How to survive your first three gym visits when you're on your own

You’ve taken the leap and joined a gym – good for you! I know it seems like an empty cliche, but that really is the hardest part. You’re on your way to starting a new healthy habit that will increase your energy levels, improve your overall health and melt inches off of your waistline. 

The problem is, it’s time to go on your first few gym visits on your own. No witty banter with a pal, no step by step instructions from a trainer. You might be feeling nervous, intimidated, out of your element, or some combination of all three. Don’t let this little fear devil sitting on your shoulder talk you out of going to the gym on your own! Follow this simple advice and you will feel like the gym is your home away from home – you’ll be a gym expert in no time at all! 

1. Take a group studio class 

Worried about getting to the gym and feeling like you’re at a loose end? Not sure about how to follow through on those instructions your trainer or helpful friend gave you the last few times? Try taking a studio class. You’ll be in a room with a group of likeminded gym goers with fitness on their mind, and you’ll have a teacher there who will lead you through the whole process. Not to mention, you’ll get to learn a whole new way to keep fit.  If you're a little nervous, maybe try a virtual class first.

 2. Go during periods when the gym is less busy 

When a gym is packed with people (after work, midday on weekends), it can feel even more intimidating. For your first few work outs, try to pick times of day when the gym is less busy. Not possible? No problem - just remember, no one is looking at you, even if you think they are! 

3. Bring your own music, podcasts or audiobooks 

Heading to a new gym can feel like walking into a gauntlet of loud music, sweaty grunts and clanking weights. Sometimes, just those noises on their own can make the experience feel more intimidating than it actually is. When you bring your own soundtrack, you can enter into your own world and block all of the other people out around you. You’ll be amazed at how it really does feel like you are on your own! 

 4. Take some time to research online before you go 

Not 100% clear on how to use all of the machines? Worried that you are going to look like a silly amateur (even though you logically know that no one is looking at you)? Spend some time online before you head to the gym and research the equipment and machines that you plan to use. Not only will this refresh your memory, it will give you a much-needed boost of confidence. 

5. Make a plan of what you’re going to do when you get to the gym 

Part of your nerves might be down to uncertainty about what you should do when you get to your gym. Think about what you've read and plan out what you will do first, second, etc. Have some back up plans just in case your selected machines are in use. The Game of Zones and Little Black Dress workouts can be a good start and they're free to download for our members.