. Here’s to turning gym-timidation into gym-elation, one workout at a time.

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