I get it. The weights room is intimidating. I still fondly call it the “testosterzone” as it seems to be constantly filled with huge men, grunting and throwing dumbbells around. However, it is also an extremely valuable area of the gym and contains a lot of equipment which can facilitate your fitness goals.
I always recommend that individuals incorporate some form of resistance training into their fitness routine, whether that is traditional weight lifting at the gym, weighted HIIT or anything in-between. Whatever it is, you’re likely to need to use those dumbbells found in the weights section. So, we need to get you in there and get you comfortable with it.
Here are my top tips to stride in with pride!
1. Plan ahead
Write down your workout exercises, including how sets and reps. Familiarise yourself with how to perform the exercises using good from (Youtube is great for tutorials).This means that you’ll enter with a purpose.
2. Ask for an induction
The vast majority of gyms offer a free induction and tour of the gym. Use this opportunity to request demonstrations, ask any burning questions and learn how to use the machines that you’re less familiar with.
3. Time it right
When you first start training, it can be less intimidating to go at quieter times. If possible, try going during off-peak hours. This will give you free rein to explore the weights room and try new exercises without an audience.
4. Dress comfortably
Wear kit that you feel comfortable and confident in. You could even invest in a new outfit to give you the extra boost you need.
5. Tune in
Before you go to the gym, make yourself a playlist of your favourite workout songs. This will give you a little push and help disconnect you from your surroundings. Plus, headphones show that you mean business!
6. Take a friend
Grab your mate and drag them along. It’s so much easier to enter the weights room when you have a partner in crime. You can experiment with the equipment together and spur each other on through an awesome workout.
7. Focus on you
Try to avoid looking at everyone else and worrying about what they are doing. You’re there for you. Focus on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Concentrate on your form rather than on other gym-goers.
8. Fake it
This is what I always used to do! I would stride into the weights section as if I had been in there loads of time, acting as if I was a pro. By telling myself “you’ve got this” and holding my head high, I felt so much more confident and powerful. No one had a clue I was a newbie!
Need a little extra support? Join Zanna at Balance Festival where she'll be hosting workouts, talks and workshops all weekend to help you start building your confidence inside and out of the weights room!More from the Journal