We get it – stepping into a gym for the first time can feel like venturing into an unfamiliar jungle. All those machines look like they belong in a spaceship, the grunts and clangs can be a bit unnerving, and let’s not even talk about the super-fit folks who seem to know exactly what they’re doing. It’s enough to make anyone feel a little out of their comfort zone This feeling is known as “gymtimidation.” You’re not alone. Most of us have felt gymtimidation at some point. So, take a deep breath, and don’t sweat the small stuff…that’s what the workout is for! Remember, every expert was once a beginner, and the J has got your back. Here are some ways to overcome the daunting task of joining a gym. 

Get Familiar with the Machines

One of the best ways to overcome gymtimidation is to get familiar with the machines. That might seem like a big task, but remember, you don’t have to learn everything in one go. Start small by dedicating your first few visits to understanding one or two machines at a time. 

For instance, on day one, you could focus on the treadmill. Learn how to adjust the speed and incline, understand the safety features, and get comfortable with the controls. Next time, you could explore the stationary bike or the elliptical.

Remember that it’s perfectly okay to take your time exploring the machines. You’re here for your health and enjoyment, not to compete with anyone else. Feel free to ask questions if you’re unsure about something. Most people at the gym are more than happy to help out. 

Another great way to familiarize yourself with gym equipment is by attending an orientation class. If you’re a member of the J, you can stop by any of the new orientation classes below:

SFC Location (Creve Coeur)

  • Tuesdays at 5:30pm
  • Saturdays at 2:30pm

Fox Location (Chesterfield)

  • Wednesdays at 1pm
  • Saturdays at 1pm

These sessions are designed specifically to introduce newcomers to various machines and how to use them properly. Our trained professionals will guide you through each piece of equipment, ensuring you’re comfortable and confident before you start your fitness journey. 

Write Down Your Workout Before It Happens

Planning your workout in advance is a significant step towards manifesting a healthier you. By outlining your workout, you can decide which machines or exercises are best suited for your fitness goals. This preparation not only boosts your confidence but also helps you navigate the gym floor with purpose and ease.

Think of your body as a canvas and each exercise as a stroke of paint that contributes to the final masterpiece. You wouldn’t want to overdo one color, would you? 

Similarly, a balanced workout ensures you don’t overwork or underwork any specific muscle group. It helps in creating a well-rounded fitness routine that promotes overall body strength and endurance.

Train with a Buddy

Training with a buddy at the gym can significantly reduce the daunting feeling often associated with gym workouts, especially for beginners. 

Firstly, a workout partner can provide motivation and encouragement, making you more likely to work harder and achieve better results. This can be particularly beneficial on those days when your energy levels or enthusiasm might be low.

Secondly, having a gym buddy can make trying new workouts or machines less intimidating. With someone by your side, you’re more likely to explore different exercises and push beyond your comfort zone.

Finally, a workout partner provides accountability, which is a powerful tool in maintaining regular exercise routines. Knowing that someone else is depending on you to show up at the gym can make it much harder to skip a session.

Group fitness classes, like the J’s Orientation classes, offer a perfect opportunity to train with others. These classes can be attended with friends or family, making it a fun, healthy activity to do together. Alternatively, it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people who can inspire you to be your best self!

Try a Lesson with a Personal Trainer

One of the main advantages of working with a personal trainer is that they craft a workout plan tailored specifically to your fitness level and objectives. This means you’re not aimlessly wandering around the gym or using equipment that isn’t beneficial to your specific goals. Instead, each exercise you engage in is designed to bring you one step closer to your fitness targets.

A personal trainer also offers invaluable guidance on the correct form and technique for each exercise. This not only makes your workouts more effective but also reduces the risk of injury. 

Moreover, trainers are there to provide the motivation and encouragement you need to push through challenging workouts. They also hold you accountable, making it less likely for you to skip gym days.

Your trainer will keep track of your progress over time, adjusting your workout plan as needed. This continuous monitoring and tweaking help maintain a sense of progression and achievement, making the gym experience less daunting and more rewarding.

Lastly, a personal trainer introduces variety in your workouts. They continuously bring new exercises into your routine to keep it interesting and challenging, preventing the monotony that can come from repetitive routines.

Curb Your Gymtidation with Fitness Classes in St. Louis at the J

Inclusivity in a gym setting is critical as it ensures that the maximum number of people can access health and fitness services without any extra barriers. A welcoming and inclusive environment, like what we offer at the J, not only boosts morale but also fosters diversity and community support. Our diverse range of classes caters to all interests and fitness levels. With twice-daily orientation classes, we aim to make every member feel heard, respected, and supported. To join our inclusive fitness community, download the J app to check out class schedules and sign up for classes today.