You guys, we’ve got a confession: we’re not natural fitness junkies. We know exercising is really freaking important (especially when you eat as many doughnuts as we do) but we’re not born-and-bred gym goers. Call us crazy, but sometimes we need a little help feeling confident when doing squat sets in front of a guy who looks remarkably like young Antonio Banderas. Sometimes we need a little assurance that we don’t look like a human-shaped cronut dressed head to toe in lululemon
We pretty sure we’re not alone, so here are our four not-so-secret secrets to feeling confident at the gym.
1. Take A Friend
Everything in life is better with a friend, right?! Same goes for the gym. It might be a bit of reassurance that you’re nailing those leg presses. Maybe someone to hold you accountable and make sure you drag your arse out of bed at half-past-god-only-knows. Or simply the knowledge that you’ll always have someone to spot you, taking a friend is our number one rule for kicking the gym-nerves. It also helps if the friend either a) is some sort of fitness God; or b) has absolutely no idea what they’re doing and is already mentally planning their post-gym burger run.
2. Book A One-On-One Session
Nothing makes us more nervous than walking into a fancy, high-end gym and having no idea what the various machines do. Work glutes? Sculpt pecs? Make waffles? Who the hell knows.
Not knowing where certain equipment is (or how it works) is a really quick way to feel like a total fitness noob. But there is a solution. A one-on-one PT session means you get intro’d to the various
torture devices machines at your own pace. And you get to learn their proper names. Book a one-on-one session with a personal trainer at Dukes Gym and they’ll make sure you’re on track to reach your fitness goals.
3. Have. A. Program
If you’re just starting out, some direction is essential. Otherwise you’re gonna spend 13.5 minutes hanging out by the squat rack, perving on hot people, or worse, doing a half-hearted lat pull down and then fleeing to the nearest Maccas.
These sort of “workouts” always end on a treadmill at ‘brisk walking speed’, because God knows you can’t screw that up. They’re ineffective, and you look like a bit of a Clueless-Clancy. Having a program means you can hit the gym, feel confident that you know what’s-what, and know that you’re maximising your time. If you’re going to go to the effort of getting off the couch and moving around, you may as well do it properly.
We’re big fans of the completely personalised programs that the team at Dukes Gym are creating. They’re fun, full of variety, and they weren’t even horrified at just how unfit we were. Whether you’re shredding or bulking (or just ‘maintaining’) a personalised program is going to increase your chances of reaching your goals and feeling damn confident doing it.
4. Exercise Where You Feel Comfortable
We’re big advocates of doing what makes you feel good. And sometimes, when we’re huffing and puffing and a dripping mess of sweat, we just want to be left alone. Enter the female-only area at Duke’s Gym.
It’s a girls-only a safe-space (complete with funky wall paper) that’s still got all the best equipment, plus direct access on to the ladies’ bathrooms. This place has single-handedly allowed us to embrace our workout, sans nerves. Call us vain, but basically we really appreciate being able to get our sweat on without anyone actually, you know, watching us do it.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List