A new client started with me on Monday.
A lovely lady called Julie.
Gyms are not Julie’s favourite environment. As we met on Monday at our private Personal Training gym her first words were ‘Ah here is the torture chamber!’
Of course she was joking, but I can totally see how gyms can look like that to many people.
A room full of all these weird machines and contraptions that seem to be designed to cause you pain.
Sounds like a torture chamber to me!
If you’ve never been shown what to do, how to use the equipment and how to make best use of it to suit your goals, it can be not a lot of fun at all.
But once you know what to do, know which exercises will suit your goals, and know the best weight and amount of repetitions to do each time you’re there, it becomes less scary.
Then if you can stick with it through that initial 3 or 4 week period that it takes to become familiar with things and create a habit, it can actually even become enjoyable! You have a new found confidence and you start to see and feel the benefits, and this just spurs you on more.
A lot of people just need a bit of help at the start.
Nobody was born knowledgeable and confident about what to do in an alien environment like a gym.
Even the smartest, fittest trainer or gym bunny would not have had a clue when they first walked in. They needed to learn it all just like everybody else.
Until I did my personal training course 7 years ago I myself had only been to the gym a handful of times and didn’t know half the exercises.
If you’re at a gym and you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
Every gym should have at least one instructor there whose job it is to help you and make sure you’re happy and know what you’re doing.
Most gyms offer some sort of program service, often included in your membership, where an instructor will take you through a routine that suits your goals so you can then go and work on it by yourself. Admittedly, the quality of these programs can vary, but it does at least give you a starting point.
If you want to really get the most from your training experience, do what Julie has done, and invest in a coach.
I will be doing my utmost to ensure Julie feels happy and comfortable in the gym environment, is doing the very best exercises to suit her goals, and is seeing progress and results. All good personal trainers will do that for you too.
You might only need someone for a short period of time, but once you have that knowledge and experience it can take you a really long way.
One of the biggest tips I can give is to record your workouts – the weight you use and the amount of sets and repetitions you do each week. When you feel you can do a couple more repetitions or increase your weight slightly, do it, and keep note. Looking back, it’s very motivating and rewarding to see how you’ve got stronger over time.
If you do these things you should find that the ‘torture chamber’ turns into a place where you can come and improve yourself, get strong, get fit, build your confidence, look and feel the way that you want, and even have fun along the way.