It can be intimidating if you're new to the gym or haven't lifted weights before.
Just thinking about all the equipment, the iron cages, the sweating and the grunting at once, it’s enough to make anyone want to walk right back out the door.
But we’ve all been there before. I’ve been there before, so I will tell you the five things that I found helped me gain my confidence in lifting weights and to get where I am now.
This was one of the first things I did when I signed up for my very first gym and I can’t tell you how much it helped me learn how to use the equipment and lift weights.
To this day, I still have a coach, but it is the number one thing I couldn’t recommend enough. It doesn’t have to be me; get yourself someone who actually knows what they’re doing (keyword: actually), so they can teach you everything you need to know about lifting weights.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while (if you aren’t, you’re totally missing out), you know it’s one of the things I go on and on about A LOT… I sound like a broken record. There are many reasons for that and if you read this blog, it’ll tell you why.
We’ll stay on topic though about how it improves your confidence with lifting: it takes the guesswork out of going to the gym. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing every time you step foot into the gym, what equipment you need to use, and you can even plan out how you navigate gym floor.
Now, all you need to do is pop those headphones on and get in the zone.
How often have you asked your friend(s) when they’re going to the party? We’re creatures of habit and want to be in comfortable social situations. I would prefer to go to a party and know that my friend(s) are there when I arrive so I don’t have to make small talk with strangers…
The gym is just like that: one big party. You’ve got someone to talk to, someone to train with and someone who might help you if you’re not sure what you’re doing (which also why you should have a coach so there’s absolute certainty about what you’re doing).
They keep you accountable for going to the gym, and make the whole “lifting weights at the gym” experience less scary.
You check your program (if you’ve got a program) and have barbell squats in there, so you know you need the power rack at the gym. You rock up at the gym at 6 pm and all the racks are taken. Do you:
A. Pick one of the power racks and ask the person using it if you can jump in between sets or ask how much longer they have (if they’re a powerlifter, you’re better off jumping in between because they’ll be there for at least an hour)
B. Just use the cardio section because you’re intimidated by how busy the gym is and you’d rather ditch the workout you had planned than ask someone a question
If you chose B, you’re not the only one. I have a solution for you: go to the gym during off-peak times when it’s quieter. There will be fewer people around and the more often you go to the gym and do the workout you had planned, it’ll build up your confidence.
Soon, you won’t stress when you realise you have to go to the gym during the after-work rush because someone in the meeting wouldn’t shut up so you missed your window.
Say it with me: YOU DO YOU.
It’s just like when you start a new job, you’re in a new environment and you feel like a fish out of water. But you don’t have a choice - you have to turn up every single day and be there from 9 am to 5 pm, but it gets easier. You learn how to do your job, focus on what you need to do to get the job done (because we all want that end-of-year bonus!) and no one is watching you like a hawk (unless you have a micromanager…).
The gym’s basically a new workplace. You’re there because you want to look or feel a certain way, or hit your training goals. You need to put the work in and you know that if you focus on what you need to do, you’ll get there. Everyone else is too busy with their own workout to watch what you’re doing, so don’t worry about them. YOU DO YOU, boo.
All this confidence that you’re going to build from lifting weights in a gym is going to build your confidence outside of the gym. I always tell to my clients that I want to get them strong AF so they can be confident to do it on their own in the gym, and also do everything else in their life without hesitation.
When you start lifting weights, you’ve got goals like how much you want to squat, bench press or deadlift. If you follow a structured training program and have a good coach in your corner, you will keep making progress. Once you’ve hit that goal, it’ll boost your confidence because you just did what you said you would, and now nobody can stop you from aiming higher.
But no one ever said lifting weights was easy. If it were, we’d all be squatting 500kg, but that’s not how it is. Lifting weights is a mental and physical challenge and we’re always more capable than we think we are. If you stay disciplined and stick to the plan, you’ll break through those challenges and it’ll do wonders for your confidence.
Have I convinced you to go to the gym and start lifting weights yet? If it is a yes, I’m your girl! I can help you build confidence and move better. Send me a quick inquiry here.