I work at a gym as both a personal trainer and the customer service manager. What I’m saying is January 2 is my own personal idea of hell on Earth. But, this day isn’t about me. It’s about me being there to help you. You: the guy or girl who pumps out a couple of reps on a machine before getting up, feeling awkward, looking around to see if anyone is watching, and ultimately goes home. You started out today saying this was your year and you were going to finally do it! Then you went into the gym and just…couldn’t.
You’re not alone, and you don’t have to do this on your own. I see you when you walk in the room and look around praying to God or whoever that no one notices you. I don’t notice because I see a loser or fatty or whatever you may be telling yourself in your head. I notice because I’ve been you and because there’s literally nothing more I want to do with my life than to help you feel like you belong. Here, in this scary ass weight room, and outside of it too. Because there’s something about conquering one fear that leads to feeling powerful enough to conquer them all.
So here’s what we’re going to do. Find out if your gym has an equipment orientation. Do it. Find that person who glances at you when you come in. Ask them for help. If you need a more regulated approach I got it.
- Stick to the machines. Most have instructions. If you’re a true beginner you need to start here anyway.
- Stick to the basics. Don’t be tryin all that crazy stuff you see on Instagram. Pushups, sit ups, planks, machines are all fantastic exercises and a great place to start.
- Wear deodorant. Seriously, it seems like a gimme but you’ll feel more comfortable knowing you’re covered.
- Wear something you feel good in. If that’s your ratty BSB t-shirt from 2003 or a bright neon headband or a face full of makeup WEAR IT. This is YOUR gym as much as it is anyone else’s and you are within your rights to wear what makes you feel best. Feel good and do everything else good too.
- Ask for help. Do it. Just ask.
- But also do your own research. There’s a lot of misinformation related to fitness out there. Find the truth.
- No one is staring. Remember that.
- If someone says something rude to you about “resolutioners,” about your appearance, or about your workout tell them off. Stand up for yourself. Do whatever you need to do to remember it’s their problem, not yours, and your only focus is to just keep going.
- Accept you will have setbacks. Keep going anyway. You won’t lose the weight as fast as you want. You won’t lose it at all if you give up.
- Do. Not. Quit. Days off are fine. Weeks off are fine. But come back. Always come back.