Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Let’s be honest. The gym can be an intimidating place. When I first started going, I had NO CLUE what I was doing.
I looked like a lost puppy thrown in with the big dogs.
All the machines looked foreign. I did not have a clue how to use anything besides dumbbells and the cable machine, and the cables were a stretch sis! Let’s not forget how there were always the “Big Guys” taking up all the space and equipment. Which lead me to stay upstairs on the cardio machines. I would spend so much wasted time on treadmills then hop to ellipticals without touching a single weight.
Back then I did not know the benefits of weightlifting. Full blown 60-minute cardio workouts are EXCELLENT for cardiovascular training (i.e. marathon training) not so much for fat loss and muscle toning.
I had my goals. I knew what I wanted my body to look like. I changed my nutrition habits. I had every tool in the box, but I lacked the confidence to pick up the weight.
“GIRLS. DON’T LIFT. SIS.”
I was FIXATED on the idea that lifting makes you bulky and I didn’t want to look like a man. Period. I’m not going to lie. It took some time to say, I’m Ready. I went on YouTube and Facebook, joined a few fitness motivations groups. (Instagram wasn’t as popular yet) and it wasn’t until I took the initiative and googled specific workouts for weight-loss that I FINALLY put my headphones on, walked past the cardio machines and went straight for a barbell.
The gym doesn’t have to be intimidating. It can be a safe-haven to get out frustrations, meet new friends and become the inner badass you’ve always wanted to be!
Follow My Three Steps to: Fight Off Gymtimidation
I. Create a Plan
This is the most time-consuming step! How do I create a workout that benefits my goal? Easiest answer, GOOGLE IT. There are various platforms out there readily available with free workout plans stemmed for your fitness goal. If you are still not seeing anything that you like, seek out a Personal Fitness Coach! We can create customizable workouts based on your fitness level.
2. Customize Your Splits
Now the next part might seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be!
Creating a workout split is like planning your day. Let’s say you want to go to the gym starting (3) times a week. A split specifies what you’re doing on those days so you can plan accordingly.
Here is a common split that I start off my new clients with—
DAY ONE| UPPER BODY
DAY TWO| LOWER BODY
DAY THREE| TOTAL BODY/HIIT
Once we’ve figured out what you’re doing on your gym days, we need to set out which equipment is best for you.
II. The PERFECT Equipment
Picking the equipment is a bit more challenging! Social media does a great job at showing all the different equipment you CAN use but if you are first starting out, I would recommend using—dumbbells, medicine balls, smith machine, pre-determined lifting machines, cables and a TRX if available.These are easily scalable and are safer for newer body movements.
Think about what equipment your gym has…
If your gym is smaller and only has barbells, cables and dumbbells? BOOM you’re done!
If your gym is larger, this becomes a little bit trickier due to more options. Think about what you are most comfortable with. If able, I like to hoard all my items by my stationary machine to prevent a scavenger hunt!
3. I LIKE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT!
Okay ladies! We have our split. We picked our equipment. Now time for the fun.
If we are focusing on a lower body workout (remember this is a broad region, more options for exercises to swap out for progressive movements) you want to make sure you hit all main muscle groups!
Check out this Lower Body Example!
- Squat (Compound Movement/Multiple Muscle Groups)
- Deadlift (Compound Movement/ Multiple Muscle Groups)
- Leg Extensions (Quads)
- Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
- Hip Thrust (Glutes)
- Cossack Squat (Adductors)
- Standing Lateral Kicks (Abductors)
- 3 Way Calf Raise (Gastrocnemius/Soleus)
See! When we have a plan and stick to it, the gym can be a fun concrete jungle. Weightlifting does not have to be complicated! Once you get more comfortable and adventurous there are so many options of workout splits, exercises, complexes that you can add to your fitness journey.
“You don’t have to be great to start. You have to start to be great”
Embrace. Encourage. Evolve.