As a beginner, there was always one particular region of the gym that would intimidate me. I first seriously started working out during the spring semester of my freshman year of college. I remember walking into the gym and feeling the air conditioning create goose bumps on my skin. I swiped my student card and I was in the gym. After swiping in, I would walk over to my right and there it was, the mystical gym.
As gym rookie, I would either head straight to the cardio equipment or towards the machines. Those areas were safe in my mind. The machines made me believe I could lift more weights. I couldn’t be seen struggling, I had an image to maintain right! The ladies and guys would be watching me so I didn’t want to look like a fool. Little did I know that by avoiding the most important section of that gym, I looked even more foolish.
Every gym seems to have the same set up. Within the gym you’ll find a space filled with rows of dumbbells. The dumbbells range in sizes from two pounds all the way up to 100 pounds. In addition to the dumbbells you will see individual benches. In front of the racks and benches you normally have some sort of mirror. This area is the free weight section. If serious about changing your body, this should become one of your mainstays.
Free Weights Are Awesome
This blog is still fairly new, so let me clearly stat something I truly believe. If you want to be in the best shape you could possibly be. Whether that means you want to lose twenty pounds or gain ten pounds of muscle. Whether you want to increase your sprint time in the 50 meter sprint or perfect your tennis backhand, there’s one thing that they all share in common. You need to lift weights!!
Doing some sort of resistance exercise is the fastest way to get to those holy grails of physical achievements. All bodies need to have some type of functioning muscle on them. Even in weight loss, you are trying to maintain the muscle while losing fat. What’s the easiest way to do that? Lifting weights!
I’m sure you know that lifting weights is good for you but there’s a difference between thinking about lifting weights versus going to the gym and actually doing it. I bet your gym has that magical section I was talking about but the problem is you see nothing but big guys with muscles groaning and moaning.
When I was a young rookie, that was very intimidating. I eventual stop being scared and started to spend more time in this area. Here’s how you can get over that intimidation:
We All Start Somewhere
Just remember that we all have to start somewhere. Those bodies that may be intimidating you have taken years of work to get like that. If you’re young, some kids have genetics that bless them with fit bodies. It’s a combo of genetics, eating and moving. If you work hard, you’ll get there too!
All it takes is one day at time. Every one of those bodies was weak at one point. Remember that as you pick up those weights. Don’t’ be so hurry to lift heavier weights then you really can. Embrace the process. We all got to start from the bottom!
They’re Not All Judging You
There’s nothing like standing in front of a mirror trying to perform your workout when all of a sudden you feel eyes gazing at you. “Oh my gosh! They’re judging me!!” would be your first thought. Or if you’re a woman “are they….yup, they’re checking me out!” You start to panic and lose focus on your workout.
Don’t be so quick to think that people are judging you right away. You just have to remember that people are curious by nature. You could be doing an exercise those individuals have never seen before. It’s natural to look at something new. Or your shirt could be so colorful it captures people’s attention. Majority of the time people are not judging you! It’s a small space with a mirror, so eyes are going to cross each other at some point.
They’re Not All Staring At You
So as a handsome male, I know I’m bound to get some eyes looking this way. What can I say! But for women, I know that the stares can lead to intimidation. It’s nothing worse than being stared out consistently while you are working out. Here you are trying to do a routine and some guys won’t stop eyeballing you.
If you are a woman and that happens a lot, don’t let it detour you from the free weight area. You deserve to be there like everyone else. Believe it or not, but sometimes guys are not staring at you in a sexual way. The reason for the looking is due to the fact that most women tend to shy away from this area.
Congratulations! You are a trailblazer at your gym and it’s taking the guys by surprise. Take it as such and keep it up!
Everyone Gets Embarrassed
If you start to feel that the stares are more than curiosity, that’s when you should simply ask them “Hey, can I help you with something because I see you keep looking at me?” That will embarrass most guys if you call them out on their fantasy stares. Most guys think they are too slick with their eye drifting. Calling him out on it will catch him off guard!
If they do respond with a smart chauvinistic reply, then you don’t have to feel you need a witty reply. Just say, “OK, I was curious” and move on. It may now be time to simply talk to the gym’s manager. Remember you pay a fee to belong to this gym just like that guy. You pay for the right to be safe, so get your money’s worth!
What are some factors in the free weight area that intimidate you? Let me know below!