Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Are You Intimidated by the Gym?

Last night I was at a wine tasting event with a bunch of my girlfriends and everyone seemed to be talking about three things – wine (duh!), summer beach house shares and FITNESS! It was my ideal night!

But a lot of the girls talked about being scared of the gym. Well, not scared, but timid to weight train because of the their lack of knowledge of exercises, proper form and how to set up and use the machine. And apparently this is a common fear: Check out this post from Fit Sugar about intimidating gym equipment.

Trust me, I understand how the weight and circuit room can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not only do you need to know which exercises target which muscles, but you need to understand form, proper settings and alignment (if you’re on a machine), how many repetitions, how heavy of weight etc.. But women of the world take control of your workouts!

First, understand that proper training incorporates cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training. And ‘unfamiliarity with’ is a lame excuse to ignore any of the components. While I would love to take all my friends to the gym and explain everything myself (I can’t help it, it’s the trainer in me), with everyone’s hectic schedules and different gym memberships, matters become a bit complicated. So what’s a girl to do – get educated!

No one is born with the knowledge of how to use the machines, everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe you can’t afford to hire a personal trainer these days, but if you’re unfamiliar with how to work a certain machine, ask the trainers for help. Catch them between sessions and ask them to explain an exercise or how to set up a machine. Use them as your resource.

Other options?  Watch others. This can be risky since not everyone knows what they are doing, but look at exercisers who seem competent, it will at least give you a starting point. Also, try to peak a glimpse at someone’s training session and try to emulate their position, posture and form on your own. Read up. There are plenty of weight training resources out there in both print and online. Just as you learn follow a recipe when you cook, follow instructions for equipment when you train. I see plenty of people (girls and guys!) bring books, manuals and logs to the gym. But remember safety first, when you’re first starting out, use lighter weights until you nail down the technique.

I’d love to know, are there machines that you shy away from? Or what have you done to overcome your fear?


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