Anonymous asked: So in my apartment complex we have a gym for the residents. I want to start going to the gym and try to get in shape, but I'm embarrassed to go because the only thing I know how to use is the treadmill...
It’s terrifying, I’m with you! Going to the gym is like walking into a new world and everyone has their headphones in and is super into their machine/workout. That is actually a positive! They aren’t looking at you. They’re thinking about how much they’re lifting, trying not to fall over or throw up, or hoping they aren’t using a machine wrong. I’ve been going to my gym for two years and I still tentatively approach machines like a scared animal. I walk by, circle it, do some bicep curls, see if I can spy on someone using the machine and then try to replicate it.
Now, I don’t advocate machine usage. They don’t require stabilizing muscles which is a big downer. You want to work as many muscles as you can like when you’re squatting, deadlifting, shoulder pressing etc. But I know that even squat racks are intimidating. I have asked many a man if he can please grab the barbell that someone has left on the top rung so I can reach it and just recently had someone stop me mid-workout to ask why I was using safety bars on the squat rack. Don’t ask someone mid-workout. And it was so I don’t fall on my ass with a 150 pounds on my shoulders, sir.
Most gyms will give you a walk-through or even one free trainer day. You never have to hire the trainer but you can ask ‘what the hell does this work?’ a thousand times. Even if it’s just the front desk person walking you through, you can still ask. Also, there are pictures on the machine that demonstrate what to do. If you’re nervous, take a walk through, do some workouts you know, and secretly spy on the machines and try to remember the names then google them when you get home. Bodybuilding.com has a great index of workouts per muscle and all the machines/free weights to do them with videos!
There’s this great article on Nerdfitness about having 20 seconds of courage (a la We Bought A Zoo when Matt Damon sees his wife sitting in a cafe and makes himself have 20 seconds of insane, embarrassing courage to go speak to her). Promise yourself 20 seconds of insane courage. Hey, look, you’re in the weight room and no one is staring at you. You’re standing at the lat pulldown machine. Awesome! You googled this one last night and know how to work it. You can’t figure out how to fix the seat but you can ask that nice looking girl/guy standing near you and they won’t mind one bit.
I promise every singe person who has ever stepped foot in a gym wanted to shit themselves because they were scared and confused and looked around like a lost puppy until someone stepped in and offered help or they stumbled through it on their own and now they own that weight room. No one is looking at you. Headphones in, eyes on yourself in the mirror, no one else exists. Unless you’re doing this
Then I can’t help you.