I’ve never been nervous to go to the gym before. Growing up as an athlete it was always a second home, from soccer practice to strength training for track- I was comfortable in the gym. I knew what my body could do, which machines I liked, and how best to create an efficient workout. However, this all changed when when I broke my ankle. If you’ve been following me on Instagram you might know that healing from that injury has been a *long* road. It was months in a walking boot followed by months of rehab and then just as I was cleared to step back into the gym, Covid shutdowns hit. Here in Colorado the restrictions were strict, and even as they started to loosen I knew I wanted to wait until I was fully vaccinated before heading back regularly. And now, with my first training appointment coming up I’m nervous, in SUCH a good way!
So, to manage my pre-gym jitters I’m going to call on some of my tips to make the most of your gym experience from when I was going constantly! So many of these reminders help soothe my anxiety, so if you’re feeling like me they’re great to try out!
1. Ask for a Guided Tour
Whenever I head into a new gym I’ll ask the receptionist if I may have a tour by either a salesperson on the floor (often these are personal trainers) or the manager. They can walk you around the gym, answer all of your questions, and help familiarize yourself with the areas of the gym. This was REALLY important for me when it comes to cleaning protocols- I may be vaccinated but I want to make sure everything is super safe!
2. Feel Confident In What You’re Wearing
New gym outfits are AMAZING and I absolutely love shopping for workout gear (the new Adidas Believe This Tights are so comfy!) but when I am feeling nervous I tend to pull out the tried-and-true pieces of my wardrobe. Feeling nervous about a new space and then not knowing where the pockets are in your new pants can add to the pressure! I swear, the number of times I’ve dropped my phone thinking I’m popping it into a pocket is just silly.
3. Have a Gym-Only Backpack
Motivation is everything. So when I’m feeling up for it, I want to quickly be able to zoom out of the door! I have a backpack (the Adidas VFA) that’s filled with my favorites. A water bottle, extra socks, deodorant, a face covering (Adidas has molded masks perfect for sports!), and a pair of Adidas UltraBoost sneakers. I’ve been a huge Adidas fan turned ambassador for years, so you know my backpack is chock full of their gear!
4. Have a Plan!
Now, I am totally spoiling myself and booked a personal trainer, but whether or not you have a trainer it is a great idea to have a plan! There are SO many great resources online to show you the ropes for great workouts. Check out YouTube for video references for what gym equipment is and how to use it and your favorite health and wellness sites for workouts. In all my years of training I’d never come across a ‘hex’ bar that you stand inside, and you better believe I googled what on earth it was!
5. Ask Questions!
It’s easy to say ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions’ but for many of us with social anxiety that’s not always an easy thing to do. While I absolutely believe that the vast majority of gym-goers are MORE than happy to help out someone with a question, remember that you can also make a note of your question in your phone. Also remember to snap a photo on your phone so you know exactly what you’re working with and when you get home you can either look it up if its a technical question OR use the beauty of social media: connectivity! Try DMing your question to your gym’s Instagram account. Usually they are super responsive and might offer in-person help if you’re still confused.
I’ve got the great type of butterflies, so wish me luck! I can’t wait to share this next stage of my recovery and head back into the world of fitness- this time with both of my legs ready to go!