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How to Make the Gym Less Scary

4 Steps To A More Comfortable Workout

by Jasmine Evans.

What’s a typical trip to the gym like for you? Imagine the cacophony of grunts and groans coming from the weight machines, or the booming base of a nearby HIIT or Zumba class. Sound like fun? Definitely not for everyone.

“It’s no wonder over 80% of the 40 million Americans who pay for gym memberships aren’t using them.

There have got to be a few ways to change this. Luckily we talked to a few industry veterans who know the differences between the members that quit and the ones that achieve their goals. Here are a few ways to help.

1. Plan to go: This might seem obvious, but Damien Johnson who has over 12 years in the fitness industry, says that the biggest mistake new gym members make is failing to plan. Making a plan to go—even going as far as making a regular gym appointment—can increase your feeling of comfort and chance for success.

2. Get a detailed tour: Many of the franchise gyms only give new members a cursory summary of the layout of the gym. Instead of settling for this overview, request a more detailed tour. Ask how the machines work, so you’re not fumbling with them later. Inquire about what those “Cardio Sculpt” or “Body Pump” classes actually entail. Ask for a phone or zoom appt with the instructor before class to allay any fears.

3. Make a friend: Studies show that people who work out with a friend or in groups exercise more regularly and lose body fat at a faster rate. This kind of accountability helps to make the gym less scary too. With a friendly face in the crowd, you may feel less self-conscious and more free to enjoy yourself.

4. Get a personal trainer: Even if you only purchase a few sessions, a good personal trainer can be invaluable. Norma Rosenfield dedicated her life to taking care of her autistic son. She, like many mothers, put herself last and stopped going to the gym. As she got older, she realized she needed a change. Getting a personal trainer made all the difference in the world. Her trainer set up a challenging but doable regimen and guided her through each step. Personal trainers also add a level of accountability that will actually get you in the car and on your way to work out.

Personal training manager Larry Twohig says that after 90 days, the human body adapts completely to a new stressor—exercise, in this case. After that point, your body will need a different challenge. You can find success in the gym using these four tips (plus a positive outlook), and before you know it, you'll be a pro at knowing your way around. ~𝛿

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