Being that the new year is upon us and many of us have made new fitness goals for 2012, you may be one of thousands of amateur or even first time gym-goers! As WWE Divas we have been to every type of gym in all parts of the world, but even we can be overwhelmed when walking into a new gym for the first time!
Despite these insecurities, our careers depend on us being able to confidently walk into any gym, find our way around, and achieve a great workout with nothing standing in our way. If I was brand new to the world of gyms and exercise, I might actually be terrified. With the common perception of testosterone-filled men watching your every move, to hot-bodied women in sports bras confirming our figure insecurities, why would someone subject themselves to the gym?
Although there are many ways to exercise — fitness group classes, walking/running with friends, and recreational sports to name a few — feeling confident with a gym workout will allow you to always exercise on your own terms, and on your own time. Whether you are someone who has let your insecurities stand in the way of building a comfortable relationship with the gym, or simply someone who is ready to make fitness a priority in your life, here are some foolproof ways of overcoming the most common gym-phobias…
Fear #1: I’m afraid I will use the machines wrong, and look funny not knowing what their functions are.
Answer: Every gym has personal trainers on staff who’s job it is to familiarize their customers with the facilities before or when they join. Although we do recommend it to start out, if it’s out of your budget you don’t have to sign up for a set of personal training sessions. Just one tour of the gym where the trainer will show you how to use any machines in question is all you need to start out. Also, most gyms now have a women’s only section. Start working out here until you feel comfortable with the basic machines.
Fear #2: I don’t want to be talked to or bothered by men/opposite sex when I work out.
Answer: Unfortunately, this is an annoyance experienced by many, but we have learned the secret! Avoid direct eye contact, and workout with conviction. The easiest way to ensure this, easily enough, is to wear a hat, and wear headphones. A hat ensures that your eyes only focus on the task at hand and don’t accidentally meet the eyes of what we call a "gym predator", unintentionally inviting him/her to engage in a conversation. The headphones, simply put, allows you to politely ignore anyone who may try to make conversation. If you look focused on your workout and not like you are there to socialize, a workout is what you will get! You’ll be surprised by the intimidation and/or respect that others around you will experience.
Fear #3: I feel out of shape and don’t want people looking at my body while working out.
Answer: The reality is, as much as you may feel self-conscious about your body, no one is giving it a second glance. Everyone is at the gym for their own personal reasons, and most people are too wrapped up in their own goals, workouts, or own insecurities to notice yours. The easiest solution to this is to wear something comfortable. Despite popular belief, you don’t have to wear tight fitting clothing to the gym. Fool proof workout attire is loose capri pants or sweats (that allow your legs to breathe), a sports bra and t-shirt. Try to make sure your t-shirt isn’t one that easily shows sweat (avoid grays), and that it is loose enough for you to breathe, but not so baggy that it gets in the way of your movements. No one will know, or care what’s under there!
Fear #4: I’m worried that I won’t know what to do when I get there, or that I’ll do movements wrong.
Answer: Have a plan. Although we strongly recommend getting a personal trainer to show you the ropes and give you a plan of action when you get to the gym, there are plenty of other resources to help give you inspiration in the gym. You can find great instruction and direction from fitness magazines, blogs (including FitPerez.com), and DVDs. If you are using free weights, try practicing the movements at home in front of the mirror, without the actual weights. If you are using isolation machines, they are pretty fool proof. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions! We can’t count the number of times we have asked other women and men about their workouts, or asked a trainer to tell us if we are doing a motion right. No one will think you are stupid, and people are generally flattered and happy to help.
Stock your mp3 player with a fun, inspiring workout playlist. These should be the songs that either make you want to dance, or always put you in a good mood.
Bring a towel! Not just for sanitary reasons, but you will feel much more comfortable when you don’t leave a trail of sweat marks on every machine you use.
Don’t get intimidated, and look confident. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone started going to the gym with the same fears you have. Don’t let any uncomfortable situations discourage you, because it will get easier and more fun every time you go, and the more you develop a routine.
It is never too late to start your relationship with the gym, and we want you to be prepared and ready to make 2012 your fittest year yet! There are countless ways to exercise, but a gym workout will be there any time, in any weather, with or without company!
Wants more WWE Divas? Check out Eve Torres in something other than her workout gear here!