Gymtimidated? Part 2 | Danyelle Mastarone
If you missed the first blog in this series read it first here.
Let’s get it started!
Going to the gym, take 1!
You followed my advice and did not let the gymtimidation stop you. You are at the gym, pumped up from your PEAK ATP, and ready to kick some workout butt! But now what? Maybe you are looking around and are not sure which way to go or what to do. First, be proud of yourself for taking the first step. You got there and that is sometimes the biggest obstacle. Here are some quick tips on what to do now that you are ready to workout.
Make a Mental Note
First and foremost, set your mind right. One way to do this is by ensuring you feel good in what you are wearing. Although this must be done before you get to the gym and may not apply to everyone, I recommend wearing something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. If a new outfit will help motivate you, buy it. If you find your comfort zone in your old college t-shirt, then wear that. For me, matching my shoes to my outfit makes me feel complete. Do I get a better workout this way? Maybe! If it sets my mind right, then maybe it does make me work a little harder or at the least puts me in a better mood.
The gym is liberating for me and can be for you too once you find your groove. Have a goal in mind for the day (yes, just the day). Don’t worry about all the weight you want to lose, or what you will do over the weekend or how will you ever get those leg striations. One day at a time. Maybe set a first day goal of doing 15 minutes on a cardio machine.
Try a class
You can channel your inner high school nerd and get right up front or quietly fade into the back away from any attention. Either way, you have a trained instructor leading you through movements. Being a part of a class is also instantly motivating, feeling the energy from everyone else. You may even make a friend or two. And before you know it, you’ll be holding each other accountable and sharing fitness goals.
Good Form and Lighter Weights
When lifting your body doesn’t know what weight you use, but it sure knows muscle activation. Did you hear that? You can easily cheat on your form and lift heavier weights OR you can focus on technique and crush that 5 lb. dumbbell. Making the mind muscle connection is more important than lifting the heaviest weights there. Focus on the movement you are doing with the muscle you are targeting and give it your all. Take it to 10 on the intensity scale and you will feel accomplished.
Listen to your Body
If it hurts, stop. The gym is not a torture session. Intense? Yes. And don’t forget to stretch… EVERY time. Utilize dynamic stretching to warm-up and static stretching to cool down. Your body will thank you for it.
Avoid Peak Times
If you can only make room in your schedule to go to the gym at a certain time, then by all means go at that time. But if you can, go to the gym during off hours so you can really take your time and familiarize yourself with the equipment. Plus, no waiting for the most popular machines.
I don’t work out because I hate my body; I workout because I love it. Find a workout that you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t run. Try the arc trainer or even take it outside and kayak.
Find yourself a sweat proof pair of earbuds or headphones and crank up that Pandora. Whatever genre of music puts you in the zone is what should be playing in your ears. If you secretly love the Beach Boys, jam on and find your fitness diva!
Stick with it!
Let’s be honest, you are not going to see results the first day, probably not even the first week. In fact, you may just feel sore, tired and hungrier. Please trust me and give it time. Typically, change takes about three weeks, which is also the general amount of time it takes to form a habit. This is one of those good habits, so stick with it!
Take this advice along with PEAK ATP each morning, HMB throughout the day and enjoy your new fit lifestyle! Stay posted for more tips on how to start a weight training and nutrition plan.
Danyelle Mastarone, Fit Mom & Figure Competitor